Def Leppard’s Phil Collen thinks AC/DC have “lost their integrity” after line-up changes

The guitarist thinks Angus Young shouldn't make a new AC/DC album with Axl Rose

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen thinks that AC/DC have lost their integrity due to their line-up changes.

Axl Rose joined the classic rock band in 2016 after previous frontman Brian Johnson was forced to retire from performing after suffering from hearing loss.

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Rose played with the band until 2014, when it was announced that he’d be retiring permanently due to the onset of dementia. He sadly died at the age of 64 in November.


Drummer Phil Rudd also left the band in 2015, while bassist Cliff Williams left in 2016. Angus Young remains the only original member.

In February, AC/DC biographer Murray Engleheart claimed that the recent partnership between Rose and Angus Young is set to continue. In a Facebook post, he wrote:

“Speculate all you want but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: AC/DC will continue with Axl on vocals – new album, touring, the whole nine yards. What was a massive gamble by Angus turned out to be an equally enormous triumph that has set the scene for the future.”

Now, in a new interview with Forrest of the Boise radio station 96.9 The Eagle, Collen was asked about the potential new album and whether he thought it was a good idea for the future of AC/DC.

“No. 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. 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.


“I wouldn’t do that, personally, if I was Angus. I thought Axl Rose [did] a great job, by the way. I thought he [did] amazing when he stood in for Brian Johnson. 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.”

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