AC/DC's longtime engineer Mike Fraser has confirmed that the band has been in the studio “doing something.” Fraser spoke about a possible new AC/DC record during an interview he did last month with Australian mastering engineer and podcaster Tony “Jack the Bear” Mantz.
Asked if there is any truth to the rumors that AC/DC has been recording a new LP, Fraser said, “Well, yeah, I could say that we've been in the studio doing something. What's come of that I can't discuss yet.” Pressed on whether singer Brian Johnson is handling the vocals, Fraser replied with a laugh, “I think so.”
Rumors of a new AC/DC record have been circulating for several months, ever since Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd, along with guitarists Angus Young and Stevie Young, were photographed outside Vancouver's Warehouse Studios. Based on the pictures, the assumption at the time was that AC/DC was in the midst of making another album, with Rudd and Johnson both back in the lineup.
AC/DC's last tour cycle, for 2014's Rock Or Bust album, was a turbulent affair that weathered the forced retirement and eventual death of co-founder Malcolm Young, plus the departures of Johnson, Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams. That led fans to wonder whether Angus, the sole remaining founding member, would keep the band going or decide it was time for AC/DC to pack it in.
There has been speculation that a new AC/DC album will serve as a tribute to Malcolm Young and utilize guitar parts recorded and archived by the fallen guitarist over the years.