Where do old interviews go to die? Since 1988 they’ve gone into the MTV News vault, but we’ve been exhuming them to bring you these classic natterings. Here’s the latest in the series, which runs every Tuesday.
By the time AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 (along with the Police, the Clash, and Elvis Costello), the Australian band had been together for 30 years, and — remarkably for a riff-based hard-rock act — was still going strong.
Founded by sibling guitarists Malcolm and Angus Young, and fronted from very early on by reprobate singer Bon Scott, the group traced its lineage back into the 1960s, when the Youngs’ older brother and future producer, George Young, was a member of the Easybeats (whose 1966 world hit “Friday on My Mind” remains a garage-rock staple). AC/DC broke through in the mid-’70s with a sound that was pure guitar assault, propelling songs that addressed the most primal rock-and-roll interests (“Big Balls,” “Love at First Feel”). And that classic sound never changed, even after Scott died of alcohol poisoning in 1980 and was replaced by English bellower Brian Johnson.
Angus, Malcolm and Brian turned up in the MTV studios in August of 2003 — not quite so crazy after all those years (they were then hovering around 50), but still funny and wryly self-deprecating. I forget why they were in town; it must have been for a show, because AC/DC hadn’t released a new album since 2000’s Stiff Upper Lip — and in fact, still hasn’t. That’ll be changing soon, though. The band is reported to have a long-in-the-making new record ready to roll out in October, along with a world tour. Always shrewdly marketed, the group must realize that the commercial environment has changed radically in the eight years since its last release. Thus the lack of a traditional label. Instead, the new album — still untitled — will be coming out exclusively through Wal-Mart. Let there be rock, as the band once put it — by any means necessary.
Enjoy digging through The Loder Files? You’ll find more here, and there’s much more to come from the vaults — check back every Tuesday!