Schmier of German thrashers DESTRUCTION has weighed in on the strange situation regarding AC/DC and singer Brian Johnson. The legendary Australian rock band postponed the last ten dates of its recent North American tour after doctors told Johnson he faced “total hearing loss.” AC/DC has since announced that it will use GUNS N’ ROSES singer Axl Rose as a “guest vocalist” when it resumes its tour next month, with Johnson apparently not returning to the band at all.
Speaking to Metal Wani, Schmier stated about the prospect of an Axl Rose-fronted AC/DC (hear audio below): “Oh my God. I mean, it’s a great promotional [tool]. But for real, I don’t know why they’re doing this, actually; it’s weird. I mean, Axl Rose has a legacy of fucking up concerts and not being very reliable. I saw him on his worst, when he was so fat that he couldn’t sing anymore. They played Rock In Rio three years ago. We [DESTRUCTION] were also on Rock In Rio — we played there — and I saw the Axl Rose performance on TV in Rio De Janeiro the day before we played, and it was so… Actually, it was after us, I think. It was on Sunday. We played on Saturday. It was fucking terrible, you know. And I think [since then] he [has] lost some weight and maybe he’s stopped doing so many drugs, and he has a better voice now again; he’s back to [being] a better singer. But singing AC/DC every night; this is a lot of energy for the vocals, you know. I don’t think he’s gonna be able to do that, actually. I mean, it would be a miracle if they don’t have to cancel shows.”
He continued: “Axl Rose definitely did some great albums with GUNS N’ ROSES in the past, and he used to be a great singer. And maybe he’s back. But I don’t think he was a good choice. There would have been many, many other singers that would have fit much better, like the guy from ACCEPT [Mark Tornillo] or [Marc] Storace from KROKUS — guys that are also in the same age and in the same time that would fit much better. [Tornillo is] actually fantastic. He’s also not the youngest anymore; he’s, like, 60, I think. But he’s still in great shape. And I think also Marc Storace from KROKUS. He’s in amazing shape. I had a show with him two years ago, and he was warming up backstage, and he was soo good. And I asked him how old he is, and he said he was, like… And that was, like, two years ago… He was 60 or 62 or something already. I think he’s also old, but still so good. I think Storace would have been the perfect guy for AC/DC. But, okay, Axl Rose definitely has the better promotion.”
According to a Billboard.com source, Rose initially met with AC/DC members in Miami and Atlanta back in March. It was then that the decision was made to have Rose join AC/DC on tour. There was also talk of having other singers alternate with Rose, including ex-SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach and Nic Cester of the Australian band JET.
Fan reaction to Rose replacing Johnson — even temporarily — has been largely negative. The fan site AC/DC Italia announced it was shutting down in protest, while AC/DC biographer Jesse Fink called it “the worst decision AC/DC has ever made. Fans are pretty disgusted… AC/DC is all about the money now.”
AC/DC guitarist Angus Young made a guest appearance with GUNS N’ ROSES at the Coachella festival in California earlier in the month, to tie in with the official confirmation of Rose’s involvement.