Rumor: Bassist Cliff Williams is Out of Retirement and Back in AC/DC
Look. At this point, the only reason we’re calling the rumor that all of the surviving members of AC/DC’s Back in Black line-up are recording a new album a “rumor” is because the band hasn’t made a 100% official announcement on a fancy AC/DC LLC company letterhead. Singer Brian Johnson has already confirmed that he’s back in the band, drummer Phil Rudd was spotted in the studio, and rumors about the involvement of bassist Cliff Williams have been floating around since at least the fall. The band is clearly working together again.
But in case there was still any lingering doubt, Classic Rock turned up a photo from this past December of some dude hanging out with Johnson and Williams at the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver… which, hey!, wouldn’t ya know it, is the same city in which the band was said to be recording with longtime engineer and mixer Mike Fraser.
So this is all just a coincidence? No! But we have to pretend it could be just a coincidence until there’s a 100% officially official statement. So silly.
Williams, you may recall, announced he was retiring from AC/DC back in 2016, at the time citing a hat trick of tragedies (the illness and eventual passing of guitarist Malcolm Young, swapping out of Johnson for Axl Rose as the result of hearing issues, and Rudd’s legal woes) as the cause of his decision to step down (he said the band was now “a changed animal”). But given that Williams’ whole thing was basically “Hey, AC/DC isn’t really AC/DC anymore,” it makes sense that he’d be willing to return to the fold so long as Johnson and Rudd were both involved. In fact, the new album is said to be culled from hundreds of demos Angus and Malcolm recorded together prior to the latter’s death, so even the late rhythm guitarist is involved in this record’s creation. Which would be all the more reason for Williams to feel comfortable rejoining the band.
We’ll let you know when that letterhead goes out, but I think it’s safe to expect new AC/DC music by the end of 2019.