With all the attention surrounding singer Brian Johnson‘s abrupt and possibly permanent departure from AC/DC due to his hearing issues, it would be easy to forget the problems the band went through in late 2014 with longtime drummer Phil Rudd. The drummer was arrested and convicted of drug possession and threatening to kill and was forced to drop out of AC/DC’s tour plans after recording the drums for their latest album, Rock Or Bust. But in a new interview with Bay Of Plenty Times, Rudd said he has not ruled out a return to the group.

Rudd said, “It is up to Angus (Young, AC/DC guitarist), what he wants to do. I am limited to where I can go.” Rudd admitted he’s more relaxed about his future with the group now, saying, “I’ve never felt better as a drummer or a person. I am not saying I never hope of ever playing with AC/DC again but, then again, is it even AC/DC anymore? No Bon‘s (Scott) beautiful voice. No Malcolm (Young, guitar). No Brian (Johnson, vocals).”

  • Rudd was sentenced to eight months of home detention by a New Zealand court last July after pleading guilty to charges of threatening to kill and drug possession.
  • The charge of threatening to kill was the result of him reportedly trying to hire someone to “take out” his personal assistant after Rudd was angered by the poor launch of his 2014 solo debut, Head Job.
  • Rudd since started seeing a court-appointed psychiatrist who specializes in methamphetamine psychosis and who the drummer said is “helping me through my imbalances and personal issues.” Rudd said that the psychiatrist comes to his house “about once a week,” adding, “I was quite happy to get the help.”
  • The drummer was replaced in AC/DC back in February 2015 by Chris Slade, who had previously played in the group from 1990 until 1993, when Rudd returned from a previous hiatus brought on by drugs and alcohol.
  • Rudd himself played with AC/DC from 1975 until 1983, and then again from 1994 through 2014. He first appeared on the band’s second album, 1975’s T.N.T.
  • The album cycle for Rock Or Bust has been plagued with bad luck, including Rudd’s arrest, the illness and retirement of founding member Malcolm Young and Johnson’s forced exit.


  • Should Phil Rudd probably come to terms with the idea that it’s unlikely he’ll ever play with AC/DC again?
  • If he could travel — which he can’t at this point — would it worth it for Angus to give him another chance, if only to have another longtime member still in the lineup?
  • That one thing Phil said — “Is it even AC/DC anymore?” — do you think he’s got something there?

INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth — agree or not?

David Tomasello wrote: “why bother, Phil — the band as a whole should pack it in.”

Shawn Phase wrote: “gotta suck having your job taken not once, but twice by a guy 8-9 years older than you. then again, he made his bed when he wanted to organize a hit on a dude.”

Ralph Recon wrote: “At this point does anybody really care? Finish up the tour and be done with it all.”

Steve Moore wrote: “‘It is up to Angus, what he wants to do.’ Yes, and he wanted to call Chris Slade, and he did. Looks like the matter has been settled.”

Frank Lefebvre wrote: “Moment of lucidity: ‘is it even AC/DC anymore?'”