Chris Slade Says He Wasn’t Expecting AC/DC To Ask Him Replace Phil Rudd

In a recent interview with WalesOnline, veteran drummer Chris Slade shared his surprise at being asked to replace Phil Rudd in AC/DC, not once, but twice.

Despite his success with AC/DC, Slade’s initial tenure was cut short. During the recording of ‘Ballbreaker,’ he was informed that the band intended to reunite with former drummer Phil Rudd. Slade, respecting the band’s decision, parted ways amicably. This departure, however, did not mark the end of his association with AC/DC.

In 2015, legal troubles for Rudd opened the door for Slade’s return to AC/DC for the ‘Rock or Bust’ world tour. However, the drummer was least expecting this:

“People kept asking me, and I kept saying: ‘They’re not going to call, they’re not going to call,’ and it went on for months. Then I was on the road with Timeline and got the ring ring.”

When the management called him, he responded with enthusiasm. As it appears, Slade’s former bandmates were wanting him to come back as well:

“I said: ‘Of course’. I asked if the band had asked me [to come back], and the manager said: ‘Of course’ [and] that he wouldn’t be asking me if they hadn’t wanted it first. I used to visit the band sometimes when they were in London, but I haven’t seen them much since. Probably a few years.”

Yet, history repeated itself in 2020 when Rudd returned to the band, leading to Slade’s second departure.

Slade Had a Successful Career With AC/DC

Slade’s career with AC/DC began in 1989, following the departure of drummer Simon Wright. His audition for the band, as he recalls, was less than perfect in his own eyes, yet he emerged as the chosen one among a hundred candidates. He then joined the band for their 1990 album ‘The Razors Edge,’ which included the hit ‘Thunderstruck,’ and the accompanying world tour.

Slade also has had a successful career beyond AC/DC. He was a founding member of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, played with The Firm in the mid-80s, and joined the English rock supergroup Asia for six years until 2005. He also leads The Chris Slade Timeline, a band that covers the expanse of his musical career, and has fronted an AC/DC tribute band, Chris Slade Steel Circle.

In a 2021 interview, the same question arose again — how did Slade feel after being replaced by Rudd twice? With his response, the drummer revealed if he ever talked with his bandmates about being an official member or not. You can read that story here.

What’s in Store for AC/DC?

Recent activities of AC/DC include launching the High Voltage Dive Bar in Indio in October 2023 and performing at the Power Trip music festival with drummer Matt Laug. The band also sparked speculation about a possible tour in 2024, including an appearance at the Rock in Rio festival and a confirmed show at Munich’s Olympic Stadium set for June 12, 2024.

However, as of now, there aren’t any official announcements on the band’s official website.