Watch Anthrax's Scott Ian Discuss the "Magic" of Malcolm Young, Play His Favorite AC/DC Riffs

Anthrax’s Scott Ian recently sat down with Gretsch Guitars to discuss his love for AC/DC, and specifically their late rhythm guitarist and co-founder Malcolm Young.

“Malcolm’s always been my hero since day one, because he basically taught me how to play guitar,” Ian says in the accompanying video.

“As a kid with AC/DC vinyl albums in my little bedroom on a turntable I just used to sit and figure out how to play their songs. And it was all Malcolm. So I was learning how to play specifically by listening to what he was doing. He was my guitar teacher.”

As for what he loves about Malcolm’s guitar style, Ian says, “The way he played, the economy and the percussiveness of his playing, his right hand and his left hand together were just so perfectly in sync at all times. And making it seem effortless.

“AC/DC always sounds real simple,” Ian continues. “People think, Oh, that sounds easy. Oh, it’s just a couple of chords. But try playing it right. That’s my challenge to everybody all the time. That’s why there’s only one Malcolm and there’s only one AC/DC. Because only they can do that.”

Throughout the interview, Ian can be seen holding Gretsch’s new G6131-MY Malcolm Young Signature Jet, a replica of the guitar Malcolm used for the majority of his career with AC/DC. In between comments, Ian tears off Malcolm licks from AC/DC songs like “Beating Around the Bush,” “Girls Got Rhythm,” Back in Black” and others.

He comments about the new Signature model Jet: “I’ve read a little bit about [Malcolm] basically ‘Frankenstein-ing’ the one that he was given and turning it into his own… Pulling the pickups out and experimenting. He decided to make it his own. It became an icon. It’s just one of the most iconic guitars since rock and roll was born.”

You can check out the full video below.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.