Tomorrow night, AC/DC will perform their first show with Axl Rose as lead singer. In anticipation, Rose, Angus Young, and Cliff Williams sat down for a series of interviews discussing their surprise collaboration.
According to BBC, it was Rose who first approached AC/DC after learning of singer Brian Johnson’s hearing issues. “I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation going on with Brian’s hearing,” he explained. “I called a guy who’s their production manager right now… because I knew there was going to be a problem with having dates on sale and dates sold and stuff like that. So if I could help, and if I was able to do it, and they were interested, I’d love to help. And that’s how it started. I wasn’t looking at it like, ‘I’m singing for AC/DC.’ I was looking at it like, ‘y’know, if I can, and if they think I’m able to do it.”
In an interview with NME, Rose said he has not yet spoken to Johnson, “only because [the band] haven’t spoken much about Brian. There hasn’t been any negative talk with the guys or anything, it’s just the time schedule of having to get things together for the shows, while also I had Guns N’ Roses commitments and then breaking the foot. The day I found out it was broken I left the hospital to rehearse. My only day off was the surgery day and the next day was back to rehearsals.”
Asked if he could ever see a scenario in which Johnson rejoins AC/DC, Young responded, “He has to be very careful of what hearing he’s got left. This is what he told us – he was gutted about not finishing [the tour] because he says he would have loved to have gotten through. It was his call, what he wanted. He made that decision himself. He didn’t want to be deaf. And I perfectly understand that – when you stop doing this, you want to walk away with all your pieces! I don’t even want to leave without my fingernail!” For what it’s worth, Johnson initially said he was booted from the band against his wishes.
If Johnson is unable to return, Rose implied that he’d be open to becoming a more permanent member of the band. “Whatever they’re doing with Brian, that’s not my place to talk, that’s their business. Anybody else, I will slowly poison them!”
Rose said he’s rehearsed with AC/DC over twenty times in anticipation of their tour together. “The rehearsals have been really cool, now I know the benefits of rehearsals for the first time,” he said in a video posted to the fan’s Facebook page. Speaking to BBC, he said singing songs from Back In Black “is really challenging. I’m not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can’t take anything away from his singing at all. He’s a great singer and it’s really challenging stuff to sing. I’m just trying to do it justice for the fans.”
Watch AC/DC and Rose discuss the tour via the videos below.
AC/DC 2016 Tour Dates:
05/07 – Lisbon, PT @ Passeio Maritmo de Alges
05/10 – Seville, ES @ Estadio de la Cartuja
05/13 – Marseille, FR @ Stade Velodrome
05/16 – Werchter, BE @ Werchter Festival Grounds
05/19 – Vienna, AT @ Ernst-Happel Stadium
05/22 – Prague, CZ @ Letnany Airport
05/26 – Hamburg, DE @ Volksparkstadion
05/29 – Berne, CH @ Stade de Suisse
06/01 – Leipzig, DE @ Red Bull Arena
06/04 – London, UK @ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
06/09 – Manchester, UK @ Etihad Stadium
06/12 – Aarhus, DK @ Ceres Park