Tony Harnell says that singing for SKID ROW was a “great experience” for him, despite the fact that he lasted less than a year as the frontman of the formerly New Jersey-based outfit.
Harnell joined SKID ROW in April 2015 as the replacement for Johnny Solinger, who was the band’s frontman for fifteen years. Tony quit the group only eight months later, explaining in a Facebook post that “being ignored and disrespected isn’t my thing.”
In a recent interview with “The Classic Metal Show”, Harnell said that he had no regrets about the time he spent with SKID ROW.
“I don’t have a lot to say about it,” he said about his exit from SKID ROW. “[Being in the band] was a great experience for me. I got to play a lot of shows in the U.S., which I hadn’t done in a long time with TNT outside of the acoustic shows that I do on my own. So it was really great to reconnect with a lot of American fans all over the country. And I got to play León, Mexico, which was really, really amazing. Honestly, it was a really good experience for me on many levels. I’m not gonna get into the dirty details per se, but it was a good experience.”
He continued: “I think [SKID ROW guitarist] Snake [Dave Sabo] did an interview recently where he pretty much said what needed to be said. What he said reminded me of what scene in [the] ‘Rock Star’ [movie]… And you have to understand, this was the first time, really, ever for me, since I’ve been in original bands, that I was singing somebody else’s songs. And that’s fine — that’s what I signed up for, so I sort of knew that. I was hoping we’d be recording some new material and I’m sure that possibly we would have. But I just was reminded when I heard his interview of that scene in ‘Rock Star’ where they have a break, and then they show up to the recording studio after they take their little break, and Mark Wahlberg‘s character shows up to the studio with all this stuff that he’s [written]; he’s got this booklet. Well, that wasn’t me exactly, but when the bass player pulls him into the other room and says, ‘It’s really great that you’ve been working on all this stuff, but as long as you’re with STEEL [DRAGON], you’ll do the STEEL [DRAGON] thing.’ And I think that pretty much sums it up without me really getting into it. And it’s completely fine — it’s understandable — and I really don’t have anything more to add other than it was what it was.”
Harnell went on to imply that personal differences were the biggest factor in his decision to leave SKID ROW, something that he only became aware of once the group hit the road.
“I like to compare often being in a band to… In some ways — it’s not exactly the same — but in some ways, it’s like being in a relationship,” he said. ‘And I think that a lot of people would argue that you don’t really know somebody until you live with them, and I think that applies to a band as well.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for [the SKID ROW] guys, and I think that they’re all very, very nice guys and very talented. I think we were just — for lack of a better word — on different pages. And that’s really it. No hard feelings or animosity on my part.
“If I had to do it over again, the one thing I would change is I would have left differently and with a little bit more thought put into that process. I think I let my emotions get the best of me there. It was around the holidays, I remember that, and it was a bit abrupt and not a very cool way to do it, the way I did it. But it’s in the past. They’re obviously doing fine.”
Sabo told the “Trunk Nation” show last November that things fell apart so quickly with Harnell because “some things just aren’t meant to work… they just don’t work together. Knowing him before and then working with him, it was two separate… it really was two different things,” he explained. “A lot of conflict, a lot of butting heads, and it just… it never meshed, it was never right. We knew him for a long time, [but we] never worked with him — never worked in a band situation, in a band environment with him. And you know what — for better or for worse, this is our band; it belongs to us. And so if someone is gonna come in and work with us, we have a certain way that we do things, and that may not work for some people. It didn’t work for him. Look, [he’s] a talented guy; it just wasn’t right for us.”
Harnell was replaced in SKID ROW by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I.