"When it comes to AC/DC, they were my guitar teacher," Ian tells "My Favorite Riff with Nikki Sixx." "Malcolm, basically, I just took lessons from him, starting around 1977 or something like that, just listening to the albums."
Ian says that as a child he would spend hours playing along to entire albums.
"I just wanted to learn the songs, so like when I would come home with an AC/DC record, I would learn all the chords on all the songs, but I couldn't be bothered to then sit...and learn [Angus Young's] solos. In the time it would take me to do that, I could learn another album of songs. I thought, 'The chords, that's what the song is!'"
While you would never mistake Anthrax for AC/DC or Scott Ian for Malcolm Young, Ian says what he learned from listening to Young helped sculpt Anthrax's unique sound.
"[Malcolm] had such an intense right hand and he was super percussive," Ian says. "That's where I learned it from. My style of playing in the context of Anthrax—I was somehow able to add Malcolm's percussiveness into what I've done, which I think in the early days separated me from the pack."
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Following Malcolm Young's death in November, Ian paid tribute to his favorite guitarist in an Instagram post.
"What he means to me is unquantifiable," Ian wrote at the time. "I am a rhythm guitarist because of Malcolm Young, he lives with me always and I hope to honor the man and his legacy every time I play.
Photo: YouTube / SixxSense