AC/DC Reportedly Auditioned Tribute Band Singer to Replace Brian Johnson
Now that Axl Rose has been officially revealed as Brian Johnson's replacement in AC/DC, it's all over but the shouting. With the rumors now put to rest and confirmed, more information surrounding the process has been revealed. In addition to trying out Rose, the Australian rock titans apparently tested the waters with another singer, Darren Caperna of AC/DC tribute act, Back in Black.
The singer and guitarist Mike Mroz reveal they were contacted by AC/DC through a phone call and promptly flown out for an audition. What was set to just be a mere three or four song rehearsal culminated in the two tribute members running through the entire tour setlist alongside two additional cuts, "Dog Eat Dog" and "Riff Raff." Guitarist Angus Young approached the two about the latter, offering an apology in advance, stating, “I’m warning you in advance that we are still a little rusty on this song!” as the two recalled in an official statement on their Back in Black Facebook page.
“It was all so surreal, we had a couple of breaks, and Angus told me some great Bon Scott stories. They were all so friendly, and treated us as their peers," said Caperna, exclaiming, "I still can’t believe that I sang with AC/DC!” He went on to graciously say, “Even though I did not get the job, it was the experience of a lifetime! Being in a tribute band for 16 years, we were hoping that we would be able to meet AC/DC one day — but this goes way beyond our expectations! Now, I have a great story to tell my grandchildren and the guitar students that I teach at For Those About to Rock School in Southlake, Texas.
Echoing these sentiments, guitarist Mroz added, “This experience was so inspiring and educational — plus, I had my own private AC/DC concert, fronted by my singer. At the end of the night, I saw Angus outside, and he told me that Darren had done a great job. I thanked him again for the opportunity. I told him that when I first started our tribute band (Back In Black), I was a little uncomfortable wearing his trademark schoolboy outfit. But then I realized that it drove the girls crazy!" Young began to laugh and replied, "Don’t tell anyone our secret!”
Ultimately, AC/DC decided on Axl Rose as their frontman as they plot to make good on the promise to reschedule the 10 shows that were postponed earlier in the year and fulfill some European dates. Brian Johnson was ordered to stop touring immediately or risk "total hearing loss," forcing the group off the road. The first taste of what Rose singing AC/DC classics sounds like came at the Guns N' Roses Coachella performance over the weekend. The group was joined by Angus Young as they tore into "Riff Raff" with Rose doing a commendable job behind the mic.
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