AC/DC is back with POWER UP. I talked to Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams. (Updated with video of the interview and a playlist.)

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

The future looked bleak for AC/DC. Singer Brian Johnson’s severe hearing issues forced him off the road, resulting in Axl Rose being drafted to finish some touring commitments. Rhythm guitarist, co-founder, and brother of Angus, Malcolm Young died as the result of dementia. Drummer Phil Rudd was in the wilderness dealing with some serious legal charges leading to house arrest. Had we seen the last of the Thunder from Down Under?

Thankfully, no. Six years after the last album, AC/DC returns Friday, Nov. 13, with POWER UP, with their 17th album and first since Rock or Bust in 2014. How did they manage to turn it around? I had a chance to Zoom with singer Brian Johnson from his home in Florida and bassist Cliff Williams in North Carolina.

Alan Cross: First of all, Brian, I’m glad you can hear me. What miracles did the doctors pull off?

Brian Johnson: It was technology. It was an amazing man who tried to get in touch with me to tell me about what he’s been working on. He came down and worked with me for a couple of years — Steven Ambrose is his name — and we worked for two years with him coming down every couple of months while trying to make this device he had miniaturized. We worked at it so it wouldn’t lose sound quality. Honestly, I’m very lucky he came along.

There’s a LOT more. Keep reading.

And the reviews of this album are very good.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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