AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd promises he’s “going to be back” with the Back in Black band in a new interview. Speaking to New Zealand’s 3D, Rudd said his first priorities when his eight-month home detention sentence ends is to “get my job back, get back on the road and make a lot of money.” The drummer also spoke candidly about the incident that resulted in him being arrested and charged with threatening to kill a former employee.
With Rudd on home detention, AC/DC were forced to embark on their Rock or Bust tour with the band’s one-time drummer Chris Slade behind the kit. “He’s a good drummer, mate. Chris Slade’s a good drummer but I’ve got no idea what he’s doing up there,” Rudd said of his replacement. “Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I got nothing against Chris. It’s just he hasn’t got a permanent job. I hope! That’s all.”
Rudd stressed that he was hopeful that he’d have another opportunity to perform with AC/DC and reclaim his job, but given his current situation – and the travel restrictions placed on him as part of his sentencing – he acknowledges a reunion isn’t in the cards. At least, not until December, when AC/DC will head to New Zealand for a pair of shows.
However, Rudd said that the band had not spoken to him about rejoining them in New Zealand. “You don’t want to act like something is happening and then look like a complete dickhead when it doesn’t,” Rudd said of the New Zealand shows.
“I’m going to be back. I’ve never been fitter; I’ve never felt better; I’ve never been psychologically or physically in better shape my whole life, and I love playing,” Rudd added. “I’ve realized who I am and what I can do and I just want a chance to go out there and show everyone who the man is. I’m the man.”
Rudd also discussed the “angry phone call” that put him in this predicament and how it all started. According to Rudd, he became upset when he showed up at a release party for his 2014 solo LP Head Job, hosted at his own restaurant, and all the attendees were already drunk before he could premiere the album. “When you want to listen to my album don’t turn up pissed, know what I mean,” Rudd said.
Rudd blamed one employee for the botched release party and, in a fit of rage, threatened the employee’s life over the phone. Even after pleading guilty in the incident, Rudd didn’t anticipate he’d be sentenced to home detention. “I expected to get a discharge without conviction and get on a plane and go straight back to fucking work,” Rudd said.
While Rudd downplayed his drug use – “Yeah, but you can’t prove it,” Rudd said of his methamphetamine use, even though that drug was found in his home during a police search – he admitted he’s being treated for depression and anxiety. “I’m getting help from Dr. Bird – the country’s most prominent psychiatrist,” Rudd said. “I was born with an imbalance, you know. I suffer anxiety and a lot of insecurities, depression and stuff.”
If Rudd doesn’t rejoin AC/DC for their tour-ending gigs in New Zealand, he’s optimistic about reuniting with his band mates for their inevitable next trek. “I’ve grown up, but not grown old. I hope there’s a difference,” Rudd said. “I still want to play the drums. I’ve got a lot of game left and I reckon I’m just starting to fucking get cleared up. So I just want a chance to get back in with the boys and just carry on from there. This last tour bullshit, you know, sure. Last tour, AC/DC will never retire, Angus [Young] will never retire.”