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Axl, Angus & Cliff New Interview By BBC & NME In Lisbon

May 6, 2016

Breaking out a two-month-long silence over the issue, Angus, Cliff & Axl, in his first interview in 5 years, talked to Matt Everitt from BBC6 yesterday May 5th in Lisbon, clarifying the circumstances of Brian's withdrawal from the tour and what lead to Axl joining AC/DC as lead singer for the remaining 22 dates of the "Rock Or Bust" Tour.

The band also gave an interview to the NME, read the full interview on their website.

Some excerpts of these interviews:

Angus: "In his heart he [Brian] wanted to finish [the tour] but because of that hearing factor he had to make the decision. It's a hard thing to do, and he'd had the problem since we kicked off touring. It was his call. It was a shock to us too. The last thing you want to do is walk away from something, but you don't want someone in a tragic situation; being deaf, or any other affliction."

Axl: "I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation going on with Brian's hearing. I called a guy who's their production manager right now... because I knew there was going to be a problem with having dates on sale and dates sold and stuff like that. So if I could help, and if I was able to do it, and they were interested, I'd love to help. And that's how it started.

I wasn't looking at it like, 'I'm singing for AC/DC.' I was looking at it like, 'y'know, if I can, and if they think I'm able to do it.

A lot of the Back In Black stuff is really challenging. I'm not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can't take anything away from his singing at all. He's a great singer and it's really challenging to sing it. I'm just trying to do it justice for the fans.

I'm happy and excited in one sense, but I think it would be inappropriate to be celebrating, in a certain way, at someone else's expense."

- Did you ever consider getting a number of different guest vocalists?
Angus: “To be honest with you, it was a case of ‘what do we do?’”
Axl: “They were in the process of trying to decide what they were doing as a band in general, is my understanding, because it just went down.”
Angus: “It was a crisis that came then, and we had to act. We were in Miami at the time, when all of this came up, and unfortunately, when you’re in that situation you got to make decisions pretty quick, because there are a lot of people waiting. We were supposed to actually play in Atlanta, so you’re kind of going ‘what do we do now’. Because of the nature of Brian’s deafness, we knew that there was no easy fix. So you’ve got to then say, ‘what do we do here?’ The options were very limited and you think, if we just stop with all of this machinery it’s going to be a hell of a lot of legal entanglement…”
Axl: “That, and the fans, and not wanting the band to have to go through that, as I have gone through a little bit of that at times!”
Angus: “It was good that he offered, y’know. He said, if I can do it…”
Axl: “Which I had no idea, I mean, they play really loud, they have their way of working and you never know if you’re going to blend. But it started out pretty good and its gradually got better. I’m hoping to make it through the first show before I get fired!”

- Did you ever consider pulling the shows?
Cliff: “We wanted to finish what we’d started.”
Angus: “And that was our main goal, especially Cliff and myself, being there the longest. We wanted to complete what we had started. And I mean, you can’t call a tour ‘Rock or Bust’ and then go bust!”
Axl: “Ha! That’s amazing.”

- So what happens after these shows – does the band continue in this format? Do you get another singer? Does Brian come back?
Axl: “Whatever they’re doing with Brian, that’s not my place to talk, that’s their business. Anybody else, I will slowly poison them!”

- What’s his prognosis – is he able to rejoin in the future?
Angus: “He has to be very careful of what hearing he’s got left. This is what he told us - he was gutted about not finishing [the tour] because he says he would have loved to have gotten through. It was his call, what he wanted. He made that decision himself. He didn’t want to be deaf. And I perfectly understand that – when you stop doing this, you want to walk away with all your pieces! I don’t even want to leave without my fingernail!”

- Tell me about learning the songs – did you know all the words already? How did you teach yourself?
Axl: “Little by little. There’s a lot of them that you didn’t realise that you somewhat instinctively know and then just every rehearsal – there’s been about 20 rehearsals, something like that. So that way, if I really screw up, they can really blame me for that, because I did have good rehearsals.”

Below is the audio of the full BBC interview:


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