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 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 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, 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, while there's been no official word from AC/DC about their plans going forward.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.