Dee Snider says his friend Brian Johnson has told him there are “some surprises” on AC/DC’s new album in relation to the late-great Malcolm Young.
The former Twisted Sister frontman appeared on SiriusXM's Trunk Nation recently to promote a petition he’s endorsing for AC/DC to play the Super Bowl halftime show in 2021.
Naturally, the conversation shifted to AC/DC’s new studio album and Dee confirmed that Brian Johnson had told him “a lot of stuff” about the eagerly awaited follow-up to 2014’s ‘Rock or Bust’.
"I had dinner with Brian recently, and we talked about (AC/DC’s return to the fold)”, Dee confirmed (via Blabbermouth).
Dee Snider © PA Images
“He told me a lot of stuff, and a lot of stuff that I don't wanna say. But we know from the photos, and Brian confirmed it, they've been in the studio, they've been recording.
“The original — I don't say the 'original' guys, because a lot of them are gone, but I say the 'classic' line-up is back together and there are some surprises, which I can't talk about, regarding Malcolm Young that just had my jaw on the floor. I will say he will be present.
“So, this is AC/DC as we know and love them."
Dee Snider’s comments seem to confirm a report by JAM Magazine in August 2018, which said that AC/DC’s new album will be dedicated to the memory of Malcolm Young and feature his distinctive guitar playing.
JAM claimed that Malcolm’s guitar parts originate from a recording session five years before AC/DC’s 2008 album ‘Black Ice’ when he and brother Angus laid down hundreds of songs.
Speculation about a new AC/DC album first erupted in the summer of 2018 when photos emerged online that depicted Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd and engineer Mike Fraser outside Vancouver’s Warehouse Studios where Stevie and Angus Young were also spotted that week.
Early last year, the band Terrorizer said that Brian Johnson told them he was back with AC/DC when they bumped into him at an airport.
Terrorizer wrote on Monday 28th January 2019: “We ran into Brian Johnson from AC/DC at the airport today after the flight home and we asked him about the rumours of him being on the new AC/DC album and he said 'yes' and that he is 'sick of denying it.' So that was a cool surprise ending to the tour."
Brian, of course, was replaced by Axl Rose for the final European and North American dates of AC/DC’s Rock or Bust World Tour in 2016 after doctors told him to quit performing live or risk total hearing loss.
Brian Johnson and Angus Young in 2016 © Getty
Phil Rudd was replaced by Chris Slade in 2015 due to his ongoing legal quagmire and subsequent house arrest.
In February 2018, Brian reflected upon his 36-year tenure with AC/DC, saying: “On stage, it was getting harder and harder to hear the guitars, even hear the keys, and I was basically going on muscle memory. And I’m not the kind of guy who likes to cheat. The way I look at it, I had a great run.”
AC/DC are yet to make any official comment on their new album or rumoured tours.