Brian Johnson Has a ‘Lot of Respect’ for Axl Rose’s Work in AC/DC
"He jumped into a tough, tough vocalist gig," Johnson tells UCR of the Guns N' Roses singer, who helped out during the Rock or Bust tour after Johnson's hearing issues forced him off the road. "You’ve got to be on top of your game for that. There’s not many resting places. You’ve really got to go in full chop, all of the time. And for him to do that at such short notice was pretty fantastic. I’ve got a lot of respect for what he did, you know. A lot of respect."
Johnson is currently promoting AC/DC's upcoming LP, Power Up, which features the singer alongside guitarist Stevie Young (nephew of late co-founder Malcolm Young) and longtime guitarist Angus Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd.
The singer says he looks forward to the band's live return after the COVID-19 pandemic, enthusing that it "would be like a big shout of freedom" when rock music "hits the streets" again. "We’re all sitting penned up, cautious and wary. We don’t know what the hell’s happening," he says. "We’ve just got our fingers crossed that it blow over. Which it has to at some time."
And when that concert comeback does finally happen, Johnson is optimistic that his hearing issues won't remain an obstacle. "I believe so," he says to the idea of joining the group. "We had a little tryout, and it was real good, I thought, for me anyway. So, absolutely. I can’t wait."
Responding to the growing online movement and petition for AC/DC to play the Super Bowl, Johnson cracks, "It might be the only show in town!"