Angus Young on Malcolm’s absence from PWR UP: “He wouldn’t like me trying to splice his guitar work”

While Malcolm doesn’t play on the new album, his musical ideas are still present.

Malcolm Young

Image: Larry Hulst / Getty

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Since the release of AC/DC’s latest single, Angus Young has weighed in on the discussions about the presence of the late Malcolm Young’s guitar work on the band’s upcoming record, PWR UP.

The album features the reunited lineup of Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd, Cliff Williams, Angus Young and Stevie Young. Malcolm, Angus’ older brother, died in 2017 at the age of 64. Speaking to El Pirata of Spain’s RockFM classic rock radio station, Angus clarified that while Malcolm’s ideas exist on the album, his playing does not: “I know a lot of people have been saying, did Malcolm actually play, is it his instrument on the new album? I chose not to do that because I felt Malcolm himself wouldn’t like me trying to splice his guitar work.

“Malcolm and myself, a lot of what we had done through the years, we’d make notes with the tracks. Some might be a little bit rough here and there, and I polished them up. In other cases, Malcolm might have done just a small bit and then I would do the next verse. The bulk of the contribution of Mal is mainly musical.”

Angus also took the opportunity to thank Axl Rose, who took up vocal duties in 2016 after doctors told Brian Johnson he faced a total loss of hearing if he did not stop touring immediately.

“On our last tour, when Brian had his hearing problem, with the deafness in his ears, for us at the time, we had some dates and shows that we were committed to doing. And it was a case of, ‘We’ll get through those shows. But how do we go about that?’

“And Axl Rose, he had said to us, he had got a message to us, if he could help us in any way finish those commitments, if it didn’t interfere with what his own project was, he would help us get through that. So with Axl, he participated with helping us get through that tour, and that’s something we’ll always be grateful for, ’cause he’d done a really good job. So everyone appreciates that he did that.”

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