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Scott Ian explains why Malcolm Young is the greatest rhythm guitarist of all time

Classic Rock

Scott Ian explains why Malcolm Young is the greatest rhythm guitarist of all time

In an interview on SiriusXM, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian praised the late legendary AC/DC musician Malcolm Young saying he is the best rhythm guitarist of all time and he explained why.


He said:

“Talk to any guitar player, either rhythm or lead guitar player, and they’ll tell you, ‘Malcolm’s the best.’ He’s the best.

“Like, literally, his riffs and approach to playing, his dynamics, his right hand… He was so percussive as a rhythm player with his dynamic, just unbelievable.

“It just cuts through in a way that nobody else before, during, or after playing in hard rock will ever come close to. Because no one is ever gonna write those chops again; they’ve already been written, you can’t write those chops again. It’s impossible because then you’ll just sound like a bad AC/DC ripoff.”

In 2018 he revealed in interview for Nikki Sixx that Malcolm was the reason for him to become a guitarist:

“The earliest and that I played in like a second or third-grade talent show was a song ‘Wipe Out’ by The Surfaris.

“I started playing guitar when I was 8, that was around ’71-’72. So everything from the ’70s for me was – I was just learning, learning, learning. I would sit at home with the records and just learn the chords.

“And that thing has a lot to do with why I stuck to rhythm and becoming a rhythm player. Some of it comes from laziness because I just wanted to learn the songs.

“So when I would come home with an AC/DC record – I would learn all the chords, I would learn all the songs, but I couldn’t be bothered to sit and – like some of my friends – slow the record down and learn Angus’ solos.

“In a time it would take me to do that I could learn a whole another album of songs. And I felt that’s what the song is – it’s the chords! I don’t care about all that other noodly stuff! [Laughs]

“Rudy Schenker from the Scorpions was a big influence on me as well. Again, the guy who’s strictly the rhythm guy, and he just had such driving energy. Just the power of his chords. And of course, you see them live and he’s like the lunatic on stage.

“And even for a guy like me in the ’70s, Ted Nugent – people think of him as a lead player, but for me, it was always about his groove. When you’re 13 and you hear that riff, your boner is like, ‘Oh my god! What is that?! I need more of that!'”

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I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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