After AC/DC fulfills its contract by delivering its next studio set to Elektra, the veteran rock act will make its subsequent two albums for Epic, guitarist Malcolm Young tells Billboard.com. The two-
After AC/DC fulfills its contract by delivering its next studio set to Elektra, the veteran rock act will make its subsequent two albums for Epic, guitarist Malcolm Young tells Billboard.com. The two-album deal is part of the extensive contract the band recently signed with the label. As previously reported, the first fruits of that pact arrive Feb. 18, when remastered, extensively repackaged copies of AC/DC albums "Back in Black," "Live" (single- and double-disc versions), "Highway to Hell," "High Voltage, and "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" are reissued.
Another five AC/DC reissues arrive March 25, with yet another batch of five coming May 20. The first group features extensive booklets that include essays by longtime rock scribes David Fricke and David Wild, among others, unreleased photos, reproductions of vintage newspaper clippings, handwritten song lyrics, magazine covers, and ticket stubs. The albums are likely to be issued on vinyl later this year.
There will not be any bonus tracks on the new editions, however. "We really haven't got a lot of spares lying around," says Young, who adds that he and his infamous brother Angus usually work up about 30 to 40 song ideas for each album. From that batch, the group will then come up with about 10 or 12 songs. "We'll go in to do 12, if one or two doesn't make it, we'll go into another batch of ideas that we've got, and maybe do a bit more writing in the studio," he reveals.
"But the bottom line is: what we record is what we use," he continues. "Once we feel we've got a good album, we stop at that. That's usually around 12 tracks. We figure if they're not good enough for the album, we're not going to spend all that time trying to make them good; it's like trying to make something that's not quite there, there; and sometimes, you've got the best out of it, so you go, 'that's gone, that one.'" As a result, any leftovers are in extremely rough form ("too rough to be issued," Malcom says).
This spring, the band will begin to hone a few songs out of the Young brothers' latest batch of ideas for its final Elektra album. Malcom says he and his brother have "more than a bunch" of ideas this time around. The band hasn't yet decided on a producer for the set yet. But Malcom says the band has often thought of once again working with Robert John "Mutt" Lange, helmsman for such classics as "Back in Black," "Highway to Hell," and "For Those About To Rock."
"He did a great job back then for us," he says. "So we've always had the idea, every now and then, maybe we should get Mutt back involved; but it comes down to the songs at the end of the day. If it's just a good ole rock'n'roll album, we may go with George, our brother, who produced the first four or five albums. There's other new producers around at the moment, but we haven't really looked into that ourselves."
It's unclear when the album will be released. "We'd love to do it really quick," Malcolm admits. "We'd like to be on the road tomorrow, to be honest. That's our real job -- that's what we love doing. That's the best part of it, being onstage. I know we've played a lot of the same tracks for many years, but we've got such a good band, especially with [original member] Phil [Rudd] drumming back with it."
"It's different every night, there's a different slant to it; some nights, things just sound 10 times better than they should be," he concludes. "It just gives us that adrenaline charge when we go on. We know we're gonna come off two hours later, but we're pushing it all the way; we build it right through, it's amazing how it happens. It's sort of magical, because you couldn't do it in a rehearsal like that, you need that audience in front, and that's really what gets us going. When we see them going, we just fall in line with them, and keep the energy level up, and then we like to take them over the top, one extra, up to 11!"