American singer Tony Harnell has rejoined Norwegian rockers TNT, less than a year and a half after his most recent departure from the group.
Harnell and TNT guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø will start writing new material together for the first time in over ten years, with plans to enter the studio this summer to start recording new music. The rest of the band’s new lineup will be announced soon.
Comments Harnell in a statement: “We’re happy to be working together creatively again and hope our fans are are as excited as we are.
“We’re already booking shows in the U.S. and across the world in 2017 and also hope to play in as many countries as possible over the next couple of years. Hopefully many countries that we haven’t been to in a long time or perhaps ever!”
Harnell last quit TNT in January 2015 after a fifteen-month stint with the group, explaining that he “had really high hopes that it would last this time and that we would continue for years to come, but it is a very volatile little machine.” He later told “The Classic Metal Show”: “What happened, basically, was that I never actually got grooved back in with the band. I had about three months’ worth of conversations with Diesel [TNT drummer Morten Dahl]. We finally came to an agreement where I said I’ll do two shows. And those two shows were about three months apart, maybe four months apart. And he said, ‘Fine.’ I said, ‘Let’s see how the first show goes. If it goes okay, then we’ll talk about business and we’ll figure out a way to, basically, operate as a band. Because we had no plan in place. It was just… Was I gonna be a hired gun in my own band? Was I gonna come back into the company? I mean, there were a lot of questions to be answered. In this particular situation, the drummer is the booking agent. And that was always a problem for me, because I think it’s a conflict of interest. So I was trying from the very beginning to change that. And when I said ‘yes’ the first two gigs, suddenly up on his web site for his booking agency, there was a photograph and, basically, saying that TNT was available for dates. So before I could even get grooved in and make any sort of agreement, there were ten dates booked, and then there were fifteen dates booked, and then twenty and so on and so on.”
He continued: “You have to understand that in the business that we’re in, he knew that he kind of had me by the balls, because once you book a show, and then you say ‘no,’ well, who’s gonna get blamed? So to save face and to not… I was put in a very awkward situation, on purpose, and I was put on a spot. So being that I love the fans, and being that I love to perform live, I said, ‘You know what?! Fine. We will work out the kinks as we go along. Let’s do these shows, and as we go, we will have days off, and we will have meetings and we will work out the kinks. Well, try as I did, those meetings, which went on for hours, many of them, unfortunately, turned out to be completely a total waste of time. And there are many reasons why, and, again, I’m not gonna throw people under the bus and get into the details of why, but that’s basically all I that I have to say about it. I did my very best to keep it together and to keep it professional. I wanted to stay in the band for the rest of my music career; that was my goal. I said, ‘Okay, this is it. We can make this work.’ People wanted the band. There were people all over the world that wanted to book the band and that were excited we were back together. The shows went phenomenally well. We were very well received at Sweden Rock, which is a wonderful festival, in front of 25,000 people on the night BLACK SABBATH played, and we did very, very well, and had a lot of shows like that. A lot of sold-out shows. So it was a very successful run. And the band went from being, basically, a struggling club band to getting back up to the stature where… close to the stature I had left it in 2006. But I couldn’t get anywhere.”
Harnell added: “I guess the realization of it was, because we couldn’t work the business out, I was back as far as the fans were concerned, and even as far as I was concerned, and probably as far as the band was concerned, I was back. The band was back together, and we fully intended on going forward for as many years as possible. It is being portrayed now as though the plan was that I was only coming back for 2014 to do an ‘Intuition’ reunion tour, and that is absolutely, completely one hundred percent false. We were all in it for the long haul, and I tried to make it work for that. But when September  came and the touring ended, nobody wanted to talk to me anymore, and my calls were not being returned, and my e-mails were not being returned by the most important people in the band that had the most influence. And the manager that came in to quote ‘save the day’ actually sunk the ship.”
Back in November 2014, Le Tekrø spoke about TNT‘s plans for a new studio album, telling Metal Express Radio: “We’re working constantly, making new plans, trying to find a period for songwriting before April, and hopefully going into the studio next fall.” The guitarist added that TNT fans could expect to hear “strong songs… We already wrote three songs we’re satisfied with. So I’m excited. [We’re] trying to maintain the TNT sound.”
Le Tekrø said the next TNT album would be recorded with the entire band playing together in the studio and not by sending each other files via the Internet. “I refuse to do that,” he said. “I’ve never done that. The producer’s gotta be there and the musicians, in the same room. Otherwise, I wouldn’t call it an album. Then it’s a project. There’s no spirit in those albums. Maybe in electronic music you can do it. If you’re working with rock and roll, the people have gotta be there, and rehearse and play.”
British singer Tony Mills appeared on three studio albums from TNT: 2007’s “The New Territory”, 2008’s“Atlantis” and 2010’s “A Farewell To Arms”.
After leaving TNT in January 2015, Harnell joined SKID ROW three months later, only to exit that band last December.