SKID RANK guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo says the formerHEAT leader Erik Grönwall was “the first and only” singer he and his bandmates contacted once it became clear that SKID RANK necessary to make another change of singer.
Greenwall recently joined SKID RANK in replacement of PZ Théartformer member of DRAGON FORCEwho met SKID RANK in 2016 following the departure of Tony Harnell (DTT, Starbreaker).
SKID RANK played his first gig with Greenwall on March 26 at the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada as a supporting act for the rescheduled dates for SCORPIO‘ “Sin City Nights” residence. SKID RANKThe nine-song set included her new single, “The Gang is All There”which was made available on March 25. The song is the title track from the band’s upcoming album, which will arrive on October 14 via earMUSIC.
SKID RANK checked in “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.
Sabo discussed Greenwalljoins the group during an interview with Andy Hall from radio station Des Moines, Iowa Laser 103.3. Explaining that Erik was only in SKID RANK for “a month and a half”, Snake said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We had been working on the record for a while with Nick Raskulinecz. We didn’t let anyone hear anything; we didn’t play any of the songs live. We just wanted to finish it before previewing it for anyone. And in the middle of that, we got to a place with our former singer where things were going in two different directions and there was no denying that we were going to have to make a change.”
He continued: “We were very, very aware of Erik. Erik [and H.E.A.T.] had opened up for us in 2019 during a European tour we did, so we were aware of his talent. And we were also made aware of his audition tape that he made for “Swedish Idol”the Swedish version of ‘American Idol’. And his audition tape was doing ’18 and life’ and he did an amazing job. Obviously, it got our full attention. And so he recently made another one, a newer version of ’18 and life’, which again caught our attention. So when things happened, that we knew we had to make a change, he was the first and only person we spoke to. We immediately started making music for him, and he immediately started cutting vocals.”
Sabo added: “It happened extremely fast – so fast that we were able to release the single just in time for this residency that we are doing with the SCORPIO currently in Las Vegas. And we were able to keep all of our timelines and everything intact. And, truly, the stars couldn’t have aligned better for us to get through this the way it happened.”
In 2018, a few years after Art joined for the first time SKID RANKbass player Rachel Bolan says that Art had brought an “excitement” to the group that he and his comrades had not had “in some time”. Addressing the UK TotalRock Radio, Bolan said about pz: “He’s a very talented singer and a great leader. It’s funny – when he came to the United States to sing and we were all together – because him, me and Rob [Hammersmith, drums] had been friends for a few years by then – but when he first came to sing it was so easy. He is 10 years younger than us and he kind of grew up listening to us. He’s from South Africa, and he and his friends had to sneak in and play our records, because they were deemed offensive [laughs]which is really funny.”
The bassist continued, “Yeah he came and he was more than prepared and just blew us away. And then when we toured for a year together and when it was official [that he was our new singer], our stock increased and everything started to get better and better. And he brought that excitement to the band that we haven’t had in a while. And now we can’t wait to get on stage every night. If we go away for a few days, it’s like ‘Ahhh… When are we going back there? It’s so much fun.'”
Earlier this month, Greenwall spoke to Liz Berg of intelligence and entertainment about what it was like for him to join his favorite band and immediately start working on a new album, while starting to prepare for SKID RANKThe Vegas residence. “It’s crazy,” he said. “Surreal, definitely. I grew up listening SKID RANKand when I wanted to be a singer, I tried to sing like [former SKID ROW singer] Sebastian Bach. And that’s what I did. I did it at karaoke nights [back home in Sweden]. So it’s just surreal, because I joined the band and immediately started making a new album. I don’t just have to repeat the old songs; I’m making a new album. So that’s my voice on that. It’s surreal, and I’m so honored.”
Bolan said recently Merger from Detroit WRIF radio about GreenwallAdding ‘s to the band: “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 so long that he didn’t do it 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 got the success he’s had 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 during an appearance in the last episode of SiriusXMit is “Trunk Nation LA Invasion”recorded a few hours before SKID RANKwith the Swedish singer. “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 their cover version of SKID RANKit is “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 music “Jesus Christ Superstar”. In the same way john legend, Alice Cooper, Sara Bareilles and others, Erik played the key role of Simon Zealots.