A 2003 Malcolm Young interview has surfaced, and in it, the AC/DC co-founder doesn’t mince any words pertaining to the band’s first vocalist, Dave Evans.
The interview was conducted by journalist Greg Kot and was recently published by The Coda Collection. Evans came up when Malcolm was asked how Bon Scott fit in with him and his brother, Angus.
“Bon basically took charge, to be honest,” said Malcolm. “He was older and he’d been around in another band. He was the man of experience. We’d written one or two songs, and he encouraged us to write more. He’d say, ‘I’ve got an idea about that motherf—ing wife I’ve left: ‘She’s Got Balls.'”
Malcolm continued, “We’d already written some tracks, but when he came in, we had the voice of experience. We kept our ears wide open. He pushed us a little further. The first singer [Dave Evans], people cheered when he left, so we could jam. He was so bad. Bon was in a week later. He had songs, ideas, motivation. He’s serious. We were happy to be with someone like that. We were just happy to be playing. He had bigger plans.”
In the same interview, Malcolm also detailed the production difference between working with Harry Vanda and his brother, George Young, compared to “Mutt” Lange.
“It was certainly different. Vanda-Young was basically performance-based. Do what we do on stage in the studio. That’s what they wanted on the record,” said Malcolm. “They got off on the vibe, the good rocking thing. The shaking, the rocking, that’s what George and Harry wanted. If the guitar went out of tune here and there, we’d leave it if it felt good. They wanted that excitement to come across.”
He added, “Mutt was more about sound. He had great ears. He wanted it pristine. That was a different world in a way. On the production side he was great, the arrangements. He liked the rock ‘n’ roll vibe, but his style was different. Both styles worked for us.”
When asked whether Lange’s producing style led to more recording takes, Malcolm said, “I wouldn’t say that. It’s really up to the band to get it rocking. When we recorded with George and Harry, it was get in for a couple of days, the gear would be set up. They’d get it close enough to right, and we’d go for it. With Mutt, we sat around for days just waiting while Mutt got the drums right. George and Harry come from the rock ‘n’ roll era, Little Richard. A rattling old drum kit can sound good with that.”
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