AC/DC‘s longtime engineer Mike Fraser has spoken to the AC/DCFans.Net podcast about his involvement with the band’s much-anticipated comeback album.
Asked if he ever thought AC/DC would be making another album after “Rock Or Bust”, Fraser said:
“At the end of the ‘Rock Or Bust’ tour, I figured that was kind of gonna be it — they were gonna hang up their hats. They had kind of done a tribute to Mal [late AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young], but it ended up kind of funny. So I didn’t think they’d be back at it again. But Angus has got a lot of fire in his belly, and if he could possibly put it together again, he would have been the guy that did it. And he did.”
Mike said that he was told about AC/DC making a new album approximately two weeks before the band arrived in Vancouver to start the sessions.
“I remember I got the call for this record, but no detail,” he said.
“I had no idea, walking in the first day of the studio, what was gonna happen — who the personnel of the band would be. As far as I knew, Brian had retired, Cliff had retired, and with Phil and some of his problems he’s had in his home country [of New Zealand], who knew if he was even gonna be allowed out of his country. So walking into the studio here in Vancouver the first day, I had no idea what was gonna happen.
“When I got there, none of the band had arrived yet, but a lot of their techs were there getting things moved into the studio and set up. And one of the guys said, ‘Hey, you know what’s going on?’ And I said, ‘I have no idea. I just know we’re here and we’re setting up.’ And he goes, he says, ‘Well, the whole band’s here: Brian, Cliff, Phil and Stevie, and they’re here and we’re ready to rock another record.’ So, man, it was such a shocking, awesome surprise. It was great.”
According to Fraser, the songwriting and recording process for “PWR/UP” was “very much the same” as that for “Rock Or Bust”. “I think Angus kind of came into this with a lot of ideas and riffs and not too many completed songs,” he said.
“But that was similar on ‘Rock Or Bust’. ‘Cause him and Malcolm had written tons of songs before Mal got sick and eventually passed away. So he’s got a whole treasure trove of ideas and riffs and all that. So he’s probably spent a few years before we came in to do this record pooling ideas together and all that, and then when he came into the studio here, he just sat down with a whole suitcase full of little demo things he had done.