ANGUS YOUNG: 'I've Never Thought Of AC/DC As Being A No. 1 Band'

June 28, 2009

Billy Sloan of the California Chronicle conducted an interview with guitarist Angus Young of legendary Anglo-Australian hard rockers AC/DC on June 20, one day after the band's performance in Copenhagen, Denmark in front of 60,000 people at Parken.

"This is our biggest tour yet. The longer you go, the more people want to see you," Angus, 53, said. "It's been a long time since we've played live. But it's like swimming... once you're in the water, it comes right back to you. The fans have probably forgotten what AC/DC have been about so they're thinking, 'We better go see them quick'."

On AC/DC's origins:

"The name of the group and the school suit is down to my sister Margaret. We were playing in a Sydney nightclub and needed to call ourselves something quick. When I spotted the letters 'AC/DC' on the back of her sewing machine, it sounded best. My older brother George, who was a member of THE EASYBEATS, said, 'You need something people will remember you by.' I tried different costumes including a Superman suit, a Zorro outfit and once even dressed up as a gorilla. It was Margaret who came upwith the school uniform. The hard part was to convince me."

"I still love putting the shorts, cap and school tie on before a show — it gives you that energy. I become not me but the guy in the school suit. That's better in a way because I'd be standing up there feeling really shy otherwise."

"Malcolm [Young, guitar] was 20 and I was 18 when we formed AC/DC — we just wanted to be in a good rock band. The music scene in Australia in 1973 was very middle of the road — on the radio, you didn't hear anybody like us.

"In Sydney, we built up a following — by word of mouth — so it was a real grass roots momentum. THE EASYBEATS became a big band when they had a hit with 'Friday On My Mind'. George would tell us to get our guitars and come into the studio for a jam with them to gain experience."

On AC/DC's phenomenal success:

"I've never thought of AC/DC as being a No. 1 band. We're not anything special — we were just a good group who could go anywhere in the world and people seemed to like what we did. Malcolm always used to say: 'Once you get to No. 1, there's only one place left to go... and that's down. So it's always better to be striving for more every time to move AC/DC up and really earn our success. Our Scottish background gave us a good grounding. We had a kind of doggedness and determination.

"So the best thing about success is I get to be creative. I feel that every time we write songs or go into the studio to make another record. I get a real kick out of that. The biggest buzz is taking songs we've created and see them come alive on stage."

"I walk on stage and crawl off. It's very physically demanding. But at 53, that's what keeps me fit. That drive keeps me going.

"In the minutes before a show, I still get nervous. When I'm standing behind the stage and the intro tape is playing, I've got to focus my mind and try to find that little schoolboy devil and get into the mindset of the character. When we come off tour, I usually crawl off and hide under a rock somewhere. I don't want to live in that school suit persona all the time."

Read the entire interview from the California Chronicle.

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