Brian Johnson is crediting fans for sticking with AC/DC when their future looked to be in doubt.

He was forced to bow out during the band's Rock or Bust tour in 2016 as a result of hearing loss. At that point, leader Malcolm Young was nearing the end of a dementia battle that ended his career before the album cycle began, and drummer Phil Rudd had been ousted over legal issues. Bassist Cliff Williams then decided to retire.

With no clear future ahead, it seemed only Angus Young and nephew Stevie (who replaced Malcolm) were still around. Then the members met up at Malcolm’s funeral in 2017, and a new project was put in motion. The result, AC/DC’s Power Up, is likely to appear near the top of charts all over the world in the coming days.

“We knew we’d done a pretty good thing,” Johnson says in a new video message, which you can watch below. “We wanted to make Malcolm proud, and you’ve made us proud because we’ve made Malcolm proud – if you can get your head 'round that.” He added: “We’ve just had a wonderful time. … Four years ago, we were all but over, some people thought – but they forgot about the AC/DC fighting spirit.”

He asked followers to “stay tuned” for a new promotional clip, which would be recorded with the members in different locations as a result of coronavirus restrictions. “None of us have ever done this before, so it’s going to be brilliant, standing by yourself, miming to a microphone – because you know that we’re miming and we know that you know," Johnson said with a laugh. "Angus is going to be playing down in Sydney; Phil’s going to be whacking the drums in New Zealand. Cliff … might even come up to join me because he’s not too far down the road; and Stevie somewhere in England.”

Johnson said the excitement of Power Up’s release felt like “the first record I’ve ever brought out,” then accidentally listed Malcolm as a current member. “Malcolm,” he said to himself. “I can’t help it.”

Returning to the theme of thanking fans, Johnson added: “You stuck with us through thick and thin, and we’ll never forget it. We never will. And when this is all over, guys – when this crap is over – we want to see you in your hometown. We’ll try everything we can to get there, play for you live and play these great tunes.”

 

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