Scott Ian: AC/DC's Malcolm Young has always been my hero

Anthrax’s Scott Ian has paid tribute to late AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young and says he’s “always been my hero since day one.”

Ian was a guest of Gretsch Guitars and was filmed playing the new G6131-MY Malcolm Young Signature Jet. And in the video, Ian credits Young with inspiring him to learn to play the guitar when he was a youngster growing up in New York City.

Ian says: “Malcolm’s always been my hero since day one because he basically taught me how to play guitar.

“As a kid, with AC/DC’s vinyl albums in my little bedroom, I used to sit and figure out how to play their songs – and it was all Malcolm .

“I was learning how to play specifically by listening to what he was doing. He was my guitar teacher. He’s the reason I learned how to play rhythm guitar the way I do.”

Ian say that the way Young played was “perfectly in synch at all times, making it seem effortless” and adds: “AC/DC always sound really simple. People think, ‘Oh, that sounds easy, it’s just a couple of chords.’ But try playing it right. That’s my challenge to anybody.”

He continues: “There’s an instant rush any time I hear AC/DC. It’s mainlined into my brain. As soon as I hear him playing chords, I just get excited.

“If I put on Let There Be Rock, I feel the same now as I did 40 years ago. It moves me in exactly the same way.”

Young died in November 2017 at the age of 64.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.