Phil Collen: AC/DC Loses Integrity, ‘Becomes Something Else’ if Band Continues
AC/DC went through the biggest turnover of their career during the Rock or Bust album cycle, starting with Malcolm Young's exit prior to recording, Phil Rudd's exit ahead of touring due to legal issues and singer Brian Johnson's hearing woes forcing him out of action during touring. The band, however, did quite well adapting to the various circumstances and there has been speculation on whether or not guitarist Angus Young, the lone founding member, will continue under the AC/DC name with the revamped lineup.
Both journalist Murray Engleheart and Rose Tattoo vocalist Angry Anderson have shared insight which suggests that Young is intending to continue with Axl Rose fronting the band. The Guns N' Roses vocalist received rave reviews after stepping in for Johnson on tour. But with Cliff Williams retiring at the end of the Rock or Bust cycle, Young remains the lone tie to the most consistent lineup of the band.
The question of AC/DC's future has been a polarizing one for fans of the band, with Def Leppard's Phil Collen weighing in on the topic as well during a recent appearance on Boise's 96.9 The Eagle radio station. Collen falls on the side of the band stopping or at least renaming the project out of deference to the work they've already done.
"I'm a huge AC/DC fan, and if the whole band's left or gone... Malcolm dead, obviously. Brian Johnson got kicked out. Cliff Williams retired and Phil Rudd got arrested. You've got one person [left], so it's not really AC/DC," says Collen. "Maybe call it 'A, WITH AXL ROSE.' It kind of loses its appeal. It becomes karaoke; it becomes something else, and it's lost its integrity, really."
Collen says he felt Rose did a great job filling in, but adds that he wouldn't continue to release music as AC/DC if he were Young. "I thought [Axl did] amazing when he stood in for Brian Johnson," says the guitarist. "I thought he was amazing, actually. Full power to him — he's done really, really good stuff. But I think as a band, if he was gonna do an album, it may sound good, but it's not really the band anymore."
Despite the speculation of those close to the band, Angus Young has yet to comment on the band's future.
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