AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has declared that he will be rejoining the group by the time it embarks on its world tour next year, despite facing charges of drug possession and threatening to kill in New Zealand. "I'm going back to work with AC/DC, and I don't care who likes it and who doesn't," Rudd told New Zealand's One News. "I want my job back, I want my reputation back and I'm gonna get it back. I'm gonna fucking take it back."
The drummer, who has pleaded not guilty, also called the charges against him "ludicrous." "This has just been a big ball of cheese, and all the rats are gathering and having a piece. That's just life. But that's not who I am," Rudd said of the charges against him. "Everyone listens to the wrong people. They should listen to me. I'm a good guy – and a pretty good drummer, by the way. Ask Angus [Young], he'll tell you." Rudd is due back in court February 10th, 2015 for a review hearing.
As for the drummer's immediate plans? "I'm going fishing, flying this afternoon and lots of fornicating tonight."
While Rudd does drum on Rock or Bust, AC/DC have soldiered on without him on the LP's promotional tour: Rudd didn't appear in early press photos for Rock or Bust, and drummer Bob Richards filled in for Rudd in both the "Play Ball" and "Rock or Bust" videos. "Phil's absence will not affect the release of our new album, Rock or Bust, and upcoming tour next year," the band wrote in a statement following Rudd's arrest.
Despite the sense that AC/DC were moving on without their longtime drummer, guitarist Angus Young was still undecided over Rudd's future with the band. "The drum situation is a question mark," Young told Rolling Stone. "But we will definitely be out there." The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have still not made a definitive statement on Rudd's status, but expect a decision to be made before the Rock or Bust Tour kicks off May 5, 2015 in Arnhem, Holland.