AC/DC Members Not in Touch With Phil Rudd Since Murder-Plot Charges
"We had a few issues before with him. Even when we were recording, it was hard even to get to him to do the recording"
Angus Young of AC/DC says his bandmates have not been in touch with Phil Rudd since he was charged with threatening to kill and possessing methamphetamine and marijuana last week.
Young, 59, said in an interview Thursday that Rudd's behavior was somewhat erratic while recording the band's new album, Rock or Bust, which is due to be released on Dec. 2.
"Well, we had a few problems. The situation he's in — that took everyone by surprise. We had a few issues before with him. Even when we were recording, it was hard even to get to him to do the recording," Young said, sitting in a room with bassist Cliff Williams.
"And then he was supposed to show up to do promos with us, to do video shoots and a few shoots and a few other things, and he never showed up for that either. So, at this stage, it's a pretty tough call for us."
Rudd, who has been with the band on and off for nearly four decades, was released last week. He is expected to appear in court in New Zealand on Nov. 27.
"We haven't had contact," Young said in New York City. "But he has his people that represent him. He's got himself in a pickle."
Police had initially accused Rudd of trying to arrange for a hit man to carry out two killings. Police had charged him with attempting to procure murder, which comes with a maximum 10-year sentence. The charge was dropped after a day.
Rudd, 60, could face a maximum prison term of seven years for the charge of threatening to kill.
Young says AC/DC will continue to promote the album and perform without Rudd, if need be. The band will launch a tour next year.
"We were resolved for us to go forward, and I think Phil's got — it's something he's got to do himself. He's got to sort himself out I think," the guitarist said. "But we were resolved to go forward. So at this point, it's kind of a question mark. But if we're touring, there will be a drummer in place, put it that way."
The Australian band also faced a shake-up in its lineup when 61-year-old guitarist Malcolm Young, who has dementia, announced in September he was leaving the group because of his health. Stevie Young, nephew of founding members Malcolm and Angus Young, played guitar on the band's new album and will join them on the tour.
AC/DC also includes vocalist Brian Johnson.