AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has opened up about the mess he’s made of his career – and vowed to get it back on track.
He’s currently serving an eight-month home arrest sentence after being found guilty of drugs possession and making death threats.
The November incident and those surrounding it led to AC/DC replacing him with Chris Slade for their Rock Or Bust world tour.
Rudd, who’s appealing his sentence, tells New Zealand’s 3TV that he didn’t expect an angry confrontation after the launch party for solo album Head Job to be taken so seriously. “I was under a lot of stress. I got pissed,” he recalls. “I expected to get on a plane and get straight back to work.”
Since then he’s been working on his issues – and insists he’s “absolutely” in control of himself, adding: “I’m getting help from the country’s most prominent psychologist. I’m getting pychiatric help, medical help. I was suffering from anxiety, a lot of insecurity, depression and stuff.”
The drummer is cautious about discussing his drug use. Asked if it’s true he was using meth around the time of his arrest, he replies: “I’ve never had a drug test. You can’t prove it. I might have just been in a bad fucking mood.”
His close friend Trev Rogers says those around Rudd are proud of the way he’s bouncing back. “In the years I’ve known Phil he never sold drugs to anyone, he never harmed anyone, never assaulted anyone,” he says.
“In recent years he’s made some wrong choices, but that’s not the bloke we know.”
And local activist Tracey Ruddock reports: “He does a lot behind the scenes for the community that no one knows about. He’s a very generous man. Having a rock star living in the community is something we should be proud of.”
Rudd insists his next step is: “Get my job back, go back on the road and make a lot of money. That’s what I’m going to do. Chris Slade is a good drummer but I’ve got no idea what he’s doing up there. I’ve got nothing against Chris. He hasn’t got a permanent job – I hope. I’m the man.”
AC/DC return to New Zealand in December – but a band spokesman has said there’s no chance of Rudd playing with them. Asked if there’s any chance that might change, the drummer says: “I’m not sure. You don’t want to think something’s happening then look like a complete fucking dickhead when it doesn’t.”
And asked if it’s fun being Phil Rudd, he reponds: “Fuck yeah. Well, sometimes. Careful what you wish for.”