In a recent interview with the "My Turning Point" podcast with host Steve Baltin, AC/DC guitarist Angus Young spoke about the band's decision to sit on its new album, "Power Up", for more than two years before announcing its existence to the music world.
"Well, we all agreed to be hush," Angus said (hear audio below). "And we've done that in the past. You keep it tight till it's out there in the public. And that's always been pretty much the approach in the band."
"Power Up" features AC/DC's 2020 lineup of Brian Johnson (vocals), Phil Rudd (drums), Cliff Williams (bass), Angus Young (guitar) and Stevie Young (guitar). 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".
Asked why AC/DC waited so long to release the new disc, Angus said: "The beginning of this year, we were planning, we were gonna get it out earlier. So we had worked on a lot of the promotional side of it. And we'd also actually been doing rehearsals, playing [together], because Brian wanted to see if [it] was at all possible [for him to perform afer dealing with hearing issues back in 2016]. So we had actually been geared up. We had done promotional stuff, shot a video, and the record company were gonna put together all their plans, how they were gonna promote it and everything. The plan was to go earlier with the album. And then, it was a case of we were rehearsing, and, as I said, had done promo stuff. And then we had a quick break. We had gone into our home spaces. And then this pandemic thing sprung up out of nowhere. And not just us, it threw the whole world a big curve[ball]. So that plan fell apart, because from that point on, nobody knew what was happening in those early stages of that. So everything was put on hold until it was such time that it was possible to release the album. But pre-pandemic, we were hoping we could have got it out earlier."
More than two years ago, Brian and Phil, along with Angus and Stevie, were photographed outside Warehouse Studios. Based on the pictures, the assumption was that AC/DC was in the midst of making — or at least planning — another album, with Rudd and Johnson both back in the lineup.
"We wanted to do it in secret in case nothing came of it," Johnson told BBC News, "and of course somebody took photographs when we were having a sneaky cigarette on the fire steps outside the studio."
AC/DC eventually erected an umbrella outside the studio to stop fans and the paparazzi taking further shots.
Johnson was forced to leave AC/DC mid-tour four and a half years ago due to a dangerous level of hearing loss. He was eventually replaced on the road by GUNS N' ROSES vocalist Axl Rose.
Rudd was ousted from AC/DC when he was sentenced to eight months of home detention by a New Zealand court in 2015 after pleading guilty to charges of threatening to kill and drug possession.
"Power Up" hit the No. 1 spot in 18 countries, including in the U.S., where it sold over 117,000 copies in the first week. It is the fastest-selling album of 2020 in at least three of its biggest markets — U.S., Australia and the U.K.
"Power Up" is a tribute to Angus's brother Malcolm Young, who died in 2017 from effects of dementia at age 64. Malcolm is credited as a writer on all 12 tracks on "Power Up", along with Angus.