When AC/DC Hunted the Loch Ness Monster

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson recalled the time when he and late rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young went hunting for the Loch Ness Monster.

Sightings of a giant creature in the deepest body of water in Scotland have been reported since the sixth century. It’s been the subject of fraudulent attempts to prove its existence over the past 100 years, while scientific expeditions have failed to discover hard evidence that the monster is really there.

In a new interview with NME, Johnson remembered how he and Young decided to use a box of fireworks to answer the question once and for all – after a night of drinking. “We both had these Land Rovers, and we’d taken them for a trip around Scotland,” the singer said. “Malcolm loved his fireworks and he’d taken a big box with him. One night, we were four sheets to the wind and staying at this hotel right on the side of the loch. Mal just said, ‘C’mon, let’s go and find the Loch Ness Monster! I’ve got fireworks and it might attract it!’”

Johnson continued: “There we were, going straight into the water in our shoes, up to our knees, and it was freezing! Mal had a drink in one hand, a box of fireworks in the other and was trying to set fire to the loch. We were just howling. By the time we got back to our wives, we had straw in our hair and were covered in mud. What a night!”

AC/DC will release their new album, Power Up, on Nov. 13. It was built out of musical ideas Malcolm and brother Angus had stockpiled in the years before Malcolm’s death in 2017. Johnson said he hoped their old-fashioned rock values would make an impact with new audiences.

“Instead of looking at dancers on TikTok, I’m hoping this album will make young kids go out and buy a guitar, learn the riffs and discover the rest of our catalog,” he noted. “It would just be great to get more young rock bands out there, writing their own songs and getting up there onstage.”

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AC/DC Drunkenly Tried to Use Fireworks to Find Loch Ness Monster

For centuries, rumors have persisted that a massive aquatic beast roams the waters of Loch Ness in Scotland. While the very existence of this elusive creature of folklore remains the source of debate, AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson and Malcolm Young once hatched a drunken plan to locate the Loch Ness Monster and cement the myth as reality — and it involved fireworks.

With the new album Power Up, arriving in November, AC/DC have been openly speaking about how the record is a tribute to late guitarist Malcolm Young, whose ideas (but not his actual playing) are present on the record. In an interview with NME, Johnson recollected the time he and Malcolm set out for adventure with a little liquid courage for inspiration (re: whiskey).

“We both had these Land Rovers and we’d taken them for a trip around Scotland – Malcolm loved his fireworks and he’d taken a big box with him,” Johnson said, looking back at the humorous event.

“One night, we were four sheets to the wind and staying at this hotel right on the side of the loch,” he continued. “Mal just said, ‘C’mon, let’s go and find the Loch Ness monster! I’ve got fireworks and it might attract it!'”

In their inebriated state, this appeared to make perfect logical sense.

The AC/DC singer detailed, “There we were, going straight into the water in our shoes, up to our knees, and it was freezing! Mal had a drink in one hand, a box of fireworks in the other and was trying to set fire to the loch. We were just howling. By the time we got back to our wives we had straw in our hair and were covered in mud. What a night!”

Something tells us the band’s new song, “Shot in the Dark,” isn’t about their ill-fated attempt to uncover the truth about one of human history’s most storied creatures. Power Up comes out Nov. 14 and is AC/DC’s first album since issuing Rock or Bust in 2014. It will also be their first since Malcolm Young’s death in 2017.

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AC/DC Unveil ‘Shot in the Dark’ Music Video

AC/DC have unveiled the music video for their latest single “Shot in the Dark.”

The video finds the newly reunited band performing on a dark soundstage with a polished floor and in front of a neon red version of their famous logo. “You couldn’t see a fucking thing, because everything was black,” explained singer Brian Johnson in an interview that aired before the clip premiered. “It was like black water. I felt sorry for the guys who had to brush it down after every take.”

“Shot in the Dark” was released on Oct. 7, marking the first original material from AC/DC in six years. The track was constructed around an idea that rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young helped create before his death in 2017. You can watch the new video below.

“It was pretty much written a while back,” Angus Young, Malcolm’s brother and the lead guitarist of AC/DC, explained in an exclusive interview with UCR. “All of the tracks that we’ve got on the album were written by me and Malcolm. A lot of them were ideas we had that we knew were good AC/DC ideas at the time. But we just never got around to getting them on record.”

“Shot in the Dark” offers fans their first taste of AC/DC’s upcoming album Power Up. Rumors about the band working on the follow-up to 2014’s Rock or Bust began to swirl in August 2018, when guitarists Angus and Stevie Young, singer Brian Johnson, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd were spotted at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought live music to a halt, the reassembled group admitted it would love to tour behind the new LP once it’s safe again to do so. Power Up will be released on Nov. 13 and is available for pre-order now.

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AC/DC Reveal Performance-Based ‘Shot in the Dark’ Video

AC/DC are back and there’s finally a new video for the lead single “Shot in the Dark.” The band reunited with longtime video director David Mallet for the clip, which can be viewed below.

The clip is essentially a performance piece with the band playing on a black stage with a neon red AC/DC sign serving as the backdrop.

In advance of the video premiere, band members Brian Johnson, Angus Young and Cliff Williams joined Mallet for a Zoom chat revisiting their video history together.

Mallet first started working with the band on their 1986 video for “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and he continued with “Who Made Who,” “Heatseeker,” “That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Thunderstruck,” “Moneytalks,” “Are You Ready?,” “Big Gun,” “Cover You in Oil,” “Hard as a Rock” and “Hail Caesar.” After changing up directors for a period, the and returned to Mallet in 2008 for “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train,” followed by “Anything Goes,” “Shoot to Thrill,” a live “Highway to Hell” video, “Play Ball,” “Rock or Bust” and “Rock the Blues Away” before the new “Shot in the Dark” clip.

“Shot in the Dark is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming album, due Nov. 13. You can pre-order AC/DC’s Power Up album here. (as Amazon affiliates we earn on qualifying purchases)

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AC/DC’s Cliff Williams Is Committed to Playing ‘A Few Shows’

AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams initially announced his retirement from the band in 2016, citing a desire to remain off the road. With the band back together for the forthcoming Power Up album, Williams has commented on the band’s future and that he is committed to playing “a few shows.”

The band’s last run was the now infamous Rock or Bust tour. The trek sidelined singer Brian Johnson with hearing issues (Axl Rose was later tapped as the interim singer to wrap up the run) and saw drummer Chris Slade step in for the Phil Rudd who had been embroiled in a litany of legal woes on top of Williams’ impending retirement once the tour had concluded.

For many reasons, also including the 2017 death of rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young who had previously stepped down in 2014, it felt like the end of AC/DC, at least as we knew them. But the group banded together to record Power Up, which Williams has said was done in tribute to their late, iconic guitar player.

On the “Let There Be Rock” podcast with comedian and headbanger Dean Delray (audio below), Williams insisted his decision to retire came before other problems crept into AC/DC, namely Johnson’s inability to finish the tour as he was at risk of permanent hearing loss if he did.

“It was before then,” affirmed Williams, who added, “I spoke to Angus [Young] about it initially. I was at a point — and this is at the beginning of the Rock Or Bust tour — that I just felt, for me, it was time to hang it up. I knew that I didn’t wanna keep doing these two-year tours, and I didn’t wanna hold them back, so I made them aware of the fact that this was gonna be my last go-round. It was a tough tour to finish. God bless Axl for coming in and helping us out, finish it up. He did a great job. And at the end of that, I was definitely — that was it for me. Done — just done. That compounded the whole thing.”

Regarding in what ways the Power Up record will honor Malcolm, Williams noted, “If Back In Black has Bon Scott all over it, for me, Power Up has got Malcolm Young. This is for him. And it’s the band that we played together with for 40-plus years. And I wanted to do that — I wanted to come back and do that.”

Malcolm Young is credited as a writer on all 12 Power Up tracks, though the album does not feature any of his recorded guitar playing, but rather ideas he had previously come up with that were used in the writing process.

Despite a reunited AC/DC lineup, which also consists of Angus Young’s nephew Stevie Young on guitar in Malcolm’s absence, don’t plan on the legendary group embarking on another exhaustive world tour.

“We did some rehearsals earlier this year before this darn COVID thing popped up, and we had great rehearsals. The band was playing really well. So [they asked me], ‘Do you wanna do a few shows? ‘Sure’. A few shows. We were planning on doing that,” the bassist confirmed.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold. “Everyone goes home to their respective homes, and bang, we’ve been here ever since [because of the coronavirus-related shutdown],” lamented Williams.

Regarding his reasoning for not wanting to do any extended touring, Williams also explained, “For both [my mental and physical] health,” he said. “I definitely have some physical issues, which I won’t bore you with the details of. But, yeah, it’s tough. I’m very grateful for everything. It’s been fantastic. But I just don’t wanna do that anymore.”

AC/DC’s Power Up arrives on Nov. 13. Listen to the first single, “Shot in the Dark,” here.

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Angus Young Recalls AC/DC Concert for Deaf Children

Angus Young discussed his “great memories” of AC/DC’s early days, including the time they performed at a school for deaf children and received a powerful response.

Ahead of the arrival of AC/DC’s new album Power Up – made up of some but not all of the material Angus Young stockpiled with late brother Malcolm – the guitarist recalled the times when the band made its way across its home country in the hope of achieving success.

“A lot of great memories, going through Australia, playing a lot of places,” the guitarist told Australian station 105.1 Triple M in a new interview. “I remember us going through places like Queensland, even through New South Wales and some of the country areas, where you just had the fields … out would come a truck and we’d play on the back.”

Young noted that one of the most “cherished things” took place in South Australia. “We were playing to a lot of school audiences of different ages, like high-school years to primary schools, and also little preschoolers, kindergartens,” he said. “But I think one of the great ones was, we were playing for a school of deaf children. And, you know, they loved it – they roared more than … any of the people without that affliction. They were just so enthusiastic.”

You can listen to the interview below.

He also confirmed stories about AC/DC members going fishing after concerts. “Mal and Phil [Rudd], they’d get out a little boat and do a bit of fishing, a bit of beer drinking,” he recalled. “When we went first to America and that, Bon [Scott], Mal and Cliff [Williams] would go out, get a boat and go fishing … at night.”

Young also brought up a slightly negative memory, which took place after the death of singer Scott in 1980. “I remember doing a radio interview once and the guy was just – all he could talk about was Bon Scott,” he said. “Halfway through the interview, I said, ‘Look, we were with him!’

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Brian Johnson Laments ‘Awful’ AC/DC Secrecy Rules

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson lamented the “awful” nondisclosure agreements surrounding band operations that turned him into a “lying bastard.”

He and his bandmates were subject to NDAs ever since they began work on the group’s new album, Power Up, which will be released on Nov. 13. Contracts meant they weren’t allowed to say anything about the project, even though rumors exploded after band members were seen outside a Vancouver recording studio in 2018.

In a new interview with the Let There Be Talk podcast, host Dean Delray told Johnson he heard Power Up back in March, but he signed a nondisclosure agreement to make sure it was kept a secret.

“Join the club! It was awful!” Johnson replied. “We’d be walking around for months [hearing], ‘So, man, what’s happening, man? I hear there’s photographs on the thing, man! … Come on, you can tell me!’ ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ ‘Ah, come on, man!’ ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, honest mate!’ And then later they’re gonna [say], ‘You lying bastard!’”

You can listen to the interview below.

Guitarist Angus Young revealed he wasn’t exempt from such contracts. “They give me nondisclosures all the time!” he said. “Here we go!”

Turning to the material on Power Up, Johnson said he listened to it again as soon as it was finished. “I sent off a communique to Angus and I said, ‘Hey, mate, I gotta tell you … I’m happy I’m not the guy that’s got to pick a single from this, because I’m confused,” he noted. “They’re all eligible.’”

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Angus Young ‘Still Not Done’ With Stockpiled AC/DC Songs

Angus Young said he’s “still not done” with the collection of song ideas he co-wrote with late brother Malcolm for AC/DC.

The band’s next album, Power Up, is made up entirely of music created by the brothers in the years leading up to Malcolm’s death in 2017. In a new interview on the Let There Be Talk podcast, Angus told host Dean Delray that some ideas were stockpiled for more than a decade.

“A lot of these songs came from when we were going to do the [2008] album Black Ice,” he said. “Malcolm and me had a lot of years when the two of us would just be in a little studio, just working away all the time … and in that period we’d so much stuff.”

Young noted that “when we went to do Black Ice, it was a case of you’ve got a few boxes of your ideas … [and] we only got [into] box one.”

He recalled producer Brendan O’Brien telling them: “You’re covered. You’ve got enough for a great album,” even though “that was only the first CD.” “I was even saying to Mal, ‘Hey, we’re rolling here – should we just continue, do some more?’ And Mal said, ’No. We’ll get ‘em later. Don’t worry.’ He always said, ‘Nothing goes to waste with us. If we’ve got a good idea, we’re gonna use it.’”

You can listen to the interview below.

The guitarist explained that the ideas were refined from a process that involved the brothers laying down riffs with two guitars until “you would play back a few tracks in a row [and] something stands out.” Every time they identified a piece with “a bit of magic,” they’d keep it, even if it didn’t seem to connect with the band’s signature sound. “As Malcolm always said, by the time we finish with it, it is AC/DC.”

Young added that “because of that time, we’d marked out all the … ones that stood out. And I’ve still got a lot of those ideas – I’m still not done with all that I had.” Asked if that meant fans could expect an album to follow Power Up, which arrives on Nov. 13, he replied: “I don’t know how many I would have.”

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AC/DC Launch ‘Power Up’ Logo Name Generator

AC/DC are getting ready for the release of Power Up, their seventeenth studio album, and have just launched a logo name generator that will style your initials in vein of the Australian rock powerhouse’s classic logo.

The official Power Up name generator can be used here, where the band first commands you to click on the “Pwr Up” button, which prompts a grounding noise, as if an electronic device was just plugged in. A screen will then appear, requiring you to enter your first and last name. Once that has been submitted, hit the “Generate” button — some more electronic noises will follow along with your own customized logo.

A handful of sharing options appear at the bottom of the page, so you can email it to a friend or post on social media.

In advance of the Nov. 13 release of Power Up, AC/DC’s first record since 2014’s Rock or Bust, the band debuted the brand new single, “Shot in the Dark.” The song is a major achievement for the group, whose future appeared uncertain following singer Brian Johnson‘s relinquished live role to avoid permanent hearing loss, Cliff Williams‘ retirement and tapping Chris Slade in place of Phil Rudd, who was embroiled in an array of legal issues.

Johnson told Loudwire Nights radio host Toni Gonzalez that, amid the recording process, Chris Slade had to know he was no longer in AC/DC.

Rumors persisted that the band was indeed back together in recent years and photos had surfaced of the band’s members and producer outside of a recording studio in Vancouver, Canada, which had suggested work on new music was underway.

While ideas by the late Malcolm Young will be present on Power Up, his actual guitar playing will not as the record does not feature any guitar parts he may have previously recorded.

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Angus Young Suggests Malcolm Young Playing Not on New Album

As talk of a potential AC/DC album spread over the last few years, one of the rumors that surfaced was that late guitarist Malcolm Young‘s guitar parts were on the set. In a new interview with SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard, Malcolm’s brother and band guitarist Angus Young set the record straight.

Angus tells host Keith Roth when asked about if Malcolm plays on the album (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), “Malcolm’s contribution is mainly the song ideas, which he did with me. So that’s basically what Malcolm’s contribution is to the whole album. He was there in spirit, and you always feel him. He’s there, especially with me — he’s always part of my thoughts. I’m always thinking of him. As [is] everyone else.”

In a recent tribute video, Angus stated, “I know Mal’s not with us anymore. But he’s there with us in spirit. This band was his baby, his life. He was always one… ‘You keep going.'”

“He would’ve been proud of this,” added singer Brian Johnson, pointing to the Power Up album, before Young continued, “His big line, every now and again he’d go, ‘If you’re a musician, it’s a bit like being on the Titanic.’ The band goes down with the ship. That’s how he viewed it.”

As for the future for the reconnected lineup, Angus stated, “I keep doing it. It’s part of me. That’s from my perspective. I like making AC/DC music and playing it. And I’ve been doing it so long now. I think I know that more than anything else. I even think I know that better than what I learned in my shool years.”

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Former AC/DC Bassist Paul Matters Reportedly Dies

Former AC/DC bassist Paul Matters died at home in Australia, author Jesse Fink reported.

Described by the band as a “pretty boy,” he was fired by Bon Scott in 1975 after only being in the group for a matter of weeks, and soon gave up music altogether. He’d lived a reclusive life since then, only speaking about his time in the band once in 40 years.

In Fink’s 2017 book Bon: The Last Highway, Matters said: “I was only with them a short time. I did the High Voltage tour around Australia.” He recalled how Scott dismissed him, saying: “He got out the back of a truck… and he told me I wasn’t going back to Melbourne with them. We were up in Sydney doing a concert for schoolkids. So I didn’t play that day. I just turned around and didn’t say a word to him. I turned around and walked out.”

He said he’d loved playing live but was less at home in the studio. “I was just a bit lazy, I think,” he explained, and went on to report that he’d been upset by being left without money to buy food. “The tour manager came in with a bundle of 20s and he gave $20 out to each of us… He was just going to walk about. And I said, ‘Listen, mate, if you’re not going to give me any money, I’ll go now.’ So he gave me $20.” Matters reported that he was still “gutted” by his treatment, which led to him selling his bass and giving up music. “Every day I kick myself, mate,” he added. “It can be a ruthless business… Money. It can break a person.”

A former colleague in an earlier band, Les Gully, said in the book that Matters “didn’t really fit” AC/DC because he “had strong opinions and sensitivity, and played just what he liked.” A friend, Paul Wescombe, paid tribute by saying: “I recall he could always make me laugh when he was in the mood. After leaving New South Wales I lost contact with him as did many other people over the years. From all reports he lived a reclusive life in his later years and his early rock n’ roll life style led to ailing health. He will be missed by all who knew him.”

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AC/DC: Malcolm Young Would Be Proud of New Album ‘Power Up’

A special bond is typically formed between the members of a band, but especially when those members are actually related by blood. In a tribute video to the late Malcolm Young, AC/DC‘s Angus Young and Brian Johnson spoke about the guitarist’s attitude and say they are confident that he’d be proud of their upcoming album Power Up.

“I know Mal’s not with us anymore,” Young began. “But he’s there with us in spirit. This band was his baby, his life. He was always one… ‘You keep going.'”

“He would’ve been proud of this,” Johnson chimed in, pointing at the deluxe edition of the band’s new Power Up album.

“His big line, every now and again he’d go, ‘If you’re a musician, it’s a bit like being on the Titanic,'” the guitarist laughed. “The band goes down with the ship. That’s how he viewed it.”

Young called the upcoming album a tribute to his brother and discussed how the name relates to his legacy in a recent interview with USA Today. “Even the title we give it, Power Up, pretty much sums him up, too. When he put on that guitar, he was one big guitar. To put it this way — when he played guitar, it sounded like there were two people playing.”

Malcolm Young had written a ton of guitar riffs prior to his death in 2017, and they’re being used on Power Up. Therefore, he’s credited as a co-writer on every track on the album. The record, which you can pre-order here, will be out Nov. 13.

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