The late Malcolm Young will be present — in a way — on AC/DC's upcoming reunion album, likely titled PWR/UP (or Power Up).
That's because the effort includes guitar riffs composed by Malcolm with his brother and surviving AC/DC member, Angus Young, the band's longtime engineer has confirmed. (The AC/DC siblings are pictured above at an event in the year 2000.)
Indeed, the song ideas came from a "stockpile of all these riffs and stuff that Angus and Mal had put together over the years," recording engineer Mike Fraser relayed to The AC/DCFans.net Podcast on Oct. 6. In that way, the engineer said the writing process was similar to AC/DC's last album, 2014's Rock or Bust. Meanwhile, Fraser also revealed that seasoned rock producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Papa Roach) helmed PWR/UP. O'Brien has worked with AC/DC in the past.
"I think Angus kind of came into this with a lot of ideas and riffs," the engineer explained, as transcribed by the rock site Blabbermouth. "[He] and Malcolm 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."
Fraser continued, "Him and Brendan O'Brien, who produced the record, would sift through all the ideas and say, 'Hey, that's great. That's a really good song. Let's put that riff here.' It's just mostly all these great riffs and ideas Ang had. He had — I don't remember exactly — maybe three or four songs sort of completed that they maybe adjusted, added a chorus here or something like that."
After years of rumors, AC/DC officially announced their reunion on Sept. 30, confirming that vocalist Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams were back in the group. Along with Angus, Malcolm's nephew Stevie Young will continue playing guitar, keeping the band's six-string legacy in the family following Malcolm's 2017 death. At around the same time as their reunion announcement, the group previewed a snippet of the new song "Shot in the Dark," which will be released in full later this week.
Malcolm's contributions to the imminent AC/DC album were foreshadowed in earlier hints by none other than Twisted Sister's Dee Snider. Earlier this year, the musician teased the effort's "surprises, which I can't talk about, regarding Malcolm Young that just had my jaw on the floor. I will say he will be present."
Until more news bubbles up, listeners can sign up for AC/DC's email list at pwrup.acdc.com.
AC/DC Engineer Mike Fraser Talks to the AC/DCFans.Net Podcast - Oct. 4, 2020
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