Legendary Anglo-Australian hard rockers AC/DC have completed work on their new studio album, due later in the year. The group's lead singer Brian Johnson revealed to TeamRock Radio earlier today that he and his bandmates have toyed with the idea of calling the CD "Man Down" in reference to guitarist Malcolm Young's health problems which have forced him to take a break from AC/DC.
AC/DC's new effort was laid down over a series of recording sessions with producer Brendan O'Brien in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. "It was brilliant over there," Johnson said.
"We're done. I'm very excited and we've got some great songs.
"I wanted to call the album 'Man Down'. But it's a bit negative and it was probably just straight from the heart. I like that."
AC/DC in April confirmed widespread reports that Malcolm Young was stepping down due to an undisclosed illness, with some outlets reporting that he suffered a stroke. The group has since enlisted Stevie Young, the nephew of guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, to take Malcolm's place in the band for the recording sessions for their 16th studio album. Stevie Young played with AC/DC once before during a 1988 tour, while Malcolm stepped out to deal with his dependency on alcohol.
"We miss Malcolm, obviously," Johnson told TeamRock Radio. "He's a fighter. He's in hospital, but he's a fighter. We've got our fingers crossed that he'll get strong again.
"Stevie, Malcolm's nephew, was magnificent, but when you're recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn't well, it's difficult. But I'm sure he was rooting for us. He's such a strong man. He's a small guy, but he's very strong. He's proud and he's very private, so we can't say too much. But fingers crossed, he'll be back."
Johnson made his comments while he was being recognized at Northumbria University, Newcastle, England. He received an honorary doctorate during Northumbria's July graduation ceremonies alongside students graduating from Engineering and Environment degree program (see photos below).
Johnson last month said that AC/DC is "very likely" to tour before the end of the year.
The band was at one point expected to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year by playing 40 shows in selected cities around the world, which have not yet been announced.