Malcolm Young: "We were going to get a keyboard player, but I got Angus instead"

Malcolm Young
(Image credit: Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty)

A never-before-published interview with Malcolm Young from 2003 has recently been released by The Coda Collection, in which the late electric guitar legend and AC/DC founder takes a deep dive into the iconic rock band’s roots and his guitar-playing relationship with his brother, Angus.

The newly unearthed conversation was released alongside a whole host of AC/DC-related material, including seven hours of video footage documenting the Bon Scott and Brian Johnson eras, which are currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Also included in the comprehensive catalog are a handful of timelines and in-depth essays, which chart the band’s meteoric rise from outback rockers to one of the most formidable bands in rock ‘n’ roll history.

Notable highlights from Young’s previously unpublished interview include a discussion of his musical relationship with his brother Angus, of which Malcolm revealed, “It was never a brotherly squabble.

“I was more into the chord thing, the complete song, rather than the individual part. I was glad in a way, because I was more of a melodic player. Angus was more into the rock world,” he said. “Straight away I said, ‘This is great.’ There was never any question. I thought, ‘Angus, it’s pointless for me to play solos.’ We just wanted to do good as a band.”

Malcolm Young

(Image credit: Bob King/Redferns/Getty Images)

When asked whether he had heard about the rock 'n' roll trope of brothers in bands falling out, Young replied, "We do suffer a bit of that. It's not that dramatic. We have our moments. That's what we do, knowing each other all our lives.

"Brothers do fight, but there is a closeness too. Within the band, a little bit of aggro rears its ugly head. But it's certainly not a problem for AC/DC," he continued. "During the making of the albums it's the worst, because everyone is a bit under pressure. You're in a confined area and things happen."

Young also took the time to discuss how the axe-slinging siblings originally joined forces, recalling, “It just happened at one point when I was putting together a band. We were going to get a keyboard player, but I got Angus instead.

I was more into the chord thing, the complete song, rather than the individual part. Angus was more into the rock world

“We never really played together. I was more into the Beatles and Stones, and Angus was more into the heavier stuff, Hendrix and Cream, with the lead guitar. I used to listen to songs as songs. I tended to pick up on the chords, the whole picture around the guitar. 

“I said, ‘Come down tomorrow and have a bash.’ We were going to play rock ‘n’ roll, it was simple as that. When Angus came in, it was a big piece.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Young touches on how he was heavily influenced by blues music in his early years, and discusses how the band's live career blossomed from "rowdy, made, brawling Aussie" clubs.

Head over to The Coda Collection to read the conversation in full and to explore the full list of AC/DC-related titles currently available in the catalog. 

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.