During a recent interview on ‘The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker’ on BBC 2, the lead guitarist, co-founder, and songwriter of AC/DC, Angus Young, opened up about his relationship with his brother Malcolm Young and talked about his leadership skills.
Malcolm Young was the co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist, and songwriter of AC/DC. He was in the band since the beginning, 1973 but had to retire in 2014 due to dementia. After struggling with his health issues, Malcolm sadly passed away on November 18, 2017.
As you may recall, AC/DC released their new seventeenth studio album ‘PWR UP’ on November 13, 2020, which ranked Number 1 in more than 18 countries in just some days. It also became the fastest-selling album of 2020 with 117,000 copies sold only in the first week.
The creation of such an album required both emotional and physical strength, as the band members often found themselves missing Malcolm, who was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young. Even though Malcolm Young was not a part of the recording or production process of their new album, he is credited as the songwriter of all twelve tracks on the ‘PWR UP’ album.
In a recent interview, Angus Young talked about the recording process of their new album and how he felt when playing without Malcolm. Angus said that he was used to playing and recording with his brother since they were teenagers, as their older brother would bring them to a studio and tell them to play so that he can record them.
However, it seems like their guitar sessions have such a powerful place in Angus’ heart and mind that he still feels Malcolm’s essence and spirit around him when he’s playing the guitar, which makes it easier for him to cope with Malcolm’s physical loss.
Here’s what Angus said about whether it felt strange not having Malcolm beside him:
“Yes, probably for my own feeling. Because even when we were very young as teenagers, my older brother used to take us into the studio to show us how everything worked in the recording studio. And he also used us — when he felt we were competent enough on our instruments, like the guitars — he would say, ‘Okay, come in tonight and play on a song I’m gonna put down.’ So he would use the two of us then. So Malcolm and me, from a very early age, we were so used to being in studios working together. And yeah, I miss him when he’s not there in a physical sense. But I feel him when I’ve got the guitar playing. I can feel him around me.”
It seems like having his brother around really helped Angus while recording. During the interview, Angus also praised his brother’s excellent guitar skills and his inspiring confidence. He added that Malcolm was a very practical man, both as a guitarist who knew exactly what to do and how to do it, and as the visionary who co-founded AC/DC.
In the interview, Angus revealed that since the first fay, Malcolm knew what he wanted to do in the band, what music he wanted to create, how he wanted them to sound, and could foresee their future. Thus, the band followed the path that Malcolm paved for them.
Here’s what Angus said when he was asked whether feeling Malcolm while playing the guitar gives him confidence:
“Yes, because he was very confident in just the way he even played guitar. He was that way from the beginning. I thought his playing was always so very solid whenever he picked up a guitar. He always seemed to know exactly what was coming next, and it always came across so clear and precise, the way he played. And besides that, he was also very practical in how he would do things. He knew exactly, when the band was formed, how he wanted it to sound, and the style of the music which we would play. So it was all his direction. And it was that direction we followed all the way through our career.”
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