Niven said (as transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar.com): “I’m uncomfortable with Axl performing on a stage that has a giant pair of… devil horns on it; that he sings ‘Highway to Hell,’ which I’m not sure has the humor in it that it ought to have.”
“I’m a great believer that you don’t defend the devil. I believe that if you want negativity and you want nastiness in your life, that it’s your responsibility to either invite it in your life or expel it from your life.
“I think there’s a difference between celebrating the devil and aspiring to be a free spirit and challenging the evil over authoritarianism.
“And if it’s just in play, it’s stupid… And if it’s not in play, then it’s evil… Life is binary – either you’re of the light, or of the dark. In the light, you can see what and who is beautiful… And in the dark, you’re blind and you’re lost…”
Niven added: “It really freaking disturbs me that there seems to be no shame or… an apology for the fact that the likes of Richard Ramirez found auditory stimulation in their song ‘Night Stalker’ [Richard Ramirez was a serial killer, rapist, and burglar responsible for over 15 brutal murders, rapes and attempted murders in Los Angeles during mid-’80s. He was nicknamed the “Night Stalker” and a fan of AC/DC, particularly the song “Night Prowler” off 1979’s “Highway to Hell.”]
“I mean – after that happens, and you’re selling glow-in-the-dark devil horns at your gigs – I’m sorry, that makes you a dumbass Australian little hobgoblin.
“And you can quote me, and I know it’s gonna piss a lot of people off, but when it comes to what really matters, you gotta stand or fall.”
When asked if he thinks that AC/DC are describing satanic message in their lyrics, he answered: “I loved ‘Down Payment Blues’ [off 1978’s ‘Powerage’], I think that is worth the price of admission all the way around.
“But, I think if I found out I’ve written something like ‘Night Stalker’ and it was connected with an event that I’ve lived through in California – and I can palpably recall the fear that people had, especially women – I would have been mortified! And I wouldn’t have put a pair of freaking, f*cking devil horns on my stage, pardon my language.
“I don’t think you defend the devil and I don’t think you mess with it, and I think that if something unfortunate like that happens, then you should acknowledge it and say, ‘Wow! We’re mortified. That was never our intent, we were just being goofy. My god, I don’t know what I’m gonna do in the future.’
“No, they just put another pair of devil horns on the stage, and that I found disconcerting and that’s why I’m disconcerted that Axl runs under a pair of them.”
Nivel was also asked about his opinion about GHOST, to which he responded:
“I remember when they first came out, there were a lot of kids around the town who were impressed by them.
“Being of the critical nature I am, I kind of went, ‘Well it sounds like heavy ambrosia to me, apart from the fact they’re putting this satanic, evil gloss over it.’
“I’ll go back to the one statement: Don’t defend the devil.”