AC/DC singer Brian Johnson has shot down reports that the band is retiring, telling U.K.'s Telegraph that the band is about to begin work on its 16th studio album. "We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver," he said. "We're going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we'll record it."
Johnson also confirmed that one member of the band — believed to be rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, the older brother of lead guitarist Angus Young — has been suffering from ill health, but denied that this will result in the group's demise.
"I wouldn't like to say anything either way about the future," he said. "I'm not ruling anything out. One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don't want to say too much about it. He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We've been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much."
Johnson told a Florida radio station in February that AC/DC is planning to embark on a 40th-anniversary tour involving 40 concerts in 40 different venues. "That would be a wonderful way to say bye bye," said Johnson. "We would love to do it. But it's all up in the air at the moment.
"AC/DC is such a tight family. We've stuck to our guns through the Eighties and Nineties when people were saying we should change our clothes and our style. But we didn't and people got it that we are the real deal."
Asked about the prospect of retiring one day, Johnson previously told The Pulse Of Radio that he would know when the time had come. "You know, retirement is like anything," he said. "A good football or a good ice hockey player, they don't want to retire. But unfortunately, sometimes there's a time when you have to call it quits. I don't want to do it, and if we can get out another album and do another little short tour or something, and have a bit of fun, well. I'm your man. I'll be right there."
AC/DC's last album was 2008's "Black Ice", one of the group's most successful later albums, which was followed by a nearly two-year world tour.