AC/DC will release its 17th studio album, PWR UP on November 13th — with the set's first single, “Shot In The Dark” dropping today (October 7th.) The new album, which marks the bands first since 2014's Rock Or Bust, features the band back with beloved frontman Brian Johnson, drummer, Phil Rudd, and bassist Cliff Williams — with the lineup rounded out by co-founder Angus Young and nephew Stevie Young on guitars.
Blabbermouth reported Brian Johnson spoke to Atlanta's Rock 100.5 and offered up the backstory to PWR UP: “It's something probably nobody thought would happen. It was about 2018, and Angus was contacted by the record company, who said, 'Do you fancy doing an album?' And Angus said, 'Well, let's ask the boys.' So he asked me and Cliff and Phil. And Stevie was there, obviously. And I think we all said 'yes' immediately; we just said, 'This would be great.' And, of course, we went off to Vancouver in about August. As soon as we walked in, there was this electricity, this bond that had been built up over 38 years since I joined. And, of course, when the boys plugged in, or powered up, if you'll excuse the pun, and they started playing, that was it. It was a great time.”
Regarding the use of the band mining the unused riffs by the band's late co-founder Malcolm Young, Johnson explained: “There's a lot of (rumors) about Malcolm's guitar playing (being on the album), (and) well, of course, that's not true. But what is true is the fact that Angus and Malcolm had done riffs together all their life and really had a big box of them. And Angus said he basically just went through them all and he went, 'Oh, that's a good one. This is a good one.' And he brought them out.”
He went on to explain, “So it really is true that Malcolm is on there, basically, in spirit and all of that. And he's such a strong character in life. And I think everybody in the band still felt, especially Angus, his brother, (that Malcolm) is in everything. We're always conscious of that, that he's watching over, 'You'd better do it right. You'd better do it AC/DC style or just not do it at all.'”
Not too long ago, frontman Brian Johnson recalled to us his 1980 audition for AC/DC: “I just went down and sang a couple of songs with the lads, but I remember I never thought I'd ever gonna get the job, y'know, it was just a big thrill to go down. And I remember turning to the boys and saying, 'Hey, well, lads, I've got to get off' — it was like 9:30 at night and I had to drive about 270 miles back home and start work the next morning, y'know? So off I went, and Mal phoned us the next day and asked us if I fancied coming down and having another shot.”