‘Neil Peart Couldn’t Play In AC/DC Like Phil Rudd,’ Nuno Bettencourt Says

In a recent Q1043 New York chat, Nuno Bettencourt discussed the qualities of simple rock songs, focusing on their evolving nature and the artistry involved, tying into why Neil Peart couldn’t play AC/DC songs like Phil Rudd.

The guitarist emphasized the dynamic character of rock music, explaining that each listen can reveal something new. He used AC/DC as an example to illustrate how simplicity and the use of space in music can create a powerful impact. He then emphasized that the spaces in music, particularly in an arena setting, contribute significantly to the song’s impact, saying:

“They’re in an arena, the spaces are massive – it’s the power within the spaces and the power within that the pump of it all. And the drummer Phil Rudd is not Neil Peart, but Neil Peart could probably not play that pocket like Phil Rudd does.”

The Unique Skills Of Rudd And Peart

He clarified that his statement was not a critique of Peart’s ability but rather a commentary on different styles, explaining:

“I always get into trouble when I say these things. Like what I said about Slash playing Rihanna stuff, people think I’m saying that Slash couldn’t play what I played with Rihanna. No. People think I’m saying right now that Neil couldn’t play an AC/DC song. No. That’s not what I’m saying.”

Capturing The Essence Beyond Technical Skill

Bettencourt continued, detailing his point:

“What I’m saying is if you ask the two artists or even ask a Slash or you ask a Neil Peart about a simpler player… I can play an Angus Young solo – I can learn it verbatim. But do you think I can make it feel like that? And make it as raunchy as his personality? Not in my f*cking lifetime.”

Nuno’s Apology To Slash

Previously, in a Planet Rock interview, Nuno had suggested Slash couldn’t play a certain Rihanna song, which led to a public disagreement with Richard Fortus. Later, in July 2023, the musician posted an Instagram video to apologize to Guns N’ Roses guitarists for his comments. He said:

“Bottom line is, this is on me. I need to keep my f*cking mouth shut. I got asked a question about Rihanna, and my answer was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I’ll take full responsibility for it… I tried to make a point, but it kind of backfired on me. I do a lot of press, and every once in a while, you say stupid sh*t…”

The guitarist’s latest album with Extreme, ‘Six,’ arrived last year. The first single, ‘Rise,’ quickly gained over 1 million views in the first week, largely due to interest in Bettencourt’s guitar solo.

Watch his entire conversation below.