AC/DC will release its long-awaited new studio album, “PWR/UP”, on November 13. The first single from the disc, “Shot In The Dark”, will arrive on Wednesday, October 7 at 12:00 a.m. EDT / 9:00 p.m. PDT (Tuesday night). The follow-up to 2014’s “Rock Or Bust” features AC/DC‘s 2020 lineup of Brian Johnson (vocals), Phil Rudd (drums), Cliff Williams (bass), Angus Young (guitar) and Stevie Young (guitar).
In a new interview, Johnson stated about how the new AC/DC LP came together, “It’s something probably nobody thought would happen. It was about 2018, and Angus was contacted by the record company, who said, ‘Do you fancy doing an album?’ And Angus said, ‘Well, let’s ask the boys.’ So he asked me and Cliff and Phil. And Stevie was there, obviously. And I think we all said ‘yes’ immediately; we just said, ‘This would be great.’ And, of course, we went off to Vancouver in about August. As soon as we walked in, there was this electricity, this bond that had been built up over 38 years since I joined. And, of course, when the boys plugged in, or powered up, if you’ll excuse the pun, and they started playing, that was it. It was a great time.”
Williams, who retired from AC/DC following the completion of the “Rock Or Bust” tour, said that he was “really excited” to reunite with the band in the studio. “‘Rock Or Bust’ was due to be my last fling, and that was a tough tour to finish,” he said. “But when I heard that Brian and Phil were back, I was super excited to join in.”
Asked what fans can expect to hear on “PWR/UP”, Brian said: “There’s a lot of [rumors] about [late AC/DC rhythm guitarist] Malcolm‘s [Young] guitar playing [being on the album], [and] well, of course, that’s not true. But what is true is the fact that Angus and Malcolm had done riffs together all their life and really had a big box of them. And Angus said he basically just went through them all and he went, ‘Oh, that’s a good one. This is a good one.’ And he brought them out. So it really is true that Malcolm is on there, basically, in spirit and all of that. And he’s such a strong character in life. And I think everybody in the band still felt, especially Angus, his brother, [that Malcolm] is in everything. We’re always conscious of that, that he’s watching over, ‘You’d better do it right. You’d better do it AC/DC style or just not do it at all.’ And the songs came in — Angus came in with ’em and all, and worked with Brendan O’Brien, the producer, and I went into just a regular little control room, and we just went for it. And we’d take it back, and Angus would have a listen and see if there was anything that needed changing… But there wasn’t much [that needed to be changed].”
Regarding the possibility of AC/DC live shows in support of “PWR/UP”, Cliff said: “We talked about playing some shows. When we got together to shoot a video and do some rehearsals, it was with an idea of playing some shows. Unfortunately, we all went home after that rehearsal and conversations, and then this damn virus hit, so it was never taken any further. So, like everybody, everything is on the shelf. But we would love to get out and play live.”
Last month, images seemingly taken from a new video shoot were apparently posted on the band’s official web site before being swiftly removed. The photos, which were obtained by a Brazilian fan site, appeared to show Johnson joined by Rudd, Williams and Angus and Stevie. The pictures were the first of Phil and Stevie sharing a stage following Malcolm’s death.
Johnson was forced to leave AC/DC mid-tour four years ago due to a dangerous level of hearing loss. He was eventually replaced on the road by GUNS N’ ROSES vocalist Axl Rose.
More than two years ago, Brian and Phil, along with Angus and Stevie, were photographed outside Vancouver’s Warehouse Studios. Based on the pictures, the assumption was that AC/DC was in the midst of making — or at least planning — another album, with Rudd and Johnson both back in the lineup.
Rudd was ousted from AC/DC when he was sentenced to eight months of home detention by a New Zealand court in 2015 after pleading guilty to charges of threatening to kill and drug possession.