(Image credit: Columbia)While the five band members were billeted in Amsterdam, they took the opportunity to play together for the first time… and drummer Phil Rudd promises that the Aussie rock legends are “ready to kick some ass” when they return to the stage to promote Power Up, which is their seventeenth full-length album.
Rudd wasn’t in the band when AC/DC toured 2014’s Rock Or Bust album, and vocalist Brian Johnson exited the band mid-tour in April 2016, citing hearing issues. As the band explained it at the time, Johnson risked losing his hearing completely, if he continued to perform onstage. This issue, it seems, has been rectified, thanks to advances in audio technology.
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PLAY SOUND"We had set up to do a video,” Angus Young reveals, “and we thought we could get a rehearsal place and play – to see how we were live and if Brian's [hearing] technology was working.”
"We did Back in Black straight away,” says Johnson. “If I can do that, I can do anything. And I could hear everything. We went through Shot Down in Flames, Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be – the whole set. We did 15 days, non-stop. The guitars were so sweet. I said, ‘Angus, I can hear every little note you're playing.’ And he went, ‘Oh, I better start rehearsing more’… Angus' sense of humour. It was lovely.”
“The band was playing really well,” says Cliff Williams, who has also returned to the fold following his retirement at the end of the Rock Or Bust world tour. “Brian was singing really well. ‘How about we do some shows?’ ‘Sure, let's get the ball rolling.’ And this damn virus hit. Everything was put on the shelf. We’ll put this record out and see what the future holds. Hopefully, it’s shows. That's what we’d love to do – even if it’s just a handful, just to get out there.”
“We're ready to play,” insists Phil Rudd. “We're ready to kick some ass – seriously. I'll get a chance to show you guys what's going on with all of us, because I'm not done yet.”
Power Up will be released on November 13. The album will be available in the usual formats including gatefold 180g vinyl – including a yellow vinyl version exclusive to the AC/DC webstore –but we're especially excited by the limited edition deluxe Power Up box, which is adorned by a button fans can press. Do so, and a flashing neon AC/DC logo lights up while the opening bars of Shot In The Dark blast out of a built-in speaker. Yesssssssss!
Inside the box is the full CD package, a 20-page booklet featuring exclusive photos, and USB charging cable. To keep Power Up powered up, duh!
The album was recorded in Vancouver with producer Brendan O'Brien and engineer Mike Fraser, the same team who worked on Black Ice and Rock Or Bust. The band spent six weeks recording in the city before moving to Los Angeles to complete the mix.
"Angus kinda came into this with a lot of ideas and riffs and not too many completed songs,” Fraser told the AC/DC Fans podcast. ”But that was similar on Rock Or Bust. Because him and Malcolm [Young] had written tons of songs before Mal got sick and eventually passed away. So he's got a whole treasure trove of ideas and riffs and all that."
Power Up is available to pre-order now.