AC/DC’s Brian Johnson: ‘You’re Not Going to Stop Doing What You Do, Otherwise You Die Inside’

AC/DC are gearing up to headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this weekend. The Australian rockers sat down with the Los Angeles Times to talk about their upcoming gig, as well as the recent difficulties the band has faced. In 2014, Malcolm Young had to leave the group to deal with his dementia and drummer Phil Rudd was arrested in New Zealand on charges of drug possession and threatening to kill.

Johnson told the L.A. Times how he’s dealing with their recent setbacks, “You pick yourself up, dust yourself down and just keep going. You live on, and you have a wonderful memory of them always with you, but you’re not going to stop doing what you do. Otherwise, you die inside, you know? And we would die — I would, if I didn’t do what I was doing. There’d be nothing. I’d just be another guy looking for a hobby.”

The group has replaced its two departed members. Angus Young‘s nephew Stevie Young will be playing guitar, while drummer Chris Slade will be behind the kit touring with the group.

This will be AC/DC’s first Coachella festival and the group recently got some words of wisdom about playing the festival from Paul McCartney. “I ran into him downstairs this morning,” Johnson told the outlet. “He goes, ‘Brian, you get on that stage and I’m telling you, you see all these kids looking for the hip-hop acts. Then they see you, and they’re like, ‘Who’s he? Oh, yeah — me dad talks of him.’ But he said it’s great because you’re doing your thing, and eventually all the kids go, ‘He’s cool, this dude!’”

Johnson said he’s excited by the prospect of playing in front of a young audience, “It kind of takes you right back to the start, when you had to win over an audience. I’m excited.”

Rudd’s court date is set for April 21 in New Zealand. The drummer will face a judge-alone trail, meaning no jury will be present during the presentation of his case. AC/DC have announced a 2015 North American summer tour. They kick things off in Aug. 22 in Foxborough, MA and will play through Sept. 28 in Los Angeles