LZZY HALE Says She Is Unable To Commit To A Permanent Role In SKID ROW

June 3, 2024

HALESTORM's Lzzy Hale has reflected on the four shows she just played as the vocalist of SKID ROW, saying the experience will live with her forever.

The 40-year-old singer, who has fronted her band HALESTORM for more than two and a half decades, handled the vocal duties for SKID ROW after the group's fourth frontman since Sebastian Bach's departure — "Swedish Idol" contestant Erik Grönwall — quit the band to focus on his health.

Earlier today (Monday, June 3),Hale took to her social media to share a few photos of her time with SKID ROW and she included the following message: "My soul is still buzzing from the crazy ride I was just on.

"Thank you so much to Rachel, Snake, Scotti, Rob, their amazing crew and the entire SKID ROW fan base for putting your trust in me. Thank you for bringing me into your tribe, and allowing me to live inside your legacy for a moment.

"What started out as friends helping out friends, bloomed into something bigger than any of us could've imagined.

"I'm overflowing with gratitude.

"This experience of getting to deep dive into SKID ROW has given me a rare opportunity to deepen my love for these men I get to call friends. And the soul bonding moments we created together musically will live with me forever.

"And even though this particular time in my life prevents me from committing to a permanent role in SKID ROW…I am sending in my official request to the universe that we will be able to join forces again down the road.

"With Love and Loud Music, Lzzy Hale".

During an appearance on the May 23 episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", Lzzy stated about what it was like to play her first two shows as the vocalist of SKID ROW: "The response has been amazing. And I'm hearing from people that have been seeing SKID ROW since 1987 and are just raving about what I bring to the table. So, for me, it is friends helping out friends, but it's also this beautiful milestone in my life where I'm literally being challenged to fill in the shoes that I've always wanted to fill from being a kid. So it's wonderful."

Asked by host Eddie Trunk if Sebastian Bach's singing on SKID ROW's classic records had an impact on her as a vocalist, Lzzy said: "Oh, absolutely. All I wanted to be as a singer growing up was a dude in an '80s hair band. Not a chick in an '80s hair band, but I wanted to be the dude. I wanted to be Sebastian Bach, I wanted to be Tom Keifer [CINDERELLA], these men that held the world in their hands when they hit those high notes… But, yeah, it's crazy because I think about it. Then after it was made official, I'm feeling in for these dates, Rachel [Bolan, SKID ROW bassist] and Snake [SKID ROW guitarist Dave Sabo] sent me the set and 'here's all the songs we're gonna sing.' And this is such a beautiful opportunity because I get to deep dive. Now I am forced into having to deep dive on these records and the inflections of Sebastian Bach's vocals, the arrangements, the timing. So I was literally treating it like it was an Olympic sport. I'm on the stationary bike singing SKID ROW, making sure I can get through a set, making sure the high notes are there. And it was crazy, 'cause I've been annoying the hell out of my bandmates because they've been widowers to SKID ROW for the past couple weeks, 'cause that's all I've been doing and listening to. So they know all the words too. But, yeah, it's just really wonderful. And then to be able to perform these songs with these guys who are the same… It's the same thing. These boys are perpetually 15. We're all in a bus together. I'm on tour with the band. This is crazy to me. So my young self is screaming, because it's, like, 'Can you believe it?' And I also feel this immense calm and comfort with these guys. And to be able to deep dive with Rachel and Snake on the lyrics and how certain songs came about. We talked about 'Quicksand Jesus' and how 'Monkey Business' was made and recorded with [producer] Michael Wagener. So it's been a beautiful experience for me. And I would have done it just for the sake of helping somebody out, but now it feels almost selfish to me, because I'm getting so much out of this experience. [Laughs]"

Regarding what the most challenging aspect has been about performing with SKID ROW, Lzzy said: "I think the most challenging aspect for me — actually, there's a couple of things, because, really, in a whole, all of this has been a challenge for me. But a few things are… I really wanted to see what it was like to perform an entire set without playing an instrument except for vocals, which I've never actually done. I've guested with people and got up and sang songs without playing a guitar or a keyboard, but I've never — literally like stepping into somebody else's shoes. Not only am I getting up and singing these songs, but I'm also fronting the band. I'm in charge of keeping the energy levels up and the breaks in between the songs, making sure everything's said. And so that's a challenge. But I think that the biggest one for me is, in the moment, making sure that I'm not freaking myself out too much over… Songs like 'I Remember You', everybody knows that song inside and out. So there's a there's a fine line between… I really wanted to honor everything in that song and not take liberties and make it into my own these. These are songs that everybody knows. So really just kind of keeping conscious of that, whereas I'm not getting up and covering SKID ROW songs, I'm getting up and making them into the best versions of what they actually are. So that's been a beautiful challenge as well. And you know me, I like saying yes to adventure. [Laughs] I'll usually say yes to jump off the cliff before I know if there's a parachute. [Laughs]"

Lzzy made her live debut with SKID ROW on May 17 at Walker's Bluff Casino Resort in Carterville, Illinois.

Bolan spoke about SKID ROW's pairing with Hale during a recent interview with Fox 26 reporter Ruben Dominguez and Margot Hogan. Regarding how Lzzy was approached about doing the gig, Bolan said: "When we knew Erik made the decision that he made to prioritize his health and leave the band, I said to the [other] guys [in the band], I go, 'You know what? She's like a sister to me, and I'm just gonna ask Lzzy. I know they have a really busy schedule, and they just have a lot going on. We have these four shows. I'm just gonna ask her. And if she says no, no harm, no foul.' And Nick Raskulinecz, who produced our last record, produced a couple of HALESTORM records, and it was his birthday party. I happened to be in Nashville because painters were painting the inside of the house that I'm putting up for sale. So I was just there, and he's, like, 'Hey, dude, it's my birthday. We're having Lzzy, Joe [Hottinger, HALESTORM guitarist] are coming… Everyone's coming. You've gotta come by.' And I was, like, 'Okay, cool.' So I got the painters out of the house a little early, and I went there, and that's when I asked Lzzy. I just said, 'Hey, would you wanna fill in on vocals or you wanna come sing with SKID ROW?' And she thought I meant like at the Mercy Lounge [in Nashville] or something like that. It's, like, 'Yeah, we've jammed a million times. Sure. The guys gonna be in town,' type of thing. And it's, like, 'No, no. We have four shows on the books. And Erik can't do them. So would you come in?' She's, like, 'Hell yeah.' She's, like, 'Let me just double check with my team.' And I hit her up a couple of days later, I go, 'Hey, were you serious about that?' She's, like, 'I was dead serious. And I am good to go for that.'"

Rachel went on to say that he and his SKID ROW bandmates are "really excited" about performing with Lzzy, "because she is a powerhouse, without a doubt. And above all of it, above the band's name and everything involved, she's my friend," he explained. "And it means a lot to me. So far above anything cool someone could do for a friend, she's doing for us. And it means it really means a lot to me that she's doing it. And the reaction has been unreal. Unreal. It's great."

Elaborating on why Hale is the right singer to play with SKID ROW at these four shows, Bolan said: "Lzzy, she is her own person. We asked her not for any other reason than how good she is and how powerful she is and how much she means to people. And I've gotta be completely honest. I knew this was gonna get attention, but I didn't know people were gonna be snapping out. And it's making me, like, 'Wow, my mind is completely blown.' It's a matter of a friend coming in to help friends. And even though we came out before and may have influenced her with stuff, she's helping us a lot, a lot in a situation we're in, and it is becoming something bigger than both of us. And I'm using her words. She's, like, this has become really bigger than the both of us. And so everyone is really excited — her team is excited, SKID ROW team is excited. The fans are just losing their minds."

A little over a month ago, Lzzy was asked in an interview with Terrie Carr of the Morristown, New Jersey radio station 105.5 WDHA how her pairing with SKID ROW came about. Lzzy said: "Well, first I'll give a statement for the beginning, because it just goes so much deeper for me than just helping out some friends.

"I'm from PA [Pennsylvania]. I know all about you Jersey boys. And I know we talk a lot about lifting up women and that's been very important in my life. But I can't forget about the men who raised me. And them being the SKID ROW boys, inadvertently, by my friends from Jersey who were listening to SKID ROW.

"I was always kind of an in-betweener in my interest in music," she explained. "So in the '90s, and like '96, it was BOYZ II MEN and Mariah Carey, BACKSTREET BOYS, Britney [Spears] was about to come out, that whole thing. I wasn't interested in that. I was interested in '80s, big hair, rock and metal. I loved Alice Cooper, BLACK SABBATH, CINDERELLA, JOURNEY, SKID ROW. And as that transition happened in the '90s, where all of a sudden I started getting into heavier music, a lot of the bands, except for a very small group of bands, helped me with that transition. And SKID ROW was one of them, because they were not so in their '80s bubble and in the time that came before that they couldn't see what was happening in the world and they couldn't see what the dark-seated underbelly that we were all feeling in the '90s. So they really helped bridge that gap for me.

"I can honestly tell you right now that I would not be the rocker that I am today without SKID ROW and those albums, because not only did they have those beautiful melodies and the vocal prowess and the riffs and the loud noise that I loved, but then the subject matter they were talking about was always very real and it hit me at the right time in the right place," Lzzy added. "And so this is just a beautiful example of that age doesn't matter. Time doesn't matter. Whenever you discover music, it doesn't matter. It's when it hits you. And so again, those men that raised me, the men from Jersey, the men from PA that all put these records in my hands. Then years later, I'm living in Nashville for the first time and I meet [SKID ROW bassist] Rachel Bolan and I meet [SKID ROW guitarist] Snake [Dave Sabo], and they're, like, 'Oh, man, there's more to Nashville than country. Let me introduce you to this guy.' Then I got to meet Tom Keifer from CINDERELLA and all those boys, and now I'm up playing AEROSMITH songs with all these weird guys that I grew up listening to. Then fast forward to a couple months ago when my good buddy Rachel — we were just at a birthday party, and Rachel's, like, 'Hey, would you ever consider singing with us?' And I'm, like, 'Oh, yeah, you mean like we do all the time down at Mercy Lounge?' He's, like, 'No, like actually be like our front person for some shows. There's some stuff going on.' And so I said, 'Well, yeah, sure. Just let me know when.' And then, you know, a couple of months later he goes, 'Hey, were you serious about that? Because this is going down now, and we've gotta know.' And so I cleared my schedule and I told everybody that that is on my team, 'Let me put up all these dates because I really wanna do this for these guys,' And so I'm helping my buddies out and they're helping me out and it's all full circle. But then we announced it, and I'm hearing from people I haven't heard from in 15 years saying, 'Oh my God, this is gonna save my life.' And we're bringing these two worlds together. It's giving everybody reason to smile and an event for someone to look forward to. And like generational gaps be damned. And it's just all gonna be great. And it's just wonderful.

"For me, I joked with the boys. I said, 'Oh, so my audition tape from '96 finally made it in the mail. Thanks for finally opening it up. My revised audition is in the mail.' So now I have all their songs on a playlist in the order of how they're doing their set. And I'm on the stationary bike trying to make sure I can hit the high notes. And I'm turning it like it's an Olympic sport. It's gonna be great."

Regarding the possibility of more SKID ROW shows with her on lead vocals, Lzzy said: "You never know. I will say something that most likely will happen is that these will not be the only four dates you ever hear. I will say that. As far as me being the permanent member of SKID ROW, we're gonna all have to find a plateau [laughs] in our schedules to do that. But you never know. Sounds like a pretty good gig for me, if I ever get to that point."

She added: "But, yeah, I'm just so grateful for the guys. And then think about it coming full circle. And it all comes from the right place. I mean, Erik, what an amazing voice and what a perfect fit for them and brought them into a whole new game changer. There's everything going on with his health, and how wonderful is it that amicably both parties can be, like, 'Hey, we're looking out for each other.' 'Hey, I can't give you what you need.' And also, 'Hey, us as a band, we can't give you what you need to look after yourself. So, hey, let's do that.' And 'Hey, let's bring in our buddy Lzzy.' I'm helping out my buddies. Everybody's doing it for the right reasons. And so it's a beautiful thing."

HALESTORM covered SKID ROW's "Slave To The Grind" for the 2011 EP "ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP". The band has also performed the track live.

Grönwall, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2021, is immunocompromised, which made touring difficult.

"I'm getting stronger and healthier every day but after consulting my doctor I need to allow myself more time to recover, which I can't do as the lead singer of SKID ROW," he said in a statement. "That's why I have reached the tough decision to move on."

The SKID ROW members said in a statement that they are "proud of what they have created and accomplished with Erik over the past two years" and "wish nothing but the best to him and his health. To celebrate the last two years, the band will be releasing a live album that perfectly captures this moment of time in the band's 35-plus-year history, to be announced soon."

In September 2021, just four months before he joined SKID ROW, Grönwall released his new cover version of "18 And Life" via all streaming platforms.

In late March 2022, SKID ROW released its first single with Grönwall, "The Gang's All Here". The song is the title track of the band's latest album, which arrived in October 2022 via earMUSIC.

SKID ROW played its first show with Grönwall on March 26, 2022 at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada as the support act on the rescheduled dates for SCORPIONS' "Sin City Nights" residency.

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