AC/DC Producer Recalls Malcolm Young’s Wisdom During The Recording Sessions
AC/DC producer Mike Fraser spoke to filmmaker Daniel Sarkissian and opened up about working with late co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young. He recalled their recording and producing sessions in which everyone was asking Young’s opinion on their works.
Canadian record producer, engineer, and mixer Mike Fraser worked with Dave Grohl, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and many more throughout his successful and prolific career. However, he is most known for his notable works with AC/DC for several releases such as ‘The Razors Edge,’ ‘Ballbreaker,’ ‘Black Ice,’ ‘Rock or Bust,’ and ‘Power Up.’
Therefore, Fraser is one of the people who had great memories with the band members and could share some of them. As the person behind the films ‘What is Classic Rock?’ and ‘Rock is Dead,’ Sarkissian wanted to learn details from the band’s recordings, especially with the rhythm guitarist. Fraser responded to the question, saying that Malcolm Young was one of the greatest guitar players he had met in his career.
By mentioning his great sense of rhythm and timing, the producer explained Malcolm’s signature and unique style by drawing attention to clean sounds and excellent riffs. He added that when they combined it with Angus Young’s distorted guitar, it created a perfect union in their hit works. Fraser unveiled that everyone in the band always sought his guidance while working on their parts.
When asked about working with Malcolm Young, Fraser responded:
“He’s probably one of the best guitar players I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with a couple of pretty good guys. His sense of rhythm and timing is just unmatched by anything. The way he gets the tone on his guitars, and there’s hardly any distortion to it. The way he plays it, when he does hit it hard, it starts distorting kind of within the guitar and then goes into the amp. So he can play electric, a heavy electric guitar with that real dynamics instead of being quieter and louder.
The sound eases off, and when he digs in, you can hear those strings going. That’s part of their sound in all their records, two guitars now on one side and the other side. Angus is a more distorted saturated sound, and Malcolm comes with that clean sound. It’s that marriage of those two sounds that create that bigness.
He was an amazing guy, and definitely, everybody looked to him for guidance. It’s like, ‘What do you think, Mal? Was that too fast?’ He was the big brother. I’m sure he learned a lot of his chops off his older brother George when they were doing the earlier records. It was a hierarchy, I guess.”
You can watch the interview below.