Why Angus Young Refused AC/DC To Be Called A Heavy Metal Band

Formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, AC/DC is one of the most influential rock bands still active in the music scene. They rapidly rose to fame following their debut album ‘High Voltage’ and made a significant breakthrough with the ‘Highway to Hell’ album. Today, they continue to influence many rock and metal artists with their classic hits.

AC/DC has a remarkable influence on various metal acts, and their musical style has been described as heavy metal by multiple sources. However, they prefer to title themselves as a rock and roll band, and Angus Young believes that AC/DC is far from a heavy metal band.

Angus Young Said AC/DC Isn’t A Heavy Metal Band Because Their Sound Is Unique

In 2008, MTV named AC/DC among the greatest metal bands. Moreover, many applauded them for influencing various metal bands, including the new wave of British heavy metal acts that emerged in the late ’70s, such as Iron Maiden. In a previous interview, Lars Ulrich admitted that Metallica’s musical roots were in AC/DC.

In a 1988 interview with MTV Australia, Angus Young addressed the issue of categorizing AC/DC’s music. He said people questioned their sound in their early career as they believed AC/DC was playing rock and roll. Young then admitted their music is loud than the most but said they turned a deaf ear to these comments and went on the stage to play.

According to Young, they realized that the best thing they do on the stage is rock music, and if he needed to categorize their sound, it would probably be called hard rock. He then stated that they are far from a heavy metal band because the metal bands are all similar. Moreover, the guitarist said AC/DC aren’t posey, and they can only be themselves.

In an interview with MTV Australia in 1988, Angus Young said the following:

“For us, when we started, people would say, ‘Well, what are you doing? You are playing rock and roll music!’ It was a bit louder than most, and we were never conscious of what the people really thought of us. We just went out there to play.

We found out long ago the best thing that we have done on stage was rock music. You know, we knew how to rock. If anything, it’s probably hard rock. If it’s not what we’ve been called upon, I think Britain used to call it New Wave, and America was always looking for a good tag for us.

But I think we are far from the heavy metal thing because they’re all quite similar. They’ve all got bumps around, bumping the Mikey. They’ve all got these pre-planned footsteps and stuff. So, for us, we can only be ourselves. That’s how we are. We could never really pose. We were not a posey sort of a band.”

Many music critics debate on AC/DC’s sound, and some believe that they are a hard rock band, while others say their music is blues-rock. Apart from them, many argue that AC/DC is an ultimate heavy metal act due to their hard and loud sound. However, AC/DC calls their music simply rock and roll and refrains from being called a heavy metal band.