AC/DC Vows To March On As "Stiff" Arrives

As the hard rock mainstays of AC/DC prepare to deliver their first studio album in five years with next week's arrival of "Stiff Upper Lip," rumors abound that the album will be the band's last.

"That happens every time we make an album, I think," AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson quipped to MTV News. "I think they're trying to get rid of us."

"Every album, every tour, somebody says, 'This must be their going-out party,' but hey, we're still here," guitarist Angus Young said.

As if to drive that point home in the loudest of fashions, the band's latest effort is vintage, bare-knuckled AC/DC stomp rock. The album could be the group's strongest in more than a decade, but some are still prematurely predicting the band's swan song.

The group denies those rumors, as well as most others that have floated around them recently.

Asked about rumors that the band will headline this year's Big Day Out festival in England (and about the band's tour plans in general), Young offered simply, "We haven't committed to anything."

"I think if there's no news, they'll make some up," Johnson said. "If there's no news, they'll invent it."

"And if they won't, we will," [RealVideo] Young added.

"We knew from the beginning what we were looking for, and my brother Malcolm and myself, we felt that we just wanted to make a good rock and roll album," Young said of the band's plan for "Stiff." "That was pretty much the way we approached it for everything. We wanted it to be straight rock and roll and not get sidetracked by any outside sort of things."

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The group's commitment to its interior vision was further aided by the hiring of Young's brother George (who has worked with the band in the studio in numerous capacities over the years) as producer. With its production safely in the hands of someone who knew where the band wanted to go and how to get it there, AC/DC headed to Vancouver's Warehouse studio and set about a recording session that was highly productive, but hardly what you would call slave labor.

"It was a lot of fun in the studio. There were just bags of good feelings," Johnson recalled.

The good vibes and vintage riffs will finally be on full display when "Stiff Upper Lip" hits stores on Tuesday, February 29.