"It's like two different people, like watching a movie": AC/DC's Angus Young reveals what it's like to be Angus Young onstage

Angus Young onstage
Angus Young onstage on the Flick Of The Switch tour (Image credit: Icon and Image)

In 1983, journalist Jas Obrecht interviewed AC/DC's Angus Young for Guitar Player magazine. An edited version of the interview eventually appeared as the cover story in the April 1984 edition of the magazine, but Obrecht has now released the unedited audio from the original tape on YouTube. 

Obrecht notes that the interview took place on October 22 in San Francisco as the Flick Of The Switch tour took the band to the 10,000-capacity Cow Palace (although the tour schedule suggests that the band were due in Arizona that day, to play the Compton Terrace in Tempe, a venue owned – some may be surprised to learn – by Stevie Nicks' dad).

In the hour-long recording, Young talks about his relationship with older brothers Malcom and George, reveals what goes on during the writing and recording of the average AC/DC song, talks technical about his Gibson SG guitars and Marshall amps, names his favourite tracks by the band, and reveals that the secret to a high-energy performance is to avoid pizza. At one point they appear to be interrupted by someone who wants to clean the room. And Young also reveals what it's like to be onstage.

"You're totally blank on what you're doing," says the guitarist. "It's funny, that. It's like two different people. It sorta splits. To me, the whole thing is over and done with in about five minutes. The whole thing. It's like watching a movie. It just goes... [makes 'whoosh' noise]." 

Angus goes on to reveal what it's like doing his iconic crowd walkabout, and explains the dangers presented by the stunt.

After interviewing Angus Young, Obrecht went on to interview older brother Malcolm Young, and the audio from their 40-minute conversation is also available on YouTube. Both clips are below. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.