04/16/2014 at 02:00 PM EDT
's Malcolm Young is ill and will take a break from performing, the band announced Wednesday.
"After 40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health," AC/DC wrote on its website
. "Malcolm would like to thank the group's diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support."
Young, 61, started AC/DC in 1973 and has played with the rock group ever since – besides a brief break in 1988, when he missed the Blow Up Your Video World Tour to recover from alcoholism.
The band's statement did not disclose Young's illness, though musician Mark Gable told Australia's ABC Radio
, "It's not just that he is unwell, it's that it is quite serious."
Despite Young's absence, AC/DC assured fans it isn't going anywhere, writing, "The band will continue to make music."