Former TNT and current SKID ROW singer Tony Harnell was interviewed by Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Asked if he is looking forward to collaborating with SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo on material for the band's upcoming releases, Harnell said: "I consider myself as much a songwriter as I do a singer. So far, they've been the primary writers, and they've sort of explained to me a little of that. I'd rather not get into it, 'cause that's more something for them to talk about in terms of… I mean, they're great writers, so there's that… But from what I gather, they just got so used to writing together, and maybe the singers that they had were not contributing, or didn't wanna contribute, or… I don't really know."
He continued: "We've talked about it, and we all have kind of the same viewpoint, which is, basically, the best songs make it to the record. But what I am hoping for is to sit in a room… Because that's how I write songs best — sitting there working with the guitar players and bouncing off what they're coming up with. And what I'm hoping for, really, is to… My strongest suit… I do write lyrics, and I consider myself a good lyricist, but I love Rachel's lyrics and Snake's lyrics. I think my strong suit is my melody writing and my phrasing, and I know how to write for my voice, so I'm sort of hoping that that's the main area where I can interject my thing, so that when the records do come out, that not only my voice is there, but my writing influence as it pertains to my voice. Because I think that the two things do go hand in hand in many ways. When you write for your own voice, as a songwriter, you just tend to automatically gravitate towards melodies and phrasings that you know work with your way of singing."
As previously reported, SKID ROW has re-recorded its classic song "18 And Life" with Harnell. The new version of the track can now be streamed and downloaded for free using the ReverbNation widget below.
In a recent interview with Lafon, Bolan stated about SKID ROW's split with singer Johnny Solinger after fifteen years: "It was evident [that it was time for us to go our separate ways]. There were certain things going on out on the road that kind of set us thinking… Things had been going on for a little bit."
He continued: "At certain times, you just get the feeling someone isn't putting a hundred percent into things. And SKID ROW is very important to the rest of us. And we wanted to carry on with quality performances and quality songs, so we decided to make a change."
Regarding how Tony Harnell came to be SKID ROW's new singer, Rachel said: "We've known Tony for years — literally, probably since the beginning of our career. And although I wasn't a big TNT fan, I was a Tony Harnell fan, as [were SKID ROW guitarists] Snake [Dave Sabo] and Scott [Scotti Hill]."
He continued: "When we made the decision to ourselves that we were gonna start looking, Tony's name came up. And I was, like, man, it's so funny, 'cause a couple of years ago, I was up in New Jersey for Christmas and I met with Tony in New York and I had dinner with him and another friend. And we just started talking. And he's, like… He goes… We'd known each for a long time, but at that point we hadn't spoken for a while. He's, like, 'I hear you guys are doing good things. How's it going?' I said, 'It's going pretty cool.' He goes, 'Man, you guys should have called me when you got a new singer [back in 1999].' And I guess that kind of popped up in the back of my head when we knew we were gonna make a change. And we immediately got in touch with Tony."
Asked if SKID ROW is working with Harnell on a "trial" basis or if Tony is "the guy" for the long haul, Rachel said: "He's the guy. I mean, that's where we're at in our heads. It's not a temporary thing. But, you know… [laughs] if get gets sick of us and leaves, then that'll be a different situation. But things are going really well now. And we're very excited. We're very excited about our future, very excited about getting on the road."