With the 40th anniversary of AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" around the corner, Mark Goodman and Alan Light conducted their weekly roundtable on SiriusXM Volume's "Debatable", with their focus this time on why AC/DC matters. In the clip below, ANTHRAX's Scott Ian shares why he thinks Malcolm Young is the best rhythm guitarist of all time.
"Ask any guitar player — rhythm or lead guitar player — and they'll tell you Malcolm's the best; he's the best," Scott said. "Literally, his riffs and his approach to playing, his dynamics… His right hand was so percussive as a rhythm player, so the dynamics are just unbelievable. And it just cuts through in a way that nobody else, before, during or after, playing hard rock will ever, ever come close to, because no one else is gonna write those riffs again; they've already been written. You can't write those riffs again; it's impossible. Because then you'll just sound like a bad AC/DC ripoff."
As a young teen, Ian actually learned how to play rhythm guitar by listening and playing along to Malcolm.
"There is just an instant rush anytime I hear AC/DC," Ian previously told Gretsch. "It's like mainlined into my brain. As soon as I hear him playing chords, I just get excited, still, after all these years. If I put on 'Let There Be Rock', I feel the same now as I did 40 years ago. It moves me in exactly the same way."
The number of artists who consider Malcolm Young an inspiration runs pretty deep, but we're guessing not too many have gone so far to actually have his face inked into their own skin. Ian, though, has immortalized the late-great rhythm guitarist on his left bicep, along with his brother Angus Young on his right.
"Specifically, these guys, as a guitar player, mean everything to me," explained Ian. "That's why I really wanted them on me because it makes me happy to be able to look at them every day.
"Malcolm has always been my hero since day one because he basically taught me how to play guitar," Ian said. "As a kid with AC/DC albums, vinyl albums, in my little bed room on a turn table, I just used to sit and figure out how to play their songs. And it was all Malcolm. You know? It was all him. So, I was learning to play specifically by listening to what he was doing. He was my guitar teacher. He was the reason I learned how to play rhythm guitar the way I do."