AC/DC's new album will feature riff ideas from late guitarist Malcolm Young

Malcolm Young
(Image credit: Engelke/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

We've witnessed several teasers for AC/DC's eagerly-awaited comeback album over the past week, including a snippet of a new track, Shot in the Dark. Now, the band's long-serving producer, Mike Fraser, has spoken to the AC/DCFans.Net Podcast, and revealed further details on the album.

PWR/UP – the apparent title of the LP – is the follow-up to 2014's Rock Or Bust, and will feature AC/DC's 2020 line-up of Brian Johnson (vocals), Phil Rudd (drums), Cliff Williams (bass), Angus Young (guitar) and Stevie Young (guitar).

And, according to Fraser, the band's late rhythm powerhouse, Malcolm Young, will also make his presence known, having contributed several song ideas to the new album before he passed away in November 2017.

On the topic of songwriting and recording for PWR/UP, Fraser revealed, "Angus came into this with a lot of ideas and riffs and not too many completed songs. But that was similar on Rock Or Bust. 'Cause him and Malcolm had written tons of songs before Mal got sick and eventually passed away."

"He's got a whole treasure trove of ideas and riffs. He probably spent a few years before we came in to do this record pooling ideas together, and then when he came into the studio here, he just sat down with a whole suitcase full of little demo things he had done."

A little over two years ago, Brian, Phil, Angus and Stevie were photographed outside Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, which led to speculation on the band's return.

Questioned on whether he thought AC/DC would make another album after Rock Or Bust, Fraser said: "At the end of the Rock Or Bust tour, I figured that was kind of gonna be it – they were gonna hang up their hats.

"They had done a tribute to Mal [late AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young], but it ended up kind of funny. So I didn't think they'd be back at it again. But Angus has got a lot of fire in his belly, and if he could possibly put it together again, he would have been the guy that did it. And he did."

Fraser also revealed that he was notified of the band's plans to make a new album around two weeks before the sessions in Vancouver were scheduled to commence.

"I remember I got the call for this record, but no detail," he said. "I had no idea, walking in the first day of the studio, what was gonna happen – who the personnel of the band would be. As far as I knew, Brian had retired, Cliff had retired, and with Phil and some of his problems he's had in his home country [of New Zealand]. So walking into the studio here in Vancouver the first day, I had no idea what was gonna happen."

"When I got there, none of the band had arrived yet, but a lot of their techs were there getting things moved into the studio and set up. And one of the guys said, 'Hey, you know what's going on?' And I said, 'I have no idea. I just know we're here and we're setting up.' 

"And he goes, 'Well, the whole band's here: Brian, Cliff, Phil and Stevie, and we're ready to rock another record.' So, man, it was such a shocking, awesome surprise. It was great."

As for a release date for the band's new album, that's yet to be revealed. Stay tuned, however, as we'll bring you the latest AC/DC news as it emerges.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.