AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Hints at Touring Return + Thanks Fans

By all accounts, AC/DC are going to enjoy some huge returns for their new Power Up album, but will we eventually see some of the songs from the album in the live setting? In a new “thank you” video to the fans from singer Brian Johnson, it appears as though the singer is suggesting a live concert return will happen once the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted and touring can resume.

“We wanna see you in your hometown. We’ll try everything we can to get there and play for you live, play these great tunes for you live,” says Johnson toward the end of his message, also asking that fans stay safe in the interim as the pandemic continues.

The vocalist seemed truly grateful to be at this point, explaining during his video message, “From four years ago, guys, you’ve gotta remember, we were all but over, or some people thought, but they forgot about the AC/DC fighting spirit, you know. You never give in and you never leave your wounded behind. You always come back.”

Johnson exited AC/DC’s previous Rock Or Bust tour midway through its run on the advice of doctors who warned of permanent hearing loss. That tour also saw the band transition to guitarist Stevie Young after the death of Malcolm Young and had drummer Phil Rudd absent while dealing with legal issues. Meanwhile, bassist Cliff Williams retired at the end of the tour’s run. But Johnson, Rudd and Williams have returned to join Angus and Stevie Young for the new album, with Johnson’s career being saved by a new hearing device created by a specialist that has allowed him to resume singing with the band.

Though final tallies are still being counted, early estimates put AC/DC’s Power Up as a chart-topper in many countries around the world. Johnson says in the video, “What we wanna do is just thank you. I mean we’ve been overwhelmed these last few days getting the reports in from all around the world about the album doing so well.”

In addition to satisfying the fans, he adds that the band achieved a few other key goals, stating, “We knew that it was a pretty good thing that we’d done, you know, we wanted to make Malcolm [Young] proud of it and it made us proud because we’d made Malcolm proud.”

And while at this stage in the group’s career, you might think the newness of seeing big numbers on release day has worn off. But Johnson sincerely offers, “It really is still exciting to this day. Still it’s like the first record we ever brought out.”

Check out the singer’s full message to the fans in the video below.

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Thanks Fans for Their Support

Top 25 Rock + Metal Bands Based on Spotify Monthly Listeners 

Images & transcripts are copyright to their respected owners.

The Moment Brian Johnson Knew He Could Front AC/DC Again

Brian Johnson recalled the “apprehension” he felt just before he attempted a full-power rehearsal with AC/DC using his experimental hearing technology.

He’d been working with a cutting-edge company to address the ear issues that had forced him to bow out of the band’s Rock or Bust tour in 2016, after which Axl Rose was brought in to complete the run of dates. At the time, it looked as if Johnson would never be able to perform again, with doctors warning him that just one more high-volume performance could destroy what was left of his hearing.

In a new interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, Johnson revisited the first rehearsal, which took place after the band recorded its new album, Power Up, in studio conditions. “First of all, a little apprehension,” he admitted. “We hadn’t done this for a while. Angus [Young] just said to me, ‘Do you want to do a rehearsal – try the ears out?’ I said, ‘I’d love to,’ because I didn’t want to ever be in the position I was in the last time, where I couldn’t hear the band. It was just horrible.”

He added that he “was desperate to try these things, and Angus said to me, ‘Well, we’ll start quietly and we’ll build.’ I went ’No, we’ve got to do it full-battlefield conditions. It’s got to be right out there, because if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.’ He said, ‘Okay – what do you want to do?’ I said ‘Back in Black.'”

Johnson was able to hear “everything” as soon as the whole band kicked in. “I grew to about six-foot-two!” he recalled. “I was just absolutely jumping around like a young spring chicken. I was just flipping thrilled, and the boys could see, because I wouldn’t stop moving for two days.”

Over the following two days he reassured himself that the hearing system worked for “every song that we had on the song list.” “Even the sound guys on the desk were all smiling and thumping their hands and stamping their feet,” he recalled. “So we knew then it was working.”

Power Up was released last week. The band hopes to perform at least some concerts at a future date. “I hate to use the word tour now because it sounds like two years, and I think we’ve all got a little tired of that,” Johnson said. “If we can just start doing gigs and cherry-picking them, that’s fun.”

His hope for the LP was that it brings some “happiness” to listeners. “I think it’s just the complete honesty of the music,” he reflected. “It’s music that doesn’t have sides, it doesn’t have a hidden agenda. It’s not asking you to do anything or join anything or be anything, it’s just asking you to be with us.”

Images & transcripts are copyright to their respected owners.

The New AC/DC Song That Gives Brian Johnson ‘Goose Bumps’

Brian Johnson said the spirit of Malcolm Young was most evident in the song “Through the Mists of Time” on the new AC/DC album Power Up.

The singer said thoughts of the band’s late co-founder and rhythm guitarist going through his mind as he recorded vocals for the song, which includes lyrics written by lead guitarist Angus Young. “Whenever I hear it, I still get goose bumps,” Johnson told the Independent in a new interview.

“I still think of him. I was thinking of him when I sang it. It’s just these things about the happy days when we first started in the ‘80s, when I first joined the band. I just remember these very happy, carefree days. And Angus did a magnificent job of putting those lyrics together. I think he really felt it, too, because him and Malcolm were inseparable.”

You can listen to “Through the Mists of Time” below.

Johnson noted that Malcolm’s presence was evident to the whole band when they started the record’s sessions. “None of us are spiritual, please don’t even think that,” he explained. “But he was just there. He was a strong, strong character in real life, and passing on didn’t seem to affect his character! He was there and we all knew it. We all just had this enthusiastic feeling that we were doing something that was worthwhile for Malcolm, that would make him proud.”

He also recalled how Malcolm treated him when they had first met, when AC/DC were holding auditions to replace the late Bon Scott in 1980. “I opened the door and I went, ‘Hello lads, I’m Brian from Newcastle – sorry, I’ve been a bit late!’” Johnson remembered. “And Malcolm went, ‘Oh, there you are!’ And he came over and he gave me bottle of brown ale, and he said, ‘It’s a long drive down, isn’t it?’”

Saying the moment put him at ease, Johnson added: “I didn’t know them as individuals; they could’ve been snotty, but they [weren’t]. … Malcolm was so generous with himself to everybody. He always had time. Mind … he lost his temper because somebody had really been dumb … he just wouldn’t suffer fools gladly.”

Images & transcripts are copyright to their respected owners.

Brian Johnson Praises Axl Rose’s Stint in AC/DC

AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson has praised Axl Rose for doing a “fantastic job” during his stint with the legendary Australian band.

With the reunion of the surviving members of AC/DC’s classic Back in Black lineup, all seems right in the world of rock ’n’ roll. A new batch of songs — along with the return of Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd — has brought AC/DC back into the spotlight for the first time since Axl Rose’s highly successful tour as the band’s singer.

During a new interview with Johnson, who was dismissed from AC/DC in 2016 after suffering from severe hearing problems, the singer shared his opinion of AC/DC’s Axl Rose years. “He jumped into a tough, tough vocalist gig,” Johnson tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “You’ve got to be on top of your game for that. There’s not many resting places. You’ve really got to go in full chop, all of the time. And for him to do that at such short notice was pretty fantastic. I’ve got a lot of respect for what he did, you know. A lot of respect.”

Johnson also saluted rhythm guitarist Stevie Young, who has lovingly filled in for his uncle, Malcolm Young, since the musician’s illness and subsequent death.

“You don’t want to step backwards, and I think Stevie’s contribution is the fact that he’s kept up that level,” Johnson adds. “And Stevie, his part in it is to keep that level exactly where Angus [Young] and Malcolm always wanted it – you know, the best it could be. I think that’s it, really.”

AC/DC’s newest album, Power Up, will be released Nov. 13. To grab a copy of the highly anticipated record, click here.

See What 28 Rock + Metal Stars Look Like in ‘The Simpsons’ Episodes

Images & transcripts are copyright to their respected owners.

Brian Johnson Has a ‘Lot of Respect’ for Axl Rose’s Work in AC/DC

Brian Johnson commended Axl Rose for doing a “fantastic job” while subbing in for the AC/DC singer onstage in 2016.

“He jumped into a tough, tough vocalist gig,” Johnson tells UCR of the Guns N’ Roses singer, who helped out during the Rock or Bust tour after Johnson’s hearing issues forced him off the road. “You’ve got to be on top of your game for that. There’s not many resting places. You’ve really got to go in full chop, all of the time. And for him to do that at such short notice was pretty fantastic. I’ve got a lot of respect for what he did, you know. A lot of respect.”

Johnson is currently promoting AC/DC’s upcoming LP, Power Up, which features the singer alongside guitarist Stevie Young (nephew of late co-founder Malcolm Young) and longtime guitarist Angus Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd.

The singer says he looks forward to the band’s live return after the COVID-19 pandemic, enthusing that it “would be like a big shout of freedom” when rock music “hits the streets” again. “We’re all sitting penned up, cautious and wary. We don’t know what the hell’s happening,” he says. “We’ve just got our fingers crossed that it blow over. Which it has to at some time.”

And when that concert comeback does finally happen, Johnson is optimistic that his hearing issues won’t remain an obstacle. “I believe so,” he says to the idea of joining the group. “We had a little tryout, and it was real good, I thought, for me anyway. So, absolutely. I can’t wait.”

Responding to the growing online movement and petition for AC/DC to play the Super Bowl, Johnson cracks, “It might be the only show in town!”

Images & transcripts are copyright to their respected owners.

AC/DC Hope ‘Power Up’ Will Inspire Kids to Pick Up the Guitar

AC/DC‘s reunion was probably one of the best things to happen to rock fans this year. Their upcoming album Power Up will be out Nov. 13, and Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams told Loudwire Nights they want two things to come from its release — for it to make people smile, and for it to make kids want to pick up a guitar.

While there were a few big rock releases in 2020 so far, only one made it to the top of the Billboard 200, and it was by an artist who originally became known to the public as a rapper — Machine Gun Kelly. Though Williams admitted he’s never heard of the musician before, his pop-punk album Tickets to My Downfall debuted at No. 1 on the chart upon its release in late September.

But why haven’t other rock albums achieved that same feat this year, when we’ve seen releases from previously chart-topping artists including Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam and Deftones? What is different about the younger generations of rock artists and fans alike?

“I think they got swallowed up by the mainstream. Mainstream music, by that I mean social media, the ‘norm,'” Johnson explained. “AC/DC started in the mind of Malcolm Young many years ago when he was sitting at home in Australia, and the only music you could hear was this soft, gentle music. And he just went, ‘Everything’s too nice, I wanna do something about this.'”

“Being in rock ‘n’ roll… it’s never been the genre that people ever listen to, they never took it seriously. And I think it’s time that stops because it is a very serious statement of music, and it has been for so long,” the singer continued. “I think now and again, you get big bursts of rock ‘n’ roll, and then you get people coming up and making silly statements like, ‘Hey man, rock ‘n’ roll is dead.'”

The frontman hopes that people in younger generations, who may not have grown up with AC/DC, will listen to Power Up and decide that they want to go out and get a guitar and learn to play.

Listen to the full interview above.

The 15 Most Expensive Guitars of All Time

Images & transcripts are copyright to their respected owners.