New Skid Row Singer Opens Up About Joining Band Months After Leukemia Diagnosis
Erik Gronwall was first announced as the new frontman for Skid Row back in March of this year, and they have a new album due in October. During a new interview with 80's Metal Recycle Bin, the vocalist opened up about joining the band just months after being diagnosed with Leukemia.
Gronwall recalled feeling very lethargic and winded, particularly when walking his dog, prior to receiving the diagnosis in 2021. He went for blood work, and upon receiving the results, was recommended to go to the emergency room.
"It was just the worst thing that has ever happened to me," he admitted. "At first I thought that was it. I really wasn't sure how much progress they made in that type of cancer and the treatment they have. But that was also during COVID, so I was isolated for a couple of months at the hospital. I did a lot of thinking — you get a lot of perspective after something like that."
The rocker received a bone marrow transplant in August of 2021 and then began to recover. He attributed his strength to martial arts practices he'd been doing, which he said were also beneficial for "mental self-defense," and also launched a YouTube channel so that he could share his vocal talents with the world.
"If you look at the videos, you can actually see how I get healthier and healthier with every video. So that was also a big part of the treatment and getting back," he continued. "But when the year started, in January and February... I knew I was feeling better and I was cancer-free. But I didn't really know how — because I wanted to stick to my goal of being an artist and getting back onstage — and I was like, 'Yeah we can do New Horizon.'"
The first New Horizon show was booked for June of this year, which gave Gronwall ample time to recover and regain his strength. But Skid Row's Rachel Bolan contacted him at the end of February and asked if he would perform with them during Scorpions' Las Vegas residency in March. Gronwall checked with his doctors first to make sure it wasn't too soon after the bone marrow transplant, and he was given the green light.
"And that was it. Six months after my transplantation, I was in Vegas with Skid Row and Scorpions and life just completely turned around. So life can go bad very fast, but it can also go good," the singer concluded.
Watch the full discussion below.
Skid Row's upcoming sixth studio album The Gang's All Here will be out Oct. 14, which will serve as their first since 2006's Revoutions Per Minute. Pre-order your copy here now.