AC/DC take their rock seriously. The Aussie group titled their new record Rock or Bust, four songs on the record have "rock" in their titles and their last album, 2008's Black Ice, also sported four songs with the band's favorite word in the title. So the fact that the band has selected an Australian town literally called the Rock to launch their new album – despite a population of just over 3,000, according to The Guardian – only makes sense.
Although the band members themselves won't be in attendance, the 11-track record will play out in its entirety at a venue in the town on November 23rd, nine days before its official December 2nd release. "It's fantastic for the town," Lockhart Shire Council's Tourism and Economic Development officer, Jennifer Connor, told the regional Eastern Riverina Chronicle. "The AC/DC Rock or Bust markets will be a one-off event that will put the Rock on the international map for an impressive worldwide fan base but more than that it offers our locals an amazing day out."
This sort of small-town event is not unprecedented for AC/DC's label Columbia. Previously, it played Daft Punk's Random Access Memories for the first time in a small Australian town called Wee Waa. Only 4,000 tickets were available to hear the record.
Rock or Bust is AC/DC's first record in six years and it will be their first without founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who left the band earlier this year due to a debilitating illness. His cousin, Stevie Young, played rhythm guitar on the LP. The band debuted the first song to come off the album, "Play Ball," online in October. The band intends to mount a world tour in 2015.
Shortly after the group announced its Rock or Bust listening party, news broke that drummer Phil Rudd had been arrested for allegedly playing a role in a murder-for-hire plot in Tauranga, New Zealand. "We've only become aware of Phil's arrest as the news was breaking," the band said in a statement for Rolling Stone. "We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year."