Angus Young: “I can still feel Malcolm communicating to me when I’m playing guitar”

Guitarist Angus Young performs onstage during the AC/DC Rock Or Bust Tour at Madison Square Garden on September 14, 2016 in New York City.
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Aussie rock legends AC/DC are currently gearing up to release new album, Power Up, which features 12 new tracks co-written by the band’s late rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young. Now, in a new interview with the band, Angus Young has reflected on his connection with his departed brother.

“His death was a huge blow to us,” Angus told NME (opens in new tab). “But I still think he’s there when I’m playing. It sounds funny, but I can still feel him communicating to me when I’m playing guitar.”

In the interview, Young goes on to detail his final visits to his brother, and how guitar continued to unite the pair right up until Malcolm’s passing on November 18, 2017.

“I’d play him a bit of guitar, and he was happy whenever we were doing that,” Angus recalls. “One of the last records I ever played him was The Rolling Stones when they were doing a lot of old blues tracks [2016’s Blue & Lonesome], and he just thought it was great.”

During the conversation, returning frontman Brian Johnson also reveals he has lofty aspirations for the album – and its impact on guitar sales.

“Instead of looking at dancers on TikTok, I’m hoping this album will make young kids go out and buy a guitar, learn the riffs and discover the rest of our catalogue,” he says.

“It would just be great to get more young rock bands out there, writing their own songs and getting up there on stage.”

Last week, Angus Young revealed why his brother’s playing doesn’t feature on the new album, with his parts instead performed by Mal’s nephew, Stevie Young.

“I know a lot of people have been saying, ‘Did Malcolm actually play – is it his instrument on the new album?’” Angus said. “I chose not to do that because I felt Malcolm himself wouldn’t like me trying to splice his guitar work.”

Power Up is available on November 13, and available to preorder now (opens in new tab).

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).