AC/DC icon becomes different person when he puts on school uniform, but admits touring takes its toll at his age
Angus Young says it’s relatively easy to keep touring with at the age of 56, although life on the road does take its toll.
AC/DC completed a two-year world trek in June 2010, and are beginning to think about a follow-up to 2008 album Black Ice.
And the guitarist reveals the secret to pulling off his energetic show is his school uniform stage outfit.
Young tells the Toronto Sun: “I’m lucky – I’ve got a switch. I’ve got another persona: I put on the school suit and I become stronger, more powerful. Even my vision becomes better.
“But you do get these things that happen. On that tour I had a leg thing. It wasn’t a hamstring – the doctor said it was something like a tube. But it was affecting me more offstage. Once I went onstage it was fine.”
With the AC/DC’s 40th anniversary in two years time, the guitarist admits life on the road can be taxing. “After the tour I stayed in bed for about a week. But then I took the guitar down in the studio and started hammering away. I did a few jigsaw puzzles too – I got hooked on them.”
The band recently confirmed they’re starting work on a new album, and they’ll follow it up with a tour to rival the scale of their Black Ice show.
“It’s still early, but we’re hoping it comes quick. The only formula for when Malcolm and I write is: there’s no formula. Sometimes you have boxes and boxes of ideas. In our case we have rooms full of them. It’s just a matter of taking the best. And probably because we’re brothers we find it easy to say, ‘That’s good, that’s crap, that’s good,’ and so on.”
And Young warns against dismissing the playing ability of his brother Malcolm, who chooses to stick to rhythm duties in the band: “He’s the engine room, and what he does is unique. There are very few guitarists like Malcolm in the world, who say, ‘I just want to stand here and play a good rhythm.’
“Don’t underestimate him – he can do solos and do them well. In beginning when we used to play bars he and I would swap. Then he just said, ‘I’ll concentrate on the backing and you can do all the colourful stuff.’”
Singer Brian Johnson agrees with Young’s assessment: “There’s no imitating Malcolm. I’ve seen people try to play You Shook Me All Night Long or Highway to Hell, and these are good players – but they do it wrong. I don’t know what it is, and obviously, neither do they.”