AC/DC fans were excited to learn that longtime bassist Cliff Williams had returned to the band for its upcoming PWR/UP album, due Nov. 13, but Williams himself is unsure how long his final chapter with AC/DC will last.
Williams retired after AC/DC's last tour in 2016, as the longest-serving continuous member of the band outside of co-founder Angus Young.
Since his return to AC/DC went public last month, Williams revealed that he was battling several health issues, including severe vertigo, on that final AC/DC trek, which made it tough to get to the finish line.
While it didn't take much convincing for Williams to return to the studio with AC/DC, the bassist tells Dean Delray's Let There Be Talk podcast that he's only committed to doing a few shows in support of the record.
"We did some rehearsals earlier this year before this darn COVID thing popped up, and we had great rehearsals," he said. "The band was playing really well. So [they asked], 'Do you wanna do a few shows?' 'Sure. A few shows.' We were planning on doing that. Everyone goes home to their respective homes, and bang, we've been here every since."
While frontman Brian Johnson's abrupt departure from the band during the 2016 tour, due to a hearing problem, got most of the headlines, Williams says that wasn't a factor in his own decision to move on. He tells Delray that he made up his mind and talked it out with Angus before the band hit the road that year.
PWR/UP is AC/DC's first album since the 2017 death of co-founder Malcolm Young. Williams says he was eager to help make the record in memory of his late-band mate.
"If Back in Black has Bon Scott all over it, for me PWR/UP has got Malcolm Young," Williams said. "This is for him. And it's the band that we played together with for 40-plus years. And I wanted to do that — I wanted to come back and do that."
While it was no chore to make the album, Williams says his health makes him less inclined to go on another lengthy tour.
"I'm very grateful for everything," he said. "It's been fantastic. But I don't wanna do that anymore."
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