Ex-SKID ROW Singer TONY HARNELL Praises Band's New Vocalist ERIK GRÖNWALL: 'I'm Impressed'
April 26, 2022
Former SKID ROW singer Tony Harnell has weighed in on the band's decision to enlist Erik Grönwall as its latest frontman, calling it "a very smart and innovative idea."
Grönwall, who auditioned for the competition show "Swedish Idol" back in 2009 by singing a cover of SKID ROW's "18 And Life", joined the group this past January as the replacement for ZP Theart, who had been in SKID ROW for more than six years.
Last month, SKID ROW released its first single with Grönwall, "The Gang's All Here". The song is the title track of the band's upcoming album, which will arrive on October 14 via earMUSIC.
During an appearance on the latest episode of the GUNS N' ROSES-centric "Appetite For Distortion" podcast, Harnell — who fronted SKID ROW for less than a year — stated about the band's newest addition (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think that they made a great decision. I've admired Erik from afar, and I think it's the best choice they could have possibly made at this stage of the game. I mean, look, everybody knows what [fans] want with that particular situation," apparently referencing fans' constant call for a reunion with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach, "but it doesn't look like it's ever gonna happen. So in lieu of that happening, I think this was a very smart and innovative idea for them to grab a younger guy who has a lot of fire onstage and he has a great voice — very versatile. I'm impressed, and I think it's a great choice."
SKID ROW, which played its first show with Grönwall on March 26, recorded "The Gang's All Here" in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Nick Raskulinecz, who has previously worked with FOO FIGHTERS, STONE SOUR, HALESTORM, EVANESCENCE, RUSH and ALICE IN CHAINS, among many others.
Last September, Grönwall released his cover version of SKID ROW's "18 And Life" via all streaming platforms.
In 2018, Grönwall debuted in the U.S. for 10 million viewers in NBC's live broadcast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's musical "Jesus Christ Superstar". Along with John Legend, Alice Cooper, Sara Bareilles and others, Erik played the key role of Simon Zealotes.
Theart, a former member of DRAGONFORCE, joined SKID ROW in 2016 following the departure of Harnell.
Harnell previously said that his drinking was partly responsible for him quitting SKID ROW via social media, explaining that it was "a really dumb" and "very unprofessional" thing to do.
The former TNT singer joined SKID ROW in April 2015 as the replacement for Johnny Solinger, who was the band's frontman for fifteen years. Tony quit the group only eight months later, writing in a Facebook post that "being ignored and disrespected isn't my thing."
Tony later said in an interview with "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" that he made his exit official after going through was he described as "one of the most difficult times" in his life. "And the climax of it was the end of 2015, and I was in a bar, drinking way too much, was pissed off at the world, and did a stupid thing," he said. "And that was it. And it was very unprofessional. I've never done anything like that before, and I haven't done anything like that since. And I'm not proud of it."
Harnell went on to confirm that his drinking "played a role" in the way he went about quitting SKID ROW. "And a lot of people that know me would be, like, 'What? We never saw the guy drunk,'" he said. "It was my little private thing that a lot of people weren't really aware of — not even some people that were very close to me. So that definitely played a role. I wouldn't say that it was the only thing that was 'wrong' at the time, but it did play a role in the whole scenario."
Tony also claimed that he has since "apologized to both the band and the fans." He added: "It was a really dumb thing to do. That's basically all there is to it."
SKID ROW guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo told the "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" show that things fell apart so quickly with Harnell because "some things just aren't meant to work… they just don't work together. Knowing him before and then working with him, it was two separate… it really was two different things," he explained. "A lot of conflict, a lot of butting heads, and it just… it never meshed, it was never right. We knew him for a long time, [but we] never worked with him — never worked in a band situation, in a band environment with him. And you know what — for better or for worse, this is our band; it belongs to us. And so if someone is gonna come in and work with us, we have a certain way that we do things, and that may not work for some people. It didn't work for him. Look, [he's] a talented guy; it just wasn't right for us."
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