Drummer Chris Slade weighs in on AC/DC rumours

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AC/DC drummer Chris Slade has spoken about the band’s future – and has given his take on the rumours that Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd are back in the lineup.

The rock world went into meltdown earlier this year when estranged members Johnson and Rudd were photographed together (opens in new tab) outside Vancouver’s Warehouse Studios – just a day after Angus and Stevie Young were also spotted at the same location.

Slade, who took over behind the kit after Rudd was kicked out of the band in 2016 after being found guilty of drugs possession and making death threats, has now spoken about the rumours.

And while he’s not giving too much away, it would appear by his answers that he’s not part of the band’s plans going forward.

Asked by eonMusic (opens in new tab) if he thought that it was right that part of the old lineup were reportedly back together, Slade replies: "Yes. If it works, good luck. It’s great. And why not?

“There’s all sorts of rumours: Axl’s going to be doing a track, Brian’s going to be doing a track, there’s so many variables here. And I’ve learned with AC/DC also, not to believe the rumours, because even fans fake things.

“But Angus is now over 60, I think, so he’s still got a few years to go, if you go by me and Brian. That’s all he does – he relaxes by painting, and he smokes fags, and that’s about it, so the rest of the time, he’s playing guitar.”

Asked about who might be playing bass on the rumoured studio sessions since Cliff Williams retired at the end of the Rock Or Bust tour (opens in new tab), Slade says: “I’m not sure about that. 

“But Stevie Young and Angus both play bass. Would Cliff come out of retirement? It depends on if he’s bored or not, because all he will want to do these days is go fishing with his son, who is a professional fisherman.

“So, I don’t know. It’s possible, of course, but there again, it’s all rumours. But Angus is very big, family-orientated, a la Stevie, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a nephew or a cousin or something who plays bass So, that’s just a thought.”

The drummer is currently on the road with The Chris Slade Timeline (opens in new tab), while there's been no official word from AC/DC about their plans going forward.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.