AC/DC have returned with their first new song in nearly six year years, “Shot in the Dark,” the lead single from their highly anticipated album Power Up.

“As soon as it starts up, straight away, it’s AC/DC,” guitarist Angus Young explains during the band's exclusive conversation with UCR. “And that’s what we’ve always been about.”

Indeed, the track boils over with the band's signature brand of energy, including fiery riffs and arena-ready vocals. “Shot in the Dark” also features an emphatic guitar solo roughly two minutes in, reminiscent of blues legend Robert Johnson.

“Well, I think Robert Johnson might do it better than me!,” Young laughingly admits, happy to accept the comparison.

Though “Shot in the Dark" is new to fans, the song has actually been brewing for many years.

“It was pretty much written a while back,” Young explains. “All of the tracks that we’ve got on the album were written by me and Malcolm. A lot of them were ideas we had that we knew were good AC/DC ideas at the time. But we just never got around to getting them on record.”

Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young died in 2017, with his brother, Angus, revisiting their old song ideas shortly thereafter. Though Malcom’s playing will not be heard on Power Up - nephew Stevie handles those duties - the late guitarist’s fingerprints are all over the album, including “Shot in the Dark.”

“Stevie is playing Mal’s parts,” Angus explains. “But the songs, all of the songs on there are songs that Malcolm and myself had."

Choosing “Shot in the Dark” as the LP's lead single was no easy matter.

“When I first heard the album, I shot an email off to Ang and I said, ‘I tell you what, man. I’m pleased that I’m not the guy who has got to pick a single from this,’” confesses singer Brian Johnson. “Because I couldn’t pick one.”

The band enlisted the help of its record label in selecting the single, preferring to get opinions from outside the group. “I suppose you’ve got to get a clear head and not be emotionally involved with all of this stuff and these [record label] guys are good at it,” Johnson notes. “We all get too close to it,” adds bassist Cliff Williams. “We love them all.”

 

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