That time Mike Fraser told me what it was like recording AC/DC without Malcolm Young

By Steve Newton There were a lot of rumours in the past couple years–some started by yours truly–about AC/DC making a new album in Vancouver with Mike Fraser. And those rumours were proven true with the release in November 2020 of Power Up. The band’s previous album, 2014’s Rock or Bust, was the first one … Continue reading That time Mike Fraser told me what it was like recording AC/DC without Malcolm Young

That time I asked AC/DC which songs they most liked doing live and Malcolm Young said it was all about the kids

By Steve Newton Okay, this is probably the last audio excerpt I’m gonna post from that old interview I did with AC/DC back in ’83, at the start of the Flick of the Switch tour. It’s from when I was interviewing Malcolm, Brian, and new drummer Simon Wright, and I asked them which songs they … Continue reading That time I asked AC/DC which songs they most liked doing live and Malcolm Young said it was all about the kids

That time I asked Malcolm Young if AC/DC were from Australia and he politely set me straight

By Steve Newton Here’s one of my favourite audio excerpts from my interview with Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson, and new AC/DC drummer Simon Wright back in 1983. At one point in the conversation–which took place on a Vancouver hotel-room floor where the lads were sipping tea and smokin’ ciggies–I asked about the Australian music scene, … Continue reading That time I asked Malcolm Young if AC/DC were from Australia and he politely set me straight

That time I asked AC/DC’s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson what their fave tunes were on the new Flick of the Switch album

By Steve Newton I’ve been reading Mick Wall’s 2012 book about AC/DC, Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be, and today I got to the part about the band recording 1983’s Flick of the Switch, which the author reckons is AC/DC’s worst album ever. I will admit it’s no Powerage, but hey–the title track is … Continue reading That time I asked AC/DC’s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson what their fave tunes were on the new Flick of the Switch album

AC/DC-in-Vancouver news-breaker talks recording rumours, the Warehouse connection, and the magic of Malcolm Young

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed hundreds of rock musicians over the past 35 years, but I’ve only been interviewed myself a few times–most of those discussions taking place earlier this year when local Tragically Hip fans like Jody Vance and Drex wanted to know about the book I’d just written about Gord Downie. But I was on … Continue reading AC/DC-in-Vancouver news-breaker talks recording rumours, the Warehouse connection, and the magic of Malcolm Young

Malcolm Young: the five best quotes I ever got from AC/DC’s rhythm master

By Steve Newton The hard-rock world lost one of its most beloved artists on November 18, 2017, when AC/DC rhythm-guitarist Malcolm Young passed away at the age of 64. Ill health had forced him to leave the band in 2014, and to be confined to a nursing home, where he suffered from dementia. I only met … Continue reading Malcolm Young: the five best quotes I ever got from AC/DC’s rhythm master

That time back in 1983 when Malcolm Young told me that AC/DC like their videos “raw and basic”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed some of the guys from AC/DC back in ’83, on the eve of the Flick of the Switch tour, I asked them which groups they liked listening to in their spare time. Both Brian Johnson and Malcolm Young mentioned ZZ Top. “I just like their attitude and all ya … Continue reading That time back in 1983 when Malcolm Young told me that AC/DC like their videos “raw and basic”

That time Malcolm Young told me what inspired AC/DC’s “Bedlam in Belgium” and how “music tames the beast”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson at their Vancouver hotel room in 1983 it was less than two months since the release of AC/DC‘s eighth internationally released studio album, Flick of the Switch. One of the more intriguing tracks on the LP, the third one to feature Johnson on vocals, was “Bedlam … Continue reading That time Malcolm Young told me what inspired AC/DC’s “Bedlam in Belgium” and how “music tames the beast”

That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that his biggest influences were “the old rockers” and early Clapton

By Steve Newton I love listening to these old soundbites of me hangin’ out with AC/DC‘s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson at a Vancouver hotel room, sippin’ tea and chattin’ it up. The vast majority of interviews I’ve done since getting into the music-writing game back in ’82 with Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper have been done … Continue reading That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that his biggest influences were “the old rockers” and early Clapton

That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that he just “tinkles” on lead guitar: “You can’t outdo Angus”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed AC/DC‘s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson back in 1983 I asked Malcolm if he ever had a hankering to step out and play a lead-guitar solo once in a while. As expected, his response was along the lines of, “Why bother when you’ve got a guy like Angus around?” … Continue reading That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that he just “tinkles” on lead guitar: “You can’t outdo Angus”

Hangin’ with AC/DC on the Flick of the Switch tour while Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson talk Bon Scott

By Steve Newton I guess one of the cooler in-person interviews I’ve ever done was that time back in October of ’83 when I hung out with three members of AC/DC–singer Brian Johnson, rhythm-guitarist Malcolm Young, and then-new drummer Simon Wright–at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. The Aussie earbusters were in town to launch … Continue reading Hangin’ with AC/DC on the Flick of the Switch tour while Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson talk Bon Scott

That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that Angus’s schoolboy outfit was first meant as a “kick in the teeth”

By Steve Newton Back in ’83 when I interviewed AC/DC at a Vancouver hotel before the start of the Flick of the Switch tour I asked Malcolm Young whether Angus, as a kid, ever had to wear that schoolboy outfit he’s famous for. Turns out it was just a way to get attention more than … Continue reading That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that Angus’s schoolboy outfit was first meant as a “kick in the teeth”

That time Brian Johnson joked about going deaf and Malcolm Young said that AC/DC’s fans get the real volume

By Steve Newton The biggest news in the hard-rock world back in 2016 revolved around AC/DC having to hire Axl Rose to take the place of Brian Johnson for the remainder of its Rock or Bust World Tour. Johnson, the band’s singer since replacing Bon Scott in 1980, had to leave the band–or got tossed … Continue reading That time Brian Johnson joked about going deaf and Malcolm Young said that AC/DC’s fans get the real volume

Malcolm Young calls Powerage his favourite AC/DC album backstage in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 26, 2001 By Steve Newton There are three things that are inevitable in this world: death, taxes, and a ringing in your ears after seeing AC/DC. As I write this review, it’s been two hours since the Aussie blues-metallists left the Coliseum stage in a flurry of golden … Continue reading Malcolm Young calls Powerage his favourite AC/DC album backstage in Vancouver

Will the new AC/DC album rock, or will it be a bust without Malcolm Young?

Blues-metal legends AC/DC announced today that they will release a new album, titled Rock or Bust, on December 2. The 11-track disc was recorded right here in Vancouver last spring, with Brendan O’Brien producing and Langley’s Mike Fraser mixing. As reported here in July, the new AC/DC disc will be the first one in the band’s illustrious career to … Continue reading Will the new AC/DC album rock, or will it be a bust without Malcolm Young?

Sipping tea with AC/DC’s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson before the launch of the Flick of the Switch world tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 28, 1983 By Steve Newton The day before their October 11 concert at the Pacific Coliseum I journeyed downtown to the posh Four Seasons Hotel to meet with three of the five members of AC/DC–the loudest, raunchiest, and most popular heavy-metal band in the world. Now I wasn’t … Continue reading Sipping tea with AC/DC’s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson before the launch of the Flick of the Switch world tour

Backstage at AC/DC with Angus Young, Scotty Bad, and my autographed copy of Powerage, Malcolm’s fave

  By Steve Newton Holy crap is Angus Young tiny! Hey, sorry about that outburst. It’s just that whenever I spy this backstage snap from 2001 I can’t help but think that I’m literally twice the size of him–width-wise, anyway. Me and my buddy Scotty Bad–aka Mr. Big, Mr. Bigglesworth, Chucklebunch, whatever I feel like … Continue reading Backstage at AC/DC with Angus Young, Scotty Bad, and my autographed copy of Powerage, Malcolm’s fave

That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

By Steve Newton I like Pearl Jam a lot. And I really love Neil Young. So when those two got together for the Mirror Ball album back in 1995 I was in hog heaven. I would listen to my favourite track, “I’m the Ocean”, over and over again. When I interviewed Pearl Jam guitarist Mike … Continue reading That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

By Steve Newton Back in 1990 I did the first of my eight interviews with American guitar wizard Joe Satriani. At the time Satch was touring behind his Flying in a Blue Dream album, which is one fine batch of tunes. At one point in the conversation I asked him about a quote in Kerrang! … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

By Steve Newton The first time I ever saw Grace Potter perform live I was blown away. Her band the Nocturnals opened for Gov’t Mule in Vancouver, and she joined the Mule on a killer version of “Honky Tonk Women”, displaying a whole lotta soul. A couple months later, in January of 2008, I interviewed … Continue reading That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

That time a drunk Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks sang me a bit of “All the Young Dudes”

By Steve Newton Back in February of 1984, 10 months before a drunk-driving Vince Neil killed Razzle, I interviewed Hanoi Rocks’ lead guitarist/main songwriter Andy McCoy and bassist Sami Yaffa. They were both pretty wasted, and shouldn’t have been doing interviews, but at one point in the conversation McCoy proved he was at least sober … Continue reading That time a drunk Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks sang me a bit of “All the Young Dudes”

AC/DC exclusive: Angus Young lights up nephew Stevie at the Warehouse in Vancouver

photo courtesy Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert (cgrocker18@gmail.com) By Steve Newton Alright, I’m starting to feel a tad guilty now, posting all these candid AC/DC photos. Actually, it’s only been two now–the first one being yesterday’s rumour-busting shot of Phil Rudd and Brian Johnson yukking it up on the patio deck at Vancouver’s Warehouse Studio. … Continue reading AC/DC exclusive: Angus Young lights up nephew Stevie at the Warehouse in Vancouver

That time Robert Plant assured me “young girls still whimper as I walk past”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Robert Plant back in 1993 he was in the midst of a world tour supporting his new album Fate of Nations. I asked the 45-year-old rock god whether it had gotten easier or harder to keep up the pace of touring over the years, and he said it was … Continue reading That time Robert Plant assured me “young girls still whimper as I walk past”

AC/DC dropped fake American dollar bills on its fans during the 1990-’91 Razors Edge world tour, and I’ve still got mine

By Steve Newton It’s not too often you take home a free souvenir from an AC/DC concert. Most likely you’ll be dropping $40 for a t-shirt, $25 for a tour program, and maybe seven or eight bucks for a “Have a Drink on Me” shotglass or a “Highway to Hell” keychain. Mind you, if you’re … Continue reading AC/DC dropped fake American dollar bills on its fans during the 1990-’91 Razors Edge world tour, and I’ve still got mine

That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill on September 19, 2003, exactly one month after the release of the band’s debut album, Youth and Young Manhood. Exactly five years after that–on September 19, 2008–the band released its fourth album, Only by the Night, which spawned the hit single “Sex on Fire” … Continue reading That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

That time I asked Leslie West if he was excited to hook up with Jack Bruce in West, Bruce & Laing

By Steve Newton Most of the music news regarding the passing last month of guitar legend Leslie West has focused on his work with Mountain, and justifiably so, since that band recorded timeless tracks like “Mississippi Queen” and “Nantucket Sleighride” and “Theme for an Imaginary Western”. But after Mountain produced those gems West and Mountain … Continue reading That time I asked Leslie West if he was excited to hook up with Jack Bruce in West, Bruce & Laing

That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Todd Kerns a few times, because he’s one of my favourite Canadian rockers. A few years ago I actually dubbed him “The Rockingest Canadian Bass Player of the 21st Century,” partly because of his unwavering enthusiasm on stage. The title didn’t really catch on in the media, but I stand … Continue reading That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time