Speaking in a new interview, the guitarist discussed some of the influences that helped shaped some of AC/DC’s earlier albums.
“The thing is a lot of what goes in those albums, when we were younger, that’s where a lot of it all goes back to, at that point — like when I was an early teenager; 13 or 14,” Young told Tiny TV. “Music excited me, still at that age.”
He continued: “And I think back, in my time, what I liked music-wise, I had to wait up all night. I would be there all night, and then at about two o’clock in the morning, there was a man on the radio, and he would play rock music of this time. He was an American man. And I had a little radio, and I would sit there in my bed and wake up just for this guy. And there I was. And he would bang out the latest stuff.
“I heard [Jimi] Hendrix on there, I heard Cream — people like this. And later on, you started to get your [Led] Zeppelins and bands like this. And especially when Jimi Hendrix, when I heard ‘Purple Haze’, boy, that was it. I was so excited. And then I thought, ‘How am I gonna find out about Jimi Hendrix?’ I was out walking anywhere. I went up to a magazine store, and I’m trying to look if they’ve got a magazine from England, ’cause I knew he was in London. And I found a little picture of this guy with a guitar, and I was going, ‘Wow! I wanna look that cool.'”
Elsewhere during the chat, Young explained that his goal with AC/DC’s new albums and live shows is to channel the same feeling he had as a child when discovering rock music for the first time.
“I’m just trying to give you the excitement of that time,” he said. “I refer to that my whole life; I still think that. When I get on a stage, it’s the same thing. I get on a stage and I play, I’m playing to the new kid who’s 13 [or] 14 who’s never seen me before. And I go, ‘Okay, a lot of these older ones out there, they’ve seen me before. They know what you’re about. But that new kid, he’s not seen me before.’ And I’m going, ‘I’m gonna impress him. I’m gonna play for him.’ And it pumps you up. That’s all I need to do. I see some younger faces, and I go, ‘Here I come.'”
AC/DC released their comeback album ‘Power Up’ last week. In a four-star review, NME’s Nick Reilly said of the band’s 17th album: “After 50 years in the game, the band don’t reinvent the wheel – when they basically created it, why would they? – but their timely comeback is a hell of a ride.”