SKID ROW On New Singer Search: 'We've Got A Couple Guys On The Radar That We're Gonna Audition'

July 9, 2024

During a question-and-answer session at this past weekend's Days Of The Dead horror and pop culture-themed convention in Indianapolis, SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan was asked about the band's current activities. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're always writing, throwing ideas at each other. Right now we're in the middle of looking for a singer. I hear all you guys rolling your eyes already. Our [last] singer, Erik [Grönwall], left to prioritize his health, [which was] understandable. So right now we're just taking our time, because we have time. And we've got a couple guys on the radar that we're gonna audition. And there's also a couple of our friends that wanna do what [HALESTORM's] Lzzy Hale did and sit in [on lead vocals] for a few [SKID ROW] shows. And that's fun too. That was so much fun doing those [four] shows [with Lzzy in late May and early June]."

Added SKID ROW guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo: "We also have a live record ['Live In London'] coming out, too. In the next couple of months it'll be coming out. And we did it in London, which was really special for us because that city holds a place in our hearts since the beginning of the band. So, it was a place where we could have a moment in time sort of in perpetuity. And it was a really fun show. And I'm so happy that, after all this time of having SKID ROW, that we were able to capture finally a live record. It's something we're very proud of it."

A little over a month ago, Rachel confirmed to Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station that he and his bandmates have been talking to singers about potentially stepping in to replace Grönwall. He explained: "No one, really, with a name. But, yeah, we've been talking to a few guys that piqued our interest, for sure."

Asked if he has been working on any new music for a possible follow-up to 2022's "The Gang's All Here" album, Rachel said: "We've been writing. I've been writing a lot when I can. I've been writing in between moving from Nashville back to New Jersey and all that kind of stuff. But, yeah, I always write. Whenever I could hear something in the supermarket, then I just kind of check out real quick and drive home as fast as I can and fire up the Pro Tools [get the ideas down]."

In May, Sabo ruled out a reunion with SKID ROW's former singer Sebastian Bach telling The Hook Rocks podcast: "It's not gonna happen. And I say the same thing every time. I'm thankful that people have such an interest in wanting to see that happen, but I also have to reiterate that this is about being happy in the situation that you're in. So I'll speak for myself personally.

"First of all, I do need to say something too, is that the reason that this isn't happening is because there's three of us — myself, Scotti [Hill, SKID ROW guitarist] and Rachel — who've had conversations about this, and we've all been on the same page that we don't wanna go down that road again. We just — we don't.

"Rachel has taken a beating over this through the years," Sabo continued. "He's the one who's been blamed for this. 'Oh, it's Rachel's ego.' 'It's this and that.' No, that's a load of bullshit. That is not true. And I feel bad because he's really, really had to shoulder that blame and has never said anything derogatory or anything like that. But you know what? The truth of the matter is that Rachel, Scotti and myself have continually felt the same way, that we enjoy being happy in this band and we're really happy.

"It's been such a great experience for the last however, 35 years, everything, all the ups, all the downs, everything, but we just don't wanna revisit that particular aspect of our history," he explained. "I love the songs, [I] love a lot of the memories, [I am] not fond of some of the memories, but just as individuals and as a collective, that's just how we feel. So this is not on Rachel. And this has nothing to do with anyone's ego or anything like that. So that's just gotta be clear. Again, for anyone to sit there and make assumptions that this is Rachel Bolan saying 'nope,' it's not. It's the three of us, and we've all collectively sat there and just said that we don't wanna do it. We just don't wanna do it. And we wish everybody all the best."

Snake added: "We've been just ripped apart by ex-members of the band and stuff — ripped apart. Some really shitty stuff [has been] said about all of us. And we just choose not to [respond]. It's not who I am. It's not who we are. We won't go down that road. We just wanna play music and be happy. This has really never been about a monetary aspect of things because it's known that we've been offered a good amount of money to do shows together and to reunite [with Sebastian] and whatever, but it's just never been about the money, man. I choose my happiness, my willingness to continue to be a really good friend to my best friends and a really good husband and a really good dad and bandmate and person. And I don't wanna endanger that in any way. So the people that we choose to play with, those choices are made in order to keep those particular things in line for all of us."

Four months ago, Grönwall quit SKID ROW to focus on his health.

Erik, who was SKID ROW's fourth frontman since Bach's departure, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2021. As a result, he is immunocompromised, which made touring difficult.

Bach fronted SKID ROW until 1996, when he was fired. Instead of throwing in the towel, the remaining members took a hiatus and went on to play briefly in a band called OZONE MONDAY. In 1999, SKID ROW reformed and, after a bit of shuffling over the years, featured a lineup consisting of bassist Rachel Bolan, guitarists Dave "Snake" Sabo and Scotti Hill, alongside drummer Rob Hammersmith and singer Johnny Solinger. SKID ROW fired Solinger over the phone in April 2015, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement. Eight months later, Harnell exited the band and was replaced by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I. Theart was fired from SKID ROW in February 2022 and was replaced by Grönwall, who was previously a member of the Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T.

Four years ago, Bolan also confirmed that he and his bandmates "were entertaining the idea" of reuniting with Bach following Harnell's departure. But Rachel shot down the possibility of a rekindling of his friendship with Sebastian, explaining: "Well… Here's the soundbite for Blabbermouth. I wouldn't say we were friends [when we were in a band together]. We were bandmates. You know what I mean? We're two very different people." Bolan added that he hadn't seen Bach "in years."

Five years ago, Bach was asked by Rolling Stone what it would take for SKID ROW to be reunited. He responded: "It would take those guys to realize that I have a lifetime manager. His name is Rick Sales. I've been with him since 2006. They don't want to deal with a guy like that. They want to give some singer who doesn't have a manager $700 to $800 bucks a week. I've got a team that's worked with me and don't allow me to get fucked around. I didn't have that team when I was 19 years old."

In response to Bach's statements about the earnings of SKID ROW's singer, Sabo told Rolling Stone in an e-mail: "I guess fact-checking isn't in his skill set… The five of us go on that stage as a band and we all get paid equally. We're in this together. There's no egos."

Sebastian went on to say that SKID ROW was "close to reuniting, but then it didn't happen. The fact that it didn't happen obviously makes me somewhat bitter, because life is only getting shorter, as the song says," he added.

"I wouldn't say 'came close,'" Bolan told Rolling Stone in an e-mail response to Bach's account of the reunion talks. "We entertained the idea. Snake and I went as far as talking with agents and promoters about money. But we quickly learned after a few text conversations, why we fired him in the first place. Nothing is worth your happiness and peace of mind."

Sabo added: "It was already a miserable experience, and we didn't even get on the phone."

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