Paul Stanley Explains Why He Expected Brian Johnson To Ruin AC/DC

Paul Stanley recently gave an interview for the special edition of Classic Rock magazine, celebrating the 50th anniversary of AC/DC. He recalled what he thought when Brian Johnson became the band’s lead singer after Bon Scott passed away. The frontman said:

“When Brian Johnson joined AC/DC, I was curious – like everyone was – about how that would impact the band and the chemistry they had with Bon Scott. But what they created with ‘Back In Black’ was just monumental. The way that album starts with ‘Hells Bells,’ it hit me like the first time I heard Black Sabbath – like, ‘Holy shit!'”

Explaining how AC/DC’s sound changed with the new vocalist, he went on:

“With ‘Back In Black,’ the band’s sound was polished to some degree. They were building on what they’d done before, moving forward. That kind of bare-bones grit they had in the early days was replaced with this driving sonic overload. But it was so brilliant. I thought what was gained overrode what was lost.”

Stanley first met the ‘Thunderstruck’ group’s music in 1977 when they supported KISS for a few run of dates. So, he shared his view on their performances by adding:

“AC/DC are the real deal, and I knew that from the first time I saw them. It was at the Whisky A Go Go in LA sometime in the mid-seventies. They were so gritty, and the adrenaline level was just crazy. The amount of energy that Angus [Young] was expending on stage was mind-boggling.”

A few months after those shows, AC/DC opened for KISS on the Alive II Tour in North America. Not long after that, their 1979 album ‘Highway to Hell’ made a breakthrough.

Years later, Paul Stanley talked about his band’s effect on the rise of AC/DC and some other names from the industry during KISS Kruise. He explained:

“We’ve never made anybody famous, but we gave bands a chance. You put them in an arena, and the audience either does this [makes thumbs up gesture], but between Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi and Mellencamp and Tom Petty, AC/DC, Rush, we have a pretty good track record of bands that we liked and had us in their corner.”

AC/DC will mark their 50th year with a return to the stage after seven years, headlining the Power Trip festival at the Empire Polo Club in California on October 7. Meanwhile, KISS will kick off their farewell tour, ‘End Of The Road,’ in September.