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Axl Rose wants to be AC/DC’s permanent frontman

Axl Rose wants to be AC/DC’s permanent frontman

by Stephen Charlton2016/05/08

Axl Rose has put his hat forward to be AC/DC‘s permanent new frontman, speaking in a BBC interview shortly before his performance with the legendary Australian rockers on May 7 in Portugal.

The Guns N’ Roses frontman confirmed, in his first interview in five years, that he’ll be playing the upcoming US AC/DC dates as well:

“There’s make up dates in the States and if I don’t get thrown out before that, I’m looking forward to doing it. After that it’s about what they want to do. I’m in if they want me in, and we’ll sort it out. But right now that’s getting ahead of ourselves with everything else on the table.”

Axl Rose raises possibility of studio work with AC/DC

Axl Rose ACDC new album live

Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose onstage with AC/DC’s Angus Young.

Rose then makes a joke about writing a great album to present to AC/DC. If he does present some material, he might want to speed up his work rate though, as at 61 I doubt Angus Young can afford to wait 16 years the way Gunners fans did for Rose’s last album.

Rose also addressed his longtime love for AC/DC, referencing a song Guns N’ Roses fans will know from the band’s live set.

“Whole Lotta Rosie was the first AC/DC song I heard. I’ve always loved AC/DC and also especially loved the early stuff.”

Quite ironically, seeing as Rose is currently chair-bound with a broken foot, the frontman suggested AC/DC’s lead guitarist is a big influence on his stage moves.

“Angus is my biggest influence in keeping moving on stage. Not a singer, a guitar player. He never stops moving.”

In terms of his recovery from the break, which occurred during the recent Guns N’ Roses reunion shows, Rose commented:

“We’re half way there. I’ve only started walking on the last few days. And now I’ve started to put weight on it. It’s inconvenient although it helped me focus on the singing… But I feel like an idiot. I feel like a moron sitting there and I have to ignore that and just get into the songs and do my best on the songs.”

Rose means no disrespect to Brian Johnson

Axl Rose ACDC new album Brian Johnson

Former AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson onstage with Angus Young.

Longtime AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson appeared to have been ousted from the band due to health issues relating hearing loss which occurred while auto racing. Johnson’s public comment on the move by AC/DC was somewhat prickly and tellingly referred to “guest singer” rather than mentioning Axl Rose by name.

During the BBC interview Rose commented on his role as Johnson’s replacement.

“I’m not here in any way out of any disrespect. You can’t take anything away from his singing at all. He’s a great singer. It’s really challenging and I’m just trying to do it justice for the fans. I’m happy and excited in one sense, but I think it’s really inappropriate to be celebrating at someone else’s expense. You’ve gotta go on stage and do the thing and do it for the fans. There’s also a sense of why I’m here though. It’s an unfortunate situation.”

Pro-shot footage of Rose with AC/DC now online

Pro shot footage from the AC/DC show in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday has already emerged. The performance with Rose has been receiving rave reviews from critics, despite fans’ initial reluctance to embrace the famously acerbic Guns N’ Roses singer into the band. The Guardian gave the show five stars and reported:

“Carry on like this, and those wondering whether AC/DC are still worth going to see this summer should have no worries: they, too, will be having fun.”

Team Rock reported:

“It’s an astonishing, tour-de-force performance, and Axl looks like he’s genuinely having fun… AC/DC are sounding just like AC/DC.”

Judge for yourself with the linked pro shot performances of Brian Johnson-era songs Shoot to Thrill and Rock or Bust.

Saturday, May 7 Lisbon, Portugal setlist:

  1. Rock or Bust
  2. Shoot to Thrill
  3. Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
  4. Back in Black
  5. Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder
  6. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  7. Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation
  8. Thunderstruck
  9. High Voltage
  10. Rock ‘N’ Roll Train
  11. Hells Bells
  12. Given The Dog A Bone
  13. Sin City
  14. You Shook Me All Night Long
  15. Shot Down in Flames
  16. Have a Drink On Me
  17. T.N.T.
  18. Whole Lotta Rosie
  19. Let There Be Rock


  1. Highway To Hell
  2. Riff Raff
  3. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)
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About The Author
Stephen Charlton
Stephen Charlton is a musician and journalist based in Melbourne, Australia.

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