SIMON WRIGHT On His Departure From AC/DC: 'I Really Lost My Enthusiasm For Things'

January 5, 2019

Drummer Simon Wright, currently of DIO DISCIPLES and also known for his work in AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET and UFO, was recently interviewed by the "Talking Metal" podcast. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On his memories of the recording sessions for AC/DC's "Fly On The Wall" album (1985):

Simon: "Oh, yeah, it was a little overwhelming. We were in Switzerland for a start, in Montreux, where DEEP PURPLE 'Smoke On The Water' happened, the casino burning down. It was a little bit surreal, to be honest with you. But we eventually got comfortable and started bashing down tracks and going over things and finetuning things. It was a great time. It wasn't a pressured kind of time. The way they work is kind of relaxed and just getting on with things. And it was great. We were in a part of the casino which was a recording studio as well, and it was a huge round building. And the drums sounded massive in there. It was a great time.

"It's a funny thing, the album 'Fly On The Wall'. I get a lot of people that talk to me about it and say it's kind of been overlooked and stuff. And I think when it did come out, it was the climate at the time. AC/DC had had 'Back In Black' and 'For Those About To Rock', which were massive albums, and I really honestly don't think that you can keep up that, keep those albums like that coming out. And grunge was rearing its head too — not that there was anything wrong with that. But I think the music climate was changing. The shows that we did on that tour, they were still selling out and doing really good. We were just getting on with things the way that the band did things. But I think it was difficult to keep that momentum up, with such massive-selling albums. But in the end, I think a lot of people came around to that album and have a liking for it. It's a little bit different-sounding too, I think — the production changed; it wasn't 'Mutt' Lange anymore. But I think it's a good album."

On recording three new songs — "Who Made Who" and the instrumentals "D.T." and "Chase The Ace" — for the AC/DC 1986 soundtrack album "Who Made Who" to accompany the Stephen King film "Maximum Overdrive":

Simon: "They booked a studio in the Bahamas — Compass Point — where they did some of 'Back In Black', I guess, if not all of it; I'm not sure. But they'd been there before anyway. Again, it was down to business. I thought it was great, that song ['Who Made Who']. It had a great rhythm and good feel and catchy chorus. It was pretty cool. But the tracks for the movie that were kind of the instrumental things, that was a little weird. They put TVs up in the studio to play to, and Angus [Young] would do some blues licks. It was kind of a jumbled up album. I was hoping that we could have done just a normal album without anything to do with a movie. But that wasn't my call. There were a lot of things in that band that weren't my call. So I just went along with it… As for the movie, well, I'm not sure about that one. [Laughs] [It was] kind of a cult classic, I guess you'd get away with calling it. [Laughs]"

On how he exited AC/DC and joined DIO:

Simon: "It was about 1990. Basically, it sounds a little crazy, but I really lost my enthusiasm for things. You can't really be like that in a band like that — you've gotta give 110 percent — and my enthusiasm had become a bit complacent, and it wasn't fair on them, and it definitely wasn't fair on the fans and people coming to the shows. So I started thinking, 'I've gotta move on here.' And luckily, through a friend of a friend of a friend, or whatever, I managed to meet up with Ronnie [James Dio]. We did some rehearsals. It was mainly for the new album that he had going on, called 'Lock Up The Wolves'. 'Cause it was straight into recording, basically, before we did any shows. And we did that. And it kind of worked out. I'd met Ronnie a couple of times in the past before that, and I thought he was such a clever, funny, intelligent guy. And I'd loved his singing, obviously, with [BLACK] SABBATH and RAINBOW and his own stuff and everything. And it just kind of worked out. Yeah, it was a great time."

Wright lasted in AC/DC for six years. A then-unknown drummer whose first credits included Manchester, England metal outfit A II Z, he joined AC/DC in time for the touring cycle for "Flick Of The Switch" and played with the Australian rockers throughout the '80s before leaving to join DIO in 1989.

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