Brian Johnson is thrilled to be back in AC/DC and to have band activities to look forward to again, but he’s more so relieved that he doesn’t have to guard the secret any longer.
Johnson reunited with AC/DC to begin work on the band’s forthcoming PWR/UP album (due November 13) no later than the summer of 2018.
Since then, he says he was compelled by the band’s nondisclosure agreement to stay quiet.
That might not have been a big deal but for the fact that fans knew AC/DC was working on something because the band was photographed at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver almost as soon as they arrived.
Two years is a long time to deny something that everybody else is certain to be true.
Johnson told Dean Delray’s ‘Let There Be Talk’ podcast that the NDA rules turned him into a “lying bastard.”
It was a lot of pressure.
“We’d be walking around for months [hearing], ‘So, many, what’s happening, man? I hear there’s photographs on the thing, man! … Come on, you can tell me!'” Johnson recalls. “‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ ‘Ah, come on, man!’ ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, honest mate!’ And then later they’re gonna [say], ‘You lying bastard!'”
Angus Young added that despite being the band leader, he’s not exempt from the NDA’s either.
“They give me nondisclosures all the time!” he asserted.
Ironically, much of the more credible details about PWR/UP and Johnson’s return to AC/DC came from people who’d run into the singer. In early-2019 Johnson reportedly told some fans he ran into at an airport that he was “sick of denying” that he was back in AC/DC.
This past summer, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider suggested that Johnson had come clean to him about the new album and how it contained some final contributions from late-AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young.