AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams honestly felt retirement was the only path forward for him until he got his second wind playing again with the hard rock giants. During a chat with Bass Player magazine he recalled, “I spoke to Angus (Young) on the Rock Or Bust tour — I said that I felt that I was done. It was my time, I guess. Phil (Rudd) had done the recording and then never did come on the road with us. He had his issues, and that’s that, y’know, so we had Chris Slade come in to replace Phil. And then, of course, we had that terrible thing with Brian (Johnston). He really needed to stop, so Axl (Rose) came in and did a bang-up job (singing on the road) — God bless him — and got us through to the end of it.” He explained that although the band was suffering with having three men down — including late-guitarist Malcolm Young then suffering from dementia, they needed to rally to finish the 2014 album’s cycle: “As Angus said, you can’t have a tour called Rock Or Bust and (then go) bust, so we wanted to finish it, which we did. And then that was it — we all went home and I was pretty much done. But Angus and Sony reached out a couple of years ago, asking if we would have any interest in getting together to do an album with Malcolm in mind.”

The band’s new chart-topping set, Power Up, is based on unheard riffs and songs written by Angus and Malcolm Young over the years. Williams recalled Malcolm as being, “a real strong character, like his brother. He wrote some awesome stuff and he was an unbelievable player to play with. A solid guy, a totally solid guy. We were talking about this the other day — it’s like he’s still there. Not being soppy and hippie about it, but it’s a feeling that we all have, so hopefully he’s looking down and liking it.”

Williams added that he was eager to play a new shows in support of the new album once the pandemic allows, although he fell short of committing to a full tour.

FAST FACTS

  • In addition to topping the Billboard 200 albums chart in the U.S., AC/DC‘s latest album Power Up has hit Number One in 21 other countries.
  • AC/DC’s previous studio set, 2014’s Rock Or Bust, topped out at Number Three in the U.S.
  • The band’s last U.S. Number One was 2008’s Black Ice.

CHECK IT OUT: AC/DC’s 2021 video for “Realize”: