In a new interview with Terry Evans of Stingray Radio, AC/DC singer Brian Johnson was asked if the recent deaths of rock legends Eddie Van Halen, Neil Peart and Little Richard have made him think more about his own mortality. He responded (hear audio below): "Three or four weeks ago [in early October], I turned 73, and I [thought], 'That can't be. What do you mean 73? I haven't done enough yet. I haven't started yet.' [Laughs] 'I've got things to do.' And it's just crazy. And I'm happy I have that outlook on life.
"When you get to this age, you start noticin' people poppin' — just here and there," he added. "But my dad used to say something — he used to say, 'Son, you just play the cards you're dealt.' And that's it."
AC/DC postponed the last ten dates of its North American tour in 2016 after doctors told Johnson he faced a total loss of hearing if he did not stop touring immediately. He was eventually replaced on the road by GUNS N' ROSES vocalist Axl Rose.
To enable him to perform live with AC/DC again, Johnson worked with audio expert Stephen Ambrose, who said he could help resolve the singer's hearing problems.
Ambrose, who invented the wireless in-ear monitors that are widely used by touring artists today, claimed to have invented a new type of ear-bud that would allow Johnson to perform without causing further damage to his eardrums. After three years of experimenting and "miniaturizing" the equipment, Johnson said the technology could allow him to tour again.
AC/DC's comeback album, "Power Up", was released on November 13. The LP was recorded over a six-week period in August and September 2018 at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver with producer Brendan O'Brien, who also worked 2008's "Black Ice" and 2014's "Rock Or Bust".
In a recent interview with Apple Music, Johnson stated about the technology that enabled him to return to performing live: "I've gotta tell you, it was just lucky. When this wonderful gentleman came up and was looking for me; he was an audio professor. And he wanted to try this new technology. And he said, 'Listen, we could do it together, if I can come down and visit you.' And I thought it might have been all smoke and mirrors, somebody trying it on, but he was the actual, genuine article, and he did fly down all the way up from Denver, Colorado. And we sat there for two days, and I just couldn't believe the results. But, unfortunately, it was the size of a car battery, so we spent the next two years basically miniaturizing, which is the hard thing. And anyway, it worked well.
"When we'd done the album and we'd shot a video in Amsterdam, Angus [Young, AC/DC guitarist] said, 'Do you wanna do a rehearsal?' Because I didn't wanna go through what I went through again. I said, "Yeah.' And then Angus put the whole backline up. And they were saying, 'Well, we're gonna start quietly,' and we said, 'No, no. I want full battlefield conditions.' And we put it in, in the ears, and we were expected at least maybe two days of screwing around with, but boy, oh boy, it worked straight away… I don't have the words. I really don't have the words to tell you how I felt. But I know 'happy' was one of them. It was really good."