Simon Philips Was Once Declined By Angus And Malcolm Young, ‘It’s Not Quite Our Thing’

Simon Phillips reportedly had a chance to join AC/DC in the past, but Angus and Malcolm Young turned him down. Even though Simon had a good rehearsal with AC/DC in 1990, it was obvious to all sides that he wasn’t the appropriate match. In a recent interview with Louder Sound, Philips discussed how his approach doesn’t exactly fit in with AC/DC and emphasized the diversity at the heart of his playing. He declared:

“Not from a playing point of view – I grew up playing many different styles. To play rock’n’roll is second nature to me, but I need to play more improvised music; I’m not very good at playing the same thing every night. For example, I can play with The Who and enjoy it, but I can’t play with AC/DC and enjoy it. I’ve done both.”

Giving a more thorough account of his time spent performing with AC/DC, Simon clarified why this partnership never materialized. He went on:

“I actually rehearsed with AC/DC in early 1990 for an album. Lovely guys, but it was very apparent that I was absolutely the wrong drummer for them. We had a great time together, but Angus and Malcolm and George said, ‘It’s not quite our thing.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I can see!’ With The Who there’s more improvisation – it’s more explosive.”

Bands Simon Phillips Has Worked With

Over his career, Simon Phillips has worked with several bands and musicians in addition to serving as the drummer for The Who and Toto for more than 20 years. He has collaborated with several jazz performers in addition to Jeff Beck, Judas Priest, Tears for Fears, Joe Satriani, and Bob Dylan, among other bands and artists.

He recently discussed his experiences working with a wide variety of bands. He declared:

“At the end of the day I love playing different types of music and love being in a learning position as well. Whatever project you get involved with, if it’s interesting and rewarding like that, then you’re in the best situation.”

In 2021, he revealed to Rolling Stone how he collaborated with Judas Priest on their album “Sin After Sin,” which was maybe the hardest band he has ever worked with. And Phillips accomplished it with no prior knowledge of their music. Phillips said that Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover was instrumental in this cooperation.

“The contractor who used to contract me for a lot of sessions recommended me to Roger. And Roger said, ‘I’d like to meet him.’I turn up at his house. He answers the door and looks at me like, ‘Yes?’ I go, ‘Oh, I’m Simon Phillips.’ He looks at me like, ‘Really? OK. Come in. Can I make you a milkshake? Anyway, we chatted for a bit and I felt always very uncomfortable in these situations. I was young, 19 years old. What do we talk about? Apparently, through I don’t remember this, but I saw Roger recently and he told me Jon Lord came around and we started playing. He said, ‘Wow.’ He couldn’t believe it since I was a young kid. I ended up on Roger’s album, Elements. And he called me for all his productions, one of which was Judas Priest.”

The Genre Simon Phillips Feels Closest To

Phillips said in the first section that rock music came naturally to him. You may be wondering, what is his first? Well, Simon provided us with the BeWhere solution in 2012! He declared:

“It is important to mention that I grew up playing Dixieland, as did most drummers in the early 60s in the UK, so it could be said that my roots are in jazz. The traditional swing beat (straight ahead – whatever you want to call it) is the first beat I learnt to play. I used to play along with records ranging from big band swing to pop so that was the start of being able to play a broad spectrum of musical styles.”

It wasn’t all that shocking, but before he ventured into so many other musical genres, it’s crucial to understand his origins.


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