Angus Young Talks Hiring Axl Rose: ‘It Was a Crisis … We Had to Act’
Shortly after sitting for an interview with the BBC to talk about Axl Rose filling in as AC/DC's singer for the band's upcoming tour dates, Rose and Angus Young offered further behind-the-scenes details regarding the switch in a talk with NME.
Asked whether the band considered enlisting a group of guest vocalists to fill in after singer Brian Johnson was forced to bow out due to hearing issues, Young insisted the members of AC/DC were caught flat-footed by Johnson's departure — a loss he described as "a crisis."
"We had to act. We were in Miami at the time, when all of this came up, and unfortunately, when you’re in that situation you got to make decisions pretty quick, because there are a lot of people waiting," said Young. "We were supposed to actually play in Atlanta, so you’re kind of going ‘what do we do now.' Because of the nature of Brian’s deafness, we knew that there was no easy fix. So you’ve got to then say, ‘What do we do here?’ The options were very limited and you think, if we just stop with all of this machinery it’s going to be a hell of a lot of legal entanglement."
"That, and the fans, and not wanting the band to have to go through that," added Rose, understatedly quipping, "I've gone through a little bit of that at times."
Young was typically guarded when it came to talk of the band's future — and Rose begged off the question almost entirely, saying, "Whatever they’re doing with Brian, that’s not my place to talk, that’s their business." That said, Rose joked that he didn't want anyone else behind the mic: "Anybody else, I will slowly poison them."
Both Rose and Young touched fairly gracefully on the subject of the thousands of fans who've reportedly requested ticket refunds, with Young simply promising that they'll "miss a great night out" and Rose adding, "I miss them already, and I don’t even know them." Rose downplayed his contributions overall, allowing that, while he's had what he feels are good rehearsals, you never know what's going to happen on the stage.
"They play really loud, they have their way of working and you never know if you’re going to blend," he admitted. "But it started out pretty good, and its gradually gotten better. I’m hoping to make it through the first show before I get fired!"
AC/DC Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide