Skip to main content

Malcolm Young co-wrote every song on the new AC/DC album, Power Up

AC/DC
(Image credit: Josh Cheuse)

In a newly released video, Angus Young talks about how AC/DC’s new album, Power Up, is a tribute to his late brother Malcolm Young. The guitarist explains how the mental strength of his older brother – who passed away in 2017 at the age of 64 from the effects of dementia – helped the Australian rock giants power on after his death.

 “I know Mal’s not with us anymore, but he’s there with us in spirit,” Angus says. “This band was his baby, his life. He was always one [to say], ‘You keep going.’ His big line always, every now and again, he’d go, ‘If you’re a musician, it’s a bit like being on the Titanic, the band goes down with the ship.’ That’s how he viewed it.”

“He would have been proud of this, I think,” adds Brian Johnson, referring to the forthcoming Power Up album, which is set for release on November 13. “He’s not far away.”

 

Malcolm Young is credited as a writer on every track on the new album, with his younger brother previously telling Rolling Stone that a number of riffs on Power Up originated during the writing of 2008’s Black Ice album.

“There was a lot of great song ideas at that time,” Angus said. “At that time he said to me, ‘We’ll leave these songs for now. If we keep going, we’ll be overboard. We’ll get them on the next one’.”

“That always stuck with me,” Angus continues. “When I went through and listened to them, I said, ‘If I do anything in my life, I have to get these tracks down and get these tracks out’.”

Angus also reveals that Malcolm even inspired the title of the new album, AC/DC’s first since 2014’s Rock Or Bust.

“Even the title we gave it, Power Up, pretty much sums him up, too,” he said. “When he put on that guitar, he was one big guitar. To put it this way: When he played guitar, it sounded like there were two people playing.”

The first single from Power Up, Shot In The Dark is out now.

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.