Malcolm Young’s Guitar Playing Does Not Appear on New AC/DC Album, But His Riffs Do
Given the recent trend of bands featuring the final recorded works of deceased members on their new music, it’s understandable that AC/DC fans would expect and hope that guitarist Malcolm Young, who died in November of 2017, would appear posthumously on the band’s upcoming release, PWR/UP. According to his brother, Angus, that’s not the case, although he has revealed that the band utilized material Malcolm had written before he passed.
Speaking to Keith Roth on SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard, Angus offered:
“Malcolm’s contribution is mainly the song ideas, which he did with me. So that’s basically what Malcolm’s contribution is to the whole album. He was there in spirit, and you always feel him. He’s there, especially with me — he’s always part of my thoughts. I’m always thinking of him. As [is] everyone else.”
On what motivated the band to make a new album, Angus again name-checked his brother while also revealing that the band’s management provided the spark to get it all going:
“Our management people had contacted us around 2018 and and said, ‘Are you up for making an album?’ I had a lot of material together from Malcolm and myself, which we had worked on through the years, and we had quite a bit, so I thought, yeah, ‘I’ll put together a whole heap of these ideas and we’ll see who wants to be a part of it and get in the studio.’ It was great, because everyone wanted to be on board to do the project — Brian and Cliff and Phil and Stevie and myself. It was all great that we could get back together and do some new rock and roll tunes for the world to hear.”
Vocalist Brian Johnson spoke about how the pandemic pushed back the band’s plans for a new album:
“We shot the video in Holland, and then we spent about two and a half weeks — maybe even more — rehearsing with a full backline, the whole bit. We got such a buzz playing together for the album, it was just too good an opportunity to miss. And we all got together and it was like lightning. It was fantastic. And then, straight after that, the album was supposed to get ready to come out and all that, but then, honestly, within the space of about four days of us all leaving, the COVID hit and stopped everybody dead in their tracks. So, out of respect for the disease and all that, they held it back a bit to see what was gonna happen. We thought it was all gonna be over in five to six weeks, but that hasn’t been the case.”
On Angus’s desire to keep the band going, he offered:
“I keep doing it. It’s part of me. That’s from my perspective. I like making AC/DC music and playing it. And I’ve been doing it so long now. I think I know that more than anything else. I even think I know that better than what I learned in my school years.”
PWR/UP comes out on November 13 and can be pre-ordered here. Listen to its first single, “Shot in the Dark,” below.