Drummer Simon Wright, who was a member of AC/DC between 1983 and 1989, talked about his decision to leave the band and join Ronnie James Dio’s band.
Simon said on Talking Meta:
“Basically, it sounds a little crazy, but I really lost my enthusiasm for things.
“You can’t really be like that in a band like that – you’ve gotta give 110% – and my enthusiasm had become a bit complacent, and it wasn’t fair on them, and it definitely wasn’t fair on the fans and people coming to the shows.
“So I started thinking, ‘I’ve gotta move on here.’ And luckily, through a friend of a friend of a friend, or whatever, I managed to meet up with Ronnie. We did some rehearsals. It was mainly for the new album that he had going on, called [1990’s] ‘Lock Up the Wolves.’
“‘Cause it was straight into recording, basically, before we did any shows. And we did that. And it kind of worked out. I’d met Ronnie a couple of times in the past before that, and I thought he was such a clever, funny, intelligent guy.
“And I’d loved his singing, obviously, with Sabbath and Rainbow and his own stuff and everything. And it just kind of worked out. Yeah, it was a great time.”
Asked about his memories of the recording sessions for AC/DC’s 1985 album “Fly on the Wall,” Simon replied:
“Oh, yeah, it was a little overwhelming. We were in Switzerland for a start, in Montreux, where Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ happened, the casino burning down. It was a little bit surreal, to be honest with you.
“But we eventually got comfortable and started bashing down tracks and going over things and fine-tuning things. It was a great time. It wasn’t a pressured kind of time. The way they work is kind of relaxed and just getting on with things.
“And it was great. We were in a part of the casino which was a recording studio as well, and it was a huge round building. And the drums sounded massive in there. It was a great time.
“It’s a funny thing, the album ‘Fly on the Wall.’ I get a lot of people that talk to me about it and say it’s kind of been overlooked and stuff. And I think when it did come out, it was the climate at the time.
“AC/DC had had ‘Back in Black’ and ‘For Those About to Rock,’ which were massive albums, and I really honestly don’t think that you can keep up that, keep those albums like that coming out.
“And grunge was rearing its head too – not that there was anything wrong with that. But I think the music climate was changing. The shows that we did on that tour, they were still selling out and doing really good. We were just getting on with things the way that the band did things.
“But I think it was difficult to keep that momentum up, with such massive-selling albums. But in the end, I think a lot of people came around to that album and have a liking for it. It’s a little bit different-sounding too, I think – the production changed; it wasn’t ‘Mutt’ Lange anymore. But I think it’s a good album.”