Justin Hawkins Reacts To Angus Young Being Dismissed As A Plagiarist

The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins recently revealed to Guitar World his top guitarists who have profoundly influenced his own sound. One name that made the cut was none other than AC/DC’s Angus Young. While explaining his reasons, the rocker also shared his thoughts on people calling Young a ‘Chuck Berry plagiarist.’

Hawkins first shared why he picked AC/DC as a band that have inspired him. He said:

“I think when you’re trying to do a band and you’ve got two guitar players, there are two bands that you need to look at: AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses.”

Justin went on to explain why he disagrees with people who see Young as a Chuck Berry plagiarist. He added:

“I love everything about Angus’s soloing. I love the way it’s got a distinctive vibrato – it’s almost like a B.B. King vibrato – and people dismiss him as a Chuck Berry plagiarist, but it isn’t that.”

As a guitarist he broke down Angus’ sound that is unique to him. Justin continued:

“He’s got his own thing and you can hear him a hundred miles away. He’s operating mostly in pentatonic scales doing blues soloing and yet he’s still distinctive, and he’s one of the people that sort of makes you want to do it.”

The Darkness frontman also pointed out that Angus is a guitarist that evokes feeling. He expressed:

“You can talk about the merits and how brilliantly accomplished certain virtuoso players are, but if they don’t make you feel like you want to grab a guitar and do it, then they’re not as important as people like Angus.”

This wasn’t the first time Justin praised Angus for what he brings to AC/DC. The rocker did a similar interview with Guitar World in 2020, where he explained how Young’s playing makes him feel. He said:

“Angus’ parts are more saucy than fancy, and all of his solos are totally singable. Angus had a lot of recycled phrases. I think that’s the charm of AC/DC – if you’re inclined to analyze it, the music always gives you exactly what you want. There’s no left turn that leaves you disappointed. Everything they build up to, every crescendo, satisfies.”

You can read Justin Hawkins’ interview with Guitar World here.