Despite rumors to the contrary, AIRBOURNE frontman Joel O’Keeffe says that he was never asked to audition as a possible replacement for the ailing Brian Johnson on the final tour dates of AC/DC‘s “Rock Or Bust” world tour. “I wasn’t called up, but saw a lot of stuff online about it,” he told Myglobalmind. “We were in the studio at the time and I was really humbled by the online stuff that came out with me as a good fit.”
He continued: “If the call had come through, I would have done it. I think Axl Rose [GUNS N’ ROSES] did a great job, sung all the songs really well, and put on a great show. He has Brian‘s range and the Bon Scott‘s unpredictability and charisma. It was ‘Rock Or Bust’ and it wasn’t bust.”
Asked how he thinks he would have done if he was fronting AC/DC, Joel said: “I would have been as nervous as hell; I would have been scared shitless. But once you get in and get going, I’d be all right. I know the songs.”
Joel previously told Spotlight Report about AC/DC‘s decision to carry on touring with Rose as the replacement vocalist: “[Their] tour is called ‘Rock Or Bust’, and that’s exactly what the guys are doing. They did not choose to be in that situation, but they are still going at it. Now, Cliff [Williams, bass] just announced he is leaving too, but Angus [Young, guitar] said they will continue touring. That’s the spirit! Regarding Axl Rose, I haven’t personally seen the shows with him, but friends who were lucky enough to see the gig told me it was spectacular.”
Williams‘s decision to leave AC/DC followed a string of personnel changes for the group that started with co-founding guitarist Malcolm Young‘s departure in 2014 after he was diagnosed with dementia. Last year, drummer Phil Rudd was sentenced to house arrest after he was found guilty on a drug charge, while earlier this year singer Johnson was forced to step down or face the loss of his hearing.
AIRBOURNE‘s new studio album, “Breakin’ Outta Hell”. was released on September 23.