AC/DC‘s Angus Young says his late-brother, and co-founding bandmate Malcolm Young, conditioned him to carry on through thick and thin. Angus spoke to Classic Rock about keeping the band afloat after Malcolm had to stand down due to Dementia, explaining, “He always pushed. That was how he was. He was always practical and a very strong character. He always used to say, ‘You plough on.’ Even in times when we were young. When we were playing those early shows, some of the audiences in these places were really rough and rowdy. I’d go, ‘Am I going on with my school s*** on? (laughs)’ And he was always the one saying, ‘Hey, I’m right behind you, I’m right here.'”
Frontman Brian Johnson went on to add: “It’s like Ang says, every now and again I turn and he’s not there. But the feeling we have, it’s just one of those strange things in life. It’s wonderful. You just have this feeling that he’s keeping an eye on people.”
When asked if he’s prepared to keep AC/DC going until the bitter end, Angus said, “Well, as I say, I’ve got no crystal ball. But as Malcolm used to say: ‘You’re like the Titanic — when the ship goes down, the band goes down with it.'”
AC/DC’s latest album, Power Up, includes musical ideas co-written by Angus Young and his late-brother over the recent years, which were reshaped and re-recorded during the album’s sessions. For Angus, the new album is a loving tribute to Malcolm: [“Back In Black was a tribute to Bon Scott and it was our way of paying our respects to him. Even the color of it, we did it in black, because that was the mourning color, y’know, for people in mourning. Y’know, with this album, with Mal, I thought Malcolm always just liked things very simple and straight, so I just thought — we’ll put a little candle in and let him know the album was for him.”] SOUNDCUE (:23 OC: . . . was for him)
- Angus Young spoke about the future of AC/DC, telling Classic Rock: “I’ve got no crystal ball. But as Malcolm used to say: ‘You’re like the Titanic — when the ship goes down, the band goes down with it.'”
- In addition to topping the Billboard 200 albums chart in the U.S., AC/DC‘s latest album Power Up has hit Number One in 21 other countries.
- The success of Power Up album continues to earn the band newfound accolades. Billboard reported “AC/DC brothers Angus and Malcolm Young tie at Number One on Billboard’s Hard Rock Songwriters chart — dated January 30th — each leading for the first time thanks to a pair of songwriting credits on the latest chart.”
- As he had on the road, Angus and Malcolm‘s nephew, Stevie Young, has replaced Malcolm on the new album.
- Stevie, who is the son of the eldest Young brother, the late-Stephen Young, is only a year younger than his uncle Angus, and first subbed for his uncle Malcolm during a 1988 U.S. tour.
- When Malcolm retired from the band in 2014 due to a dementia diagnosis, Stevie became an official member.