November 24, 2014

Sweden's Aftonbladet recently conducted an interview with AC/DC guitarist Angus Young and bassist Cliff Williams. You can now watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether founding AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young approved of the band continuing without him after he was diagnosed with dementia:

Angus: "It was Malcolm himself [who said we should carry on]… He worked as long as he could himself [until] he couldn't continue doing it because of his medical condition. So he said it was left to me to keep it going. And the logical choice to fulfill Mal's role on the project was my nephew Stevie. He had filled in for Mal in 1988 and he had done an American tour, a whole American tour, and he did it well."

Cliff: "He was the obvious choice. And he fills in very well for Mal. He plays very similar — same style, which is hard to find. It's unique — it really is — and Stevie grew up with that, and he plays just like Mal, so he fills in extremely well. [He has the] same type of personality."

On whether it was quite emotional for AC/DC to continue without Malcolm Young:

Angus: "I mean, in what we were doing, when we were recording [the new album] and listening [back to the tracks], I didn't notice. Yeah, when you look, [you go], 'Yeah, it's not Malcolm.' But the unfortunate bit is the circumstances. If Malcolm had been well and everything and together, and he hadn't had the deterioration, I'm sure he himself would be sitting there doing it."

On how they broached the subject of carrying on without Malcolm:

Angus: "I would ask Malcolm every time I saw him how he was and what he thought. But he had only [said this] to me, he had mentioned to other members of my band that he knew he wouldn't be able to do it."

On when they first realized Malcolm was having health issues:

Angus: "Just before we started work on the album 'Black Ice'. He started having a lot of symptoms; [they] started to appear. At that time, and he got diagnosed with what exactly was happening with him. And he was pretty much… I had said even then, 'Do you wanna do all this?' Because it's gonna be a lot of work. If we're doing this. Or if you wanna tour, it's gonna be a lot of strain and hard work.' And he said, 'Yeah, we do it.'"

On whether any of Malcolm's musical ideas were incorporated into the new songs:

Angus: "He also had a lot of ideas and things that he gave [me]. I've got a lot of that stuff that he worked on also until he could not do it anymore. Plus we have a lot of stuff we had done over the years — the two of us — that were ideas that we never finished. So a lot of them are on here also. So he's all part of the writing process. And even when I do something myself and I'm playing it, I go, 'That sounds familiar.' Chances are I'm playing something of an idea Mal had worked on, or myself together. It's a part of the furniture."

On how Angus has handled Malcolm's absence emotionally:

Angus: "It was Malcolm that taught me a lot of things in life. [One of] the [hardest] times for the band was when [lead singer] Bon Scott died, and it was Malcolm that got me through all of that. And he did it the best way that he knew, which was, he said, 'Come. The two of us will sit and just keep working.' And in hindsight, it was the best therapy for us, because it was a hard time for the whole band. We didn't know, 'Do we continue or not go on?' It was just good. We could do that and then we could decide later what we wanted to do. So it took a lot of pressure and a lot of mourning, it took a lot of that away."

On whether AC/DC singer Brian Johnson was equally motivated to keep going without Malcolm:

Angus: "Brian was the first one I heard that was wanting to go out and do a bit of rock and roll. He was the first one of us saying, 'Yeah, we can get out there.' He seemed very excited. And that's always good, when everyone's aboard. Everyone was asked, 'Do you wanna do this?' When we were all in Vancouver, and after we had done the album, we sat down and said, 'Alright. Do we tour?' And we all were happy to go out there. That's a good thing, when everyone is raring to go."

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