AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

photo courtesy Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert (cgrocker18@gmail.com)

By Steve Newton

Hardcore AC/DC fans and photographic rumour-spreaders Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert are at it again. The dynamic Vancouver duo–he has the camera, she has the pad–have shared another photo with Ear of Newt that furthers the idea that everybody’s fave hard-rock band is working on a new album.

The latest snap–taken by Slavens from longtime friend Lambert’s Gastown apartment–clearly shows a silver-haired, ponytailed Mike Fraser fiddling with his phone while former or current (nobody’s sure) AC/DC members Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd sit around clutching white mugs that could contain tea, mineral water, or that golden liquid Slash used to guzzle.

In case you didn’t know, Fraser is the superstar mixer, engineer, and producer who works out of the facility the trio’s gathered on the deck of, Warehouse Studio. He’s among “The Big Three” of Vancouver rock producers, the other two being the late Bruce Fairbairn (who died in his sleep of unknown causes in 1999), and Bob Rock (who moved to Hawaii years ago because he could). “Fraze” is known for his mixing work with such monster acts as Rush, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and Led Zeppelin, but he has also worn the producer’s hat for one of my all-time fave guitarists, Joe Satriani.

“Mike is really amazing,” Satch told me a couple of months ago. “I don’t think there’s anyone quite like him in the world. He has the perfect set of ears, and a real creative temperament. He has that incredible technical background and facility, but I think one of his best traits is that he can handle a room of crazy musicians, you know what I mean?”

Speaking of crazy musicians, Fraser has mixed and engineered several albums by AC/DC–including their last three right at Warehouse Studio–but who knows: maybe he’s been promoted to full-on producer this time around! How rockin’ would that be? Pretty rockin’ I reckon.

At this point the music world is abuzz with the rumour of AC/DC recording an album in Vancouver. As well as singer Johnson and drummer Rudd, both Youngs–lead-guitarist Angus and rhythm-guitarist Stevie–have been photographed at the studio, leaving every online source from Loudwire to New Musical Express to Ultimate Classic Rock to fall all over themselves wondering what’s actually happening–and who might be playing bass.

And don’t get me started on those maniacs over at acdcfans.net.

When I look at Slavens and Lambert’s latest candid snap, I like to imagine Johnson saying “Aw, give Cliff a call, what the fuck,” and Fraze replying: “Yeah, okay, I’ll give him a buzz.”

Special thanks to Glenn and Crystal–pictured above, in front of Warehouse Studio–for keeping the rumours afloat.

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11 responses to “AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

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