Ex-AC/DC Drummer Chris Slade Reflects On Being Replaced By Phil Rudd Twice

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Former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade opened up about his tenure with the band during a recent interview with Vinyl Writer Music. In addition to looking back on the highlights with the band, Slade revealed how he felt being replaced by Phil Rudd not once, but twice.

For those of you who may not know, Chris Slade first asked to join AC/DC following drummer Simon Wright’s departure in November 1989. Angus and Malcolm Young initially started working with Slade temporarily through management, however, during the recording of ‘The Razors Edge’ album in 1990, the drummer was asked to join the band.

Chris Slade released the only album he made with AC/DC, and performed on the accompanying world tour, as well as releasing a single named ‘Big Gun’ in 1993. According to the drummer, Malcolm Young called him after working on demos for the following album, ‘Ballbreaker,’ and stated that they are trying to reunite with former drummer Phil Rudd. Hearing that the band wants to keep him as a backup plan, Slade parted his ways with AC/DC on good terms.

Years after working apart from AC/DC, speculation regarding Chris Slade’s return to the band started shortly after Phil Rudd’s legal troubles became publicly known. When pictures of Slade signing albums with the band appeared publicly on February 7, 2015, it was revealed that he was going to be the band’s drummer for the upcoming Rock or Bust world tour.

In addition to performing with the band for their world tour, the drummer has appeared in all promotional photos taken with the band and appeared in the music video for the single ‘Rock the Blues Away.’ Furthermore, AC/DC’s official website listed Chris Slade as the band’s drummer in late April 2015. Despite Slade was seemingly securing his position in the band, it was once again announced that Phil Rudd was returning to AC/DC on the drums on September 30, 2020. 

During a recent interview, the former AC/DC drummer was asked about being replaced by drummer Phil Rudd twice and explained if he ever talked about his duration within the band. According to Chris Slade, he didn’t discuss how long he’ll be with the band, however, when he first started working with AC/DC, they asked him to join the band as an official member. The second time around, on the other hand, Slade joined AC/DC for their world tour and there wasn’t any conversation about the longevity of his tenure with the band.

Chris Slade’s statement during the interview follows:

“No, nothing was ever spoken about how long it was going to be. Now the first time around, they said, ‘Oh, we’re going to make you a member of the band.‘ They brought me in first as a session guy to do the album.

Then after about a week of doing the album, they said, ‘We’d like to make you a member of the band.’ And I went, ‘Wow,’ because that was a big deal. Then the second time around, there was never any talk of when that might end.

With ‘The Razors Edge,’ that kept getting extended. It was supposed to be a year, and it ended up three years. So, there’s no, ‘How long is a piece of string?’ That doesn’t come into the conversation.”

During his interview, the musician seemed like he didn’t have any hard feelings for being replaced by another drummer within the band two times. Apparently, Slade purged himself from his ego as he recalled the time with AC/DC with pure joy and gratitude, unlike many other musicians who previously been kicked out of bands.