Following the tragically premature death of Bon Scott, AC/DC briefly considered breaking up before deciding to continue in his honour. The heartbreaking loss left the band in an unfortunate situation, given that they were now without a singer. Despite being one of the most popular groups on the planet, a thorough search began in order to keep the band alive.
Although AC/DC were riding the crest of a wave following the seismic success of Highway To Hell, their future looked doubtful following Scott’s demise. He embodied the band’s spirit, with many assuming they’d fade into obscurity without his presence. Although, with the benefit of hindsight, joining AC/DC is a no-brainer for any singer with ambition, the reality of the situation was significantly different.
Ultimately, they chose to name Brian Johnson as the successor to Scott. However, the Englishman wasn’t the only vocalist they considered for the role. They also admired the Maltese singer Marc Storace, who remains the frontman of Krokus, but he didn’t even entertain the offer and turned down the opportunity to audition for the band. Storace was scouted by AC/DC after Krokus previously supported the Australian outfit. Despite knocking back the potentially life-changing opportunity, Storace doesn’t regret his decision.
Explaining how the chance arose, he told the Italian publication Linea Rock: “We did ‘Hardware’, and we had, actually, a brand new light show, which arrived from Birmingham. And the CEO of that company in Birmingham — the whole hard rock scene, the centre was Birmingham; Led Zeppelin and everyone else, and AC/DC, they were all doing their production stuff there”.
He added: “And the guy took me to the side, the CEO because he drove down to show us this new light show computer, which we’d never seen one like that [before]. And then he took me on the side, and he said, ‘Would you like to audition for AC/DC?’. And I said, ‘Steve, I’m so happy here. Things are happening, and we’re gonna go places. And these are my new mates.’ I had a kind of loyalty. I was really thankful that I joined Krokus because it suddenly happened. And I had been trying in many different ways.”
Continuing, he said: “The thing about AC/DC is it’s not realistic to think that way when you think why I decided that way. And I wouldn’t change a minute. I’m happy. I have a loving wife. I have two beautiful children. They’re intelligent. They’re doing their own thing. I have my own house. I’m an ambassador for [the French car company] Peugeot. It’s great to be alive. And that’s why I’m doing my solo album. And I don’t wanna stop.”
Although Storace claims he doesn’t regret his decision not to join the band as he’s lived a fulfilled, family-orientated life, he did release an album of Bon Scott-era AC/DC covers in 2000. Additionally, when Johnson was forced to take a break from the group in 2016 due to health reasons, Storace put his name forward as a replacement, but they chose Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses instead.