SKID ROW's New Singer ERIK GRÖNWALL Says He Has Already Turned Some 'Haters Into Believers And Followers'
September 6, 2022
Swedish vocalist Erik Grönwall, who joined SKID ROW earlier this year, spoke to Australia's The Rockpit about how he manages to stay focused in the wake of constant calls for a reunion of the band's classic lineup. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I come from a fan perspective as well, and I realize and I know — I understand the perspective of people wanting the original lineup. I mean, obviously, I understand the band's history, so I can see that. I prefer the Bon Scott era [of AC/DC] compared to [the Brian Johnson] era. And Brian Johnson isn't a new singer; he's been around since 1980. But that's how it is.
"That being said, I've had people contact me on Instagram and apologizing for… At first, they were, like, 'Oh, another singer?' — you know, just the regular comments that you used to see," he explained. "But they've actually apologized and pretty much said, 'I'm sorry for hating on you when I first found out. But now I just have to say I love it. I love you. And I was wrong.' [Laughs]"
He added: "That's the ultimate compliment for me, obviously — that you can turn haters into believers and followers. And that makes everything worth it — everything. All the hard work you put in."
SKID ROW's new studio album, "The Gang's All Here", will arrive on October 14 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 joined SKID ROW in January as the replacement for ZP Theart, who had been in the group for more than six years. Theart played his final gig with SKID ROW in February 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.
Grönwall was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2021. Six months later, he announced that he was cancer free after receiving a bone marrow transplant in August. "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.
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 an 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.'"
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