SKID ROW singer Erik Grönwall, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2021, has reflected on his cancer battle, saying that he is "happier today than I was before it happened".
On Tuesday (December 5),Erik took to his social media to share a couple of photos of him, one from two years ago, at the height of his cancer battle, and one very recent, and he wrote in an accompanying message: "I know this is something you might find strange and although I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to get cancer and go through all that… I have to say that I'm grateful for what my battle against cancer gave me. I am happier today than I was before it happened. ⠀
"People often talk about having 'fuck you money' but I got something even more powerful - a 'fuck you experience' - I'm alive today with a superpower called perspective. I have experienced at the age of 36 what a scarce resource time is and that it has to be spent waking up everyday doing something that makes you happy. And if it doesn't? That's right: 'fuck it!'.
"I am grateful for that. That's freedom and that's power. If you're in a dark place right now find comfort in knowing that, not only can things get better, things can get better than EVER."
Erik continued: "The samurai had a moral code called Bushido that they lived by. We should all have our own bushido with our values and principles and live by them no matter what. There's a lot of happiness and freedom to be found in knowing what you value the most and to live according to those values."
He added a quote from the Russian writer and philosopher Ayn Rand: "Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values."
Back in September 2022, Grönwall spoke to Australia's "Everblack" podcast about how his cancer battle affected his outlook on his music career, particularly as it relates to the passion that he puts into his vocal performance. He said: "First of all, I'm so happy to be alive. So you get a lot of passion from just waking up and realizing, 'Fuck, I could have been dead now. But I get to wake up another day and another one and another one' — hopefully. And second of all, I get to wake up in SKID ROW, as the lead singer of SKID ROW. And I told myself that I would just keep singing for the rest of my life, and I'm privileged to do it in this band. And I also think there's a lot of… I'm a bit pissed off [laughs] about last year. But it's just that I find some kind of aggression. It's just, like, 'Fuck, I hate what I went through but it made me stronger, and I'm gonna fucking make this vocal take count if it's the last thing I do.' I think I'm just more aware of the here and now, and when I record my vocals, that's the only thing that counts. And I'm gonna do everything wholeheartedly — just record it and give it all I've got until I can't do it anymore."
Erik, who joined the band in early 2022 as the replacement for ZP Theart, previously reflected on his March 2021 acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis in an interview with Australia's May The Rock Be With You. He said: "I think a lot of my values got — it didn't change that much when I got sick, but they intensified in many ways.
"Something that has always been with me, I guess, is the fact that I really value waking up every day being able to do what I want with my time.
"I did this for a lot of years without making any money. If I was in it for the money, I wouldn't be here doing this now," he revealed.
"I was telling Scotti [Hill, SKID ROW guitarist] and Rob [Hammersmith, SKID ROW drummer] one morning when we had breakfast. I was, like, 'It's so weird because I'm out here having a good time, and then I get home and I realize, 'Oh, I can send an invoice.'' [Laughs] It doesn't really feel like you're out working; it feels like you're just out doing what you love. And then you realize, 'Oh, I actually make money now doing this.' And it's just mindblowing and it just makes me feel so privileged to be here as the lead singer.
"So that value, that thing of doing this just because I love it, just because it makes me so happy, that has always been with me throughout my career," Erik noted.
"We all have bad days. All jobs come with bad days. But that's why I just keep going, because I love it. It's my passion."
SKID ROW's latest studio album, "The Gang's All Here", arrived in October 2022 via earMUSIC. The group recorded most of the LP 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.
Grönwall, who auditioned for the competition show "Swedish Idol" back in 2009 by singing a cover of SKID ROW's "18 And Life", joined SKID ROW in January 2022. Theart, who had been in the group for more than six years, played his final gig with SKID ROW in February 2022 before being officially given the boot.
Grönwall was a member of the Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T. with whom he recorded 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.
In September 2021, Grönwall announced that he was cancer free after receiving a bone marrow transplant. "Some anonymous wonderful human being somewhere in the world donated his/her blood cells so that I could get a second chance at life," he told Headbangers Lifestyle in January. "Sometimes I can just get tears in my eyes when I think about it. It's so beautiful that one person who is not connected to me in any way wanted to do that for me. He/she doesn't know that the blood cells were for me. It's completely anonymous."
In September 2021, Grönwall released his cover version of "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.