New SKID ROW Frontman ERIK GRÖNWALL: 'When I Wanted To Become A Singer, I Was Trying To Sing Like SEBASTIAN BACH'
April 12, 2022
New SKID ROW singer Erik Grönwall spoke to Liz Berg of Smarts & Entertainment about what it's been like for him to join his favorite band and immediately start working on a new album, along with beginning to prepare for SKID ROW's current Las Vegas residency as the support act for the SCORPIONS. "It's insane," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Surreal, definitely. I grew up listening to SKID ROW, and when I wanted to become a singer, I was trying to sing like [former SKID ROW singer] Sebastian Bach. And that's what I did. I did that at karaoke nights [back home in Sweden]. So it's just surreal, because I come into the band and I started to do a new album straight away. I don't just have to rehearse the old songs; I'm doing a new album. So it's my voice on that. It's surreal, and I'm so honored."
Grönwall joined SKID ROW just weeks ago as the replacement for ZP Theart, who had been in the group for more than six years.
SKID ROW played its first show with Grönwall on March 26. During its nine-song set, SKID ROW performed its new single, "The Gang's All Here", which was made available last month. The song is the title track of the band's upcoming album, which will arrive on October 14 via earMUSIC.
SKID ROW recorded most of "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.
SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan recently told Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station about Grönwall's addition to the band: "Just the way he does things and his work ethic is one I've never seen other than the four of us that are already in the band. He just doesn't stop until he gets things absolutely right. Whether it's his version, what he thinks is right, or what we think is right, he works hard — he works hard. And you can see why he had the success he did overseas because he's a really, really hard-working singer that takes care of his instrument and that takes pride in his craft."
Rachel also reflected on SKID ROW's first live performance with Grönwall, saying: "Honestly, dude, from the minute he opened his mouth… His timing is impeccable. We knew it was gonna be cool. And each show has gotten even better, 'cause we're learning each other's rhythm on stage. When I walked away from that show, I said to Erik, I go, 'This was show one. I cannot wait for show one hundred. It's gonna be amazing.'"
Bolan previously talked about how Erik came to join SKID ROW during an appearance on the latest episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation L.A. Invasion", recorded just hours before SKID ROW's first performance with the Swedish singer. "We toured together. H.E.A.T. was on tour with SKID ROW. What year was that? '18? And we'd hear him every night from the dressing room," he said. "And a couple of times, I was, like, 'Man, listen to this guy sing. He's phenomenal.' And then, I forget who told me, someone that was with us, 'Yeah, he won 'Idol' in Sweden.' And I was, like, 'Man, he's got pipes.' And I was listening. Then I went behind the monitor board a couple of times. And in my head, I'm, like, 'Wow! When SKID ROW has some downtime, I'm gonna get in touch with this dude and start a side project with him.' And obviously, that never happened. But as time went on and we got to the point to where we were with ZP and stuff, Erik was our first… I told Snake, I go, 'We've gotta check this guy out.' And along with Snake and the rest of the guys, and Nick, our producer, Nick Raskulinecz, were, like, 'He's the guy, man. Send him some songs.' So we sent him some songs that we were recording, just with a guide vocal on it, and it came back about 24 hours later, and we were, like, 'All right. He's the guy. Get him on a plane. Let's do this.'"
Grönwall sang on H.E.A.T.'s last four studio albums — "Address The Nation" (2012),"Tearing Down The Walls" (2014),"Into The Great Unknown" (2017) and "H.E.A.T II" (2020) — before exiting the group in October 2020.
Grönwall was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2021. A short time later, he wrote on his social media: "I am extremely privileged and grateful to live at a day and age where a disease like this is curable. There's been so much progress made in this field. My body is reacting well to the treatment but it's a long treatment and it's going to be the toughest challenge of my life so far, for me and my family."
Last September, Grönwall released his cover version of SKID ROW's "18 And Life" via all streaming platforms. At the time, he said about his version of the track: "This song was basically the starting point of my professional career as an artist. I performed this song during my 'Swedish Idol' audition back in 2009. 12 years later it's time to give this bad boy a try again. Here's my version of the SKID ROW song '18 And Life'."
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.