AC/DC’s long-awaited 17th studio album has been given an official release date, and returning members Brian Johnson (vocals) and Cliff Williams (bass) have spoken of their excitement in being back in the fold.
PWR/UP will be released on November 13, with the album‘s first single, Shot In The Dark, being released at 05.00 UK time on Wednesday, October 7. The band released a second teaser video for the single yesterday (October 5).
PWR/UP finds Brian Johnson and AC/DC’s ‘classic’ rhythm section – bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd – restored to the line-up. In a new interview with the Rock 100.5 Atlanta radio station, Johnson described the experience of making the album as “a great time.”
“As soon as we walked in, there was this electricity, this bond that had been built up over 38 years since I joined,” the vocalist stated. “And, of course, when the boys plugged in, or powered up, if you'll excuse the pun, and they started playing, that was it. It was a great time.”
Asked what AC/DC fans can expect from the follow-up to 2014’s Rock Or Bust, Brian Johnson said: “There’s a lot of [rumours] about [late AC/DC bandleader] Malcolm’s [Young] guitar playing [being on the album]… well, of course, that’s not true. But what is true is the fact that Angus and Malcolm had done riffs together all their life and really had a big box of them. And Angus said he basically just went through them all and he went, ‘Oh, that’s a good one. This is a good one.’ And he brought them out. So, it really is true that Malcolm is on there, basically, in spirit and all of that. And he’s such a strong character in life. And I think everybody in the band still felt, especially Angus, his brother, [that Malcolm] is in everything. We’re always conscious of that, that he’s watching over, ‘You'd better do it right. You'd better do it AC/DC style or just not do it at all.’ And the songs came in — Angus came in with ‘em and all, and worked with Brendan O’Brien, the producer, and I went into just a regular little control room, and we just went for it.”
Cliff Williams also spoke to the station, confirming his return to the band.
The English bassist, who officially retired following the completion of AC/DC’s Rock Or Bust tour, admitted to being “really excited” to reunite with the band.
“Rock Or Bust was due to be my last fling,” he said, “and that was a tough tour to finish. But when I heard that Brian and Phil were back, I was super excited to join in.”
Angus Young kept news of Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd’s return to AC/DC so close to his chest that the band’s long-time recording engineer Mike Fraser wasn’t told about their involvement in the new album until he arrived at Vancouver’s Warehouse studio to start the tapes rolling.
The full story behind PWR/UP has been a long time coming, but the wait is almost over.