In April AC/DC announced that original guitarist Malcolm Young was "taking a break from the band due to ill health" but they would "continue to make music." And while nothing has been confirmed or stated by the band since that time, it appears the band will indeed continue while keeping it in the family with Stevie Young, Malcolm's nephew, filling in.
In an interview with Boston radio station WZLX Jesse Fink, author of "The Youngs: The Brothers Who Build AC/DC," said the personnel change is highly possible. "I'm not expecting to see Malcolm return," Fink said without elaborating on Malcolm Young's current health status. He also stated fans of the group should "expect that Stevie Young is in the band now."
"What's going to be fascinating is seeing how Stevie Young steps into the band given Malcolm has had to step away for health reasons, is it going to be the same AC/DC?" Fink said, adding he met Malcolm's son Ross by chance at a recent concert. "I don't think there's any doubt that he's dealing with a serious illness."
Fink didn't disclose the specific "serious illness" citing his respecting Young's privacy. "I do think fans should really kind of expect that they're going to see Stevie Young up on stage with the band when they tour. And they certainly might see Stevie Young again on the credits if they're going to do another album."
When asked to elaborate on Young's illness by Ultimate Classic Rock Fink again wasn't specific. "If what I have heard from numerous sources is true, then I expect Stevie Young will be touring with the band and not Malcolm," Fink said. "That's not a seditious viewpoint. It's realistic."
If there's any good news it might be AC/DC reportedly working on a new studio album, the follow-up to 2008's "Black Ice" which was followed by a lengthy and highly successful world tour. "I'm hearing on very reliable authority the new album is up there with 'Black Ice' or even better," Fink said. "So Stevie must be a good replacement for Mal." The as-yet untitled album has no release date but earlier this year the group was reportedly working in a Vancouver studio with producer Brendan O'Brien on new material.
Stevie Young is no stranger to the band having filled in for Malcolm Young during a portion of the band's 1988 tour behind the album "Blow Up Your Video" as Malcolm, now 61, dealt with alcohol issues.