How Skid Row’s new singer went from covering ’18 and Life’ on ‘Swedish Idol’ to fronting the band: ‘It’s like a Hollywood script’


New SKID RANK singer Erik Grönwall was a guest on the Swedish television channel TV4it is “Nyhetsmorgon” program earlier today (Thursday 21 April). During the discussion, Erik discussed how he went from auditioning for the pageant “Swedish Idol” in 2009 singing a cover of SKID RANKit is “18 and Life” to now face the group. The 10-minute Swedish-language segment can be viewed below.

Erik spoke about his longtime love for SKID RANKthe music of during an appearance in the last episode of SiriusXMit is “Trunk Nation LA Invasion”recorded a few hours before the group’s first performance with the Swedish singer on March 26 in Las Vegas as the opening act for the SCORPIO. The 34-year-old musician said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I grew up listening SKID RANK, and I worked as a karaoke entertainer before I wanted to become an artist. So I was working as a karaoke entertainer – doing whatever I could just to work with the music. And I was singing ’18 and life’ and “Youth Gone Wild” during these karaoke evenings. And [former SKID ROW singer] Sebastianit is [Bach] voice was one of the reasons I even started singing. And then I managed to climb ‘Idol’ – the ‘Idol’ show in Sweden – and during my audition I sang ’18 and life’. And it’s kind of, like… It’s so full circle here. So this song became the song that gave me a career. And since then, I managed to become the leader of HEAT I have been in this group for 12 years. And I worked with john legend and Alice Cooper; in New York, we did ‘Jesus Chris Superstar’ live in concert, which was broadcast on NBC. And that was in 2018. And then last year I was diagnosed with leukemia. And that’s why I started a Youtube channel. Because I was moving away from being an artist; I wanted to try other things. And I started the Youtube channel because I promised myself when I was in the hospital – I got a full perspective – and I was, like, ‘If I make it out alive, I’m going to sing for the rest of my life. ‘ And I started the Youtube channel as a healing process; I just had to sing – I had to stream music. And then [in] January [of 2022]I think, [SKID ROW bassist] Rachel [Bolan] contacted me [about joining the band]. And it’s going so fast. It’s so surreal – everything. I always try to deal with the whole timeline. [Laughs] It’s like a Hollywood script.”

Greenwall joined SKID RANK in replacement of PZ Theartwho had been with the group for over six years.

Last month, SKID RANK released their first single with Greenwall, “The Gang is All There”. The song is the title track from the band’s upcoming album, which will arrive on October 14 via earMUSIC.

SKID RANK recorded most of “The Gang is All There” in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Nick Raskulineczwho has worked with FOO FIGHTERS, ACID STONE, HALESTORM, EVANESCENCE, RUSH and CHAINED ALICEamong many others.

Bolan said recently Merger from Detroit WRIF radio about Greenwallis added to SKID RANK“Just the way he does things and his work ethic is the likes of which I’ve never seen other than the four of us who are already in the band. He doesn’t stop until he’s done things perfectly. 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’s had the success he’s had at overseas because he’s a really, really hard-working singer who takes care of his instrument and takes pride in his craft.”

Rachel also reflected on SKID RANKfirst concert of Greenwallsaying, “Honestly, man, from the minute he opened his mouth…His timing is impeccable. We knew it was going to be cool. And every show got even better, because we’re learning the rhythm of the other on stage. When I walked away from that show, I said to Erik, I go, ‘That was the first show. I can’t wait to show a hundred. It’s going to be amazing.'”

Bolan previously talked about how Erik came to join SKID RANK at the aforementioned appearance on “Trunk Nation LA Invasion”. “We toured together. HEAT was on tour with SKID RANK. What year was it? ’18? And we would hear it every night from the locker room,” he said. “And a few times I was like, ‘Man, listen to this guy sing. He’s phenomenal. And then I forget who I am. ‘ said, someone who 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 dash a few times. And in my head, I’m like, ‘Wow! When SKID RANK has free time, I’m going to get in touch with this guy and start a side project with him. And apparently, that never happened. But over time and we got to the point where we were with pz and other things, Erik was our first…i said Snake, I go, ‘We have to check this guy.’ And with Snake and the rest of the guys, and Nick, our producer, Nick Raskulinecz, were, like, ‘That’s the guy, man. Send him songs. So we sent her songs that we were recording, just with a vocal guide on them, and they came back about 24 hours later, and we were like, ‘Okay. He’s the guy. Get him on a plane. Let’s do this.'”

Greenwall sang HEATthe last four studio albums of — “Address the Nation” (2012), “Tear Down the Walls” (2014), “Into the Great Unknown” (2017) and “HEAT II” (2020) — before leaving the group in October 2020.

Greenwall was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2021. Shortly after, he wrote on his social media: “I am extremely privileged and grateful to live in a time when a disease like this is curable. There has been so much progress in this area. My body is responding well to the treatment but it’s a long treatment and it’s going to be the hardest challenge of my life so far, for me and my family.”

last september, Greenwall released a new cover version of “18 and Life” via all streaming platforms. At the time, he said of his version of the track, “That song was basically the starting point of my professional career as an artist. I performed that song during my “Swedish Idol” audition in 2009. 12 years later, it’s time to try this bad boy again. Here is my version of SKID RANK song ’18 and life’.”

In 2018, Greenwall debuted in the United States to 10 million viewers in NBClive broadcast from Andrew Lloyd Webber‘sand Tim Riceit’s musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”. In the same way john legend, Alice Cooper, Sara Bareilles and others, Erik played the key role of Simon Zealots.

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