AC/DC have confirmed that due to his prolonged illness Malcolm Young will not be re-joining the band. The news comes as the rockers announce the arrival of their new record Rock Or Bust, due to be released on Friday, 28th November.
“Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm’s illness, he will not be re-joining the band,” AC/DC said in a statement. “AC/DC will undertake a world tour in support of Rock or Bust in 2015. Steve Young, nephew of founding members Angus and Malcolm Young, plays guitar on Rock or Bust and will accompany the band on tour.”
Rock or Bust will be the first AC/DC album in history without founding member Malcolm Young on the recordings. AC/DC announced earlier this year that the founding guitarist was taking a break from the band due to ill health, though the nature of that illness has never been disclosed.
Rock or Bust was recorded at Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada and finds AC/DC once again working with producer Brendan O’Brien and mixer Mike Fraser. It was speculated earlier this year that Malcolm’s nephew Stevie Young would be picking up his uncle’s Gretsch and joining the AC/DC lineup after he was spotted with the band by fans in Vancouver. Those rumours have now been confirmed by the band.
Stevie Young filled in on guitar previously for AC/DC in 1998, during the Blow Up Your Video tour, while Malcolm Young left to deal with his alcohol dependency. Rock Or Bust is the band’s follow-up to their successful 2008 album Black Ice. According to the band, it features 11 new tracks. One such track, Play Ball, will reportedly debut in the US television on September 27th as a part of the Major League Baseball postseason coverage.
UPDATE 25/09/14: Listen to a preview of AC/DC’s new song Play Ball below, as featured in an ad for Major League Baseball.