Angus Young hints at more Malcolm-written AC/DC songs to come – “We had boxes full of stuff“

Angus Young
(Image credit: Chris McKay/Getty Images for BT PR)

Angus Young has said we may well hear songs that were co-written with his brother Malcolm on future AC/DC releases, saying that the pair had stockpiled song ideas when writing for 2008's Black Ice.

The AC/DC lead guitarist and frontman Brian Johnson were holding court on Australian current affairs show, The Project, and talking about writing and recording new album Power Up – a high voltage display of rock electric guitar on which all 12 songs were co-written by Malcolm, who died in 2017. 

Host Waleed Aly asked Angus if there was more where that came from.

“Oh yeah,“ he replied. “Around the album Black Ice, which was the last album Malcolm was on, we had a number of years off and we had so much stuff that we had written together. We had boxes full of stuff.”

Power Up is the first AC/DC studio album released after Malcolm's death, and the second to feature nephew Stevie Young on rhythm guitar after he stepped in for 2014 Rock Or Bust, following Malcolm's retirement through ill health.

Six years on, with Power Up debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, AC/DC show no sign of stopping any time soon.

“With Malcolm, he was someone who always just kept rolling,“ said Angus. “That was him. A lot of the songs done on this album, a lot of them are tracks that he said, ‘Well we’ve got to get these done.’ He always wanted them out there and on an album.“

AC/DC guitar lessons

The conversation turned to Johnson's vocal style Could Johnson – or more to the point, his throat – hold out?

“Hey, listen, if Malcolm’s spirit is still here like it he was on this last album then I’ll be there until the bitter end,“ Johnson told the show. “Nae problem!”

“We’ll hook him up to a drip!” laughed Angus.

When we started, we weren’t reinventing the wheel. This is what we do best. We make rock ’n’ roll

Angus Young

Produced by Brendan O'Brien, Power Up is vintage AC/DC. The production is raw and organic, the guitar tone pure, additive-free overdrive.

It's business as usual, and Angus had a few words for those who complain that AC/DC make the same album time and time again – a preposterous claim when you consider that over their 47-year recording career each song is instantly recognisable within a few chords.

“Well with us it is to be expected,” he said. ”As my brother used to say when somebody said, ‘Every album you’ve made sounds the same,’ he said, ‘Yeah, we’re the same band.” When we started, we weren’t reinventing the wheel. This is what we do best. We make rock ’n’ roll.”

You can watch the segment in full over at The Project.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.