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Skid Row are not down on their luck

Tour with Buckcherry to support album visits Piere’s on March 14

Skid Row will be at Piere’s on Tuesday, March 14, in support of their latest album, The Gang’s All Here.

Chris Hupe

Whatzup Features Writer

Published March 8, 2023

In case you haven’t noticed, Skid Row served notice with a track on their latest album, The Gang’s All Here, that they are “Not Dead Yet.” 

Thirty-seven years into their existence, the band are sporting a fantastic new singer, just released one of their best albums, and are heading out on a highly anticipated tour with Buckcherry. 

The Gang’s All Here Tour will stop by Piere’s on March 19, with opening act No Resolve.

Back with new voice

Released in October, The Gang’s All Here features new frontman Erik Grönwall, formerly of Swedish melodic rock band H.E.A.T. 

Grönwall  joined Skid Row late into the making of the record and as the band was in the final stages of preparing for scheduled shows. 

After a mutual, and somewhat unexpected, parting of ways with former singer ZP Threat, the band needed someone to fill the role quickly. So quickly, in fact, that Grönwall  didn’t officially meet the band until two days before their first show together. 

“H.E.A.T. had supported Skid Row on a handful of shows in Europe in 2014,” drummer Rob Hammersmith told Whatzup in a recent phone interview. “So, we had seen Erik perform, knew he was great, but we probably said a total of five words to each other the whole time because everyone had their own thing going and had different schedules throughout the course of that run.”

The band sent their new songs to Grönwall in Sweden thanks to the magic of the internet. When they returned with his vocals, the band knew he was the right man for the job. 

“It may not be something I would recommend, but, for us, it definitely worked out,” Hammersmith said.

Capturing band’s sound

The Gang’s All Here hearkens back to the glory days of the band when they were mainstays on MTV and rock radio. 

Many of the elements found on their self-titled 1989 album and the 1991 follow-up Slave to the Grind when Sebastian Bach was the frontman are found on The Gang’s All Here. Whether that was a conscious decision or not, Hammersmith could not say for sure, but he said a lot of the credit for the sound can be attributed to producer Nick Raskulinecz. 

“When he heard some of the songs we were working on, he really understood the direction we were moving in, but what he really did was really bring out of us the idea of sounding like Skid Row again,” Hammersmith said. “We didn’t really know what that meant, but when we got in the studio and starting working with him, he was able to find moments and little opportunities to mix in some of the elements from the earlier albums while sounding relevant. Once he did that, we all felt entirely comfortable that it was the missing piece for us.”

The album was in the works quite a while, Hammersmith said, because “when you’re busy touring as much as we do, it becomes a challenge to find time to write and record.” 

There were some songs that they had demoed and some with pre-production already in the lineup, but there were also songs that were written in the 11th hour. 

“It took a good two years before we felt like we had the album that we wanted to release, and, obviously, there was the whole COVID thing and a personnel change in the midst of it all, too,” Hammersmith said. “It was really exciting to see something finally come together after what seemed like a really long process.”

Leaving past in the past

Of course, when you mention Skid Row, there are always going to be people who want the band to reunite with its larger-than-life original singer, Bach. 

Continually answering questions about that former member, who has been out of the band nearly three decades, can be taxing. But Hammersmith said things like that only get as exhausting as you let them. 

“We’re busy making albums and touring the world and playing shows, so we’ve come to a point where we realized that you can’t satisfy everybody,” he said. “We understand it, but we also realize that we’re happy as the band exists now. It’s not that we aren’t open to what people are saying about our band. Of course we are and we are grateful that people are passionate about it, but we just stay focused on our goals and what’s going on for us now. We just don’t really have a lot of time for that.”

Buckcherry partnership

Pairing up with Buckcherry, who broke onto the scene with 1999’s self-titled album that featured the song “Lit Up,” for a tour might seem a bit unconventional to some, because the bands are from different decades of popularity. But Hammersmith said it was a “no brainer” to jump on it when the tour was proposed. 

“We’ve actually had a long relationship with those guys,” he said. “We toured together a handful of weeks in Europe back in 2014 and we are fans of the band. They are from a different era in terms of the timeline of rock n’ roll, but at the end of the day, there’s not a lot of differences in a band like that and a band like ours.”

When The Gang’s All Here Tour rolls into town, Hammersmith said fans should be ready for an energetic night. 

“The pairing of Buckcherry and Skid Row, for me, that’s a show that I would be excited about,” he said. “From us, it’s going to be a really, really nice combination of the classic era hits you would expect from the first couple of albums and some stuff off the newer albums, specifically the latest album. 

“I feel it’s a really nice snapshot of not only where the band has been but where the band is now,” he added. “We put a lot of pride and a lot of work and effort into the live show and it’s going to be an awesome night of rock n’ roll!”


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