Steve Vai says that "it would be fantastic" if AC/DC made a new studio album with Axl Rose on vocals, explaining that the legendary hard rock outfit "can't make any mistakes."
Ever since AC/DC completed the tour cycle for its 2014 album "Rock Or Bust" nearly two years ago — a turbulent trek that weathered the forced retirement and eventual death of co-founder Malcolm Young, plus the departures of longtime singer Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams — fans have wondered whether sole founding member Angus Young would keep the band going or decide it was time for AC/DC to pack it in.
Singer Angry Anderson of the veteran Australian act ROSE TATTOO said in a recent interview with The Rockpit that Angus told him he is at work on new AC/DC music and intends to have GUNS N' ROSES frontman Axl Rose — who took Johnson's place on the road in 2016 — sing on the LP.
Asked in a recent interview with Eric Blair of "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" if Angus should record a new AC/DC album with Axl, Vai said (see video below): "I think that'd be fantastic. Don't you? I mean, AC/DC can't make any mistakes; they're perfect. [Laughs] And Axl is one of the quintessential frontmen, and he's also an incredible singer."
Vai added that he heard from GUNS N' ROSES' "Appetite For Destruction"-era producer Mike Clink that Rose was a breeze to work with in the studio.
"He said Axl would just come in and nail it first take," the guitarist said. "There's so much connectedness in the way he sings, I think that'd be fantastic."
Vai's stance on a hypothetical new AC/DC LP with Axl was diametrically opposed to that of DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen, who told Boise, Idaho radio station 96.9 The Eagle that Angus should resist the notion of recording new material with the GUNS N' ROSES singer. Collen said: "I'm a huge AC/DC fan, and if the whole band's left or gone… it's not really AC/DC... It kind of loses its appeal. It becomes karaoke; it becomes something else, and it's lost its integrity, really. I thought Axl Rose [did] a great job [on tour], by the way. I thought he [did] amazing when he stood in for Brian Johnson... 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."
Johnson was forced to leave AC/DC mid-tour due to a dangerous level of hearing loss, while Rudd was dismissed following a drug arrest and Williams decided to retire at the end of the cycle.
Malcolm Young was diagnosed with dementia several years ago and bowed out before the sessions for "Rock Or Bust" began. He died this past November.
Angus has not said publicly what he has planned for the future of AC/DC. Axl is still touring with GUNS N' ROSES but has indicated a willingness to work with AC/DC again. It is also unknown whether Angus will keep the other members of the last touring lineup — including guitarist Stevie Young and drummer Chris Slade — or revamp the roster again.