A week after charges were laid, and then some of them dropped, against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, his bandmates have opened up frankly about his situation, with guitarist Angus Young stating “that the guy needs to sort himself out”.
Speaking with USA Today, Young and bassist Cliff Williams said Rudd was increasingly unreliable during the recording of their latest studio album Rock Or Bust, adding that “it was tough” to get Rudd into the studio at all.
“It put us in a difficult situation,” said Young, adding that the difficulties continued through the video and photo shoots — which would explain the drummer’s conspicuous absence from the band’s recent promotional photos as well as their questionable music video for their new track Play Ball.
“It put us in a spot where we couldn’t move forward,” said Angus Young. “Does the guy show up? Is he reliable to do his job in good shape? We’ve always been a solid, reliable unit.”
“Phil created his own situation,” said Young. “It’s a hard thing to say about the guy. He’s a great drummer, and he’s done a lot of stuff for us. But he seems to have let himself go. He’s not the Phil we’ve known from the past.”
Rudd was arrested last week and appeared in court over charges of attempting to procure the murder of two people in September, as well as charges of threatening to kill someone and the possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. Just a day after his arrest, the murder plot charges were dropped because of insufficient evidence.
AC/DC issued a brief statement following the arrest, reaffirming that it will have no effect on the upcoming release of their new studio album or their plans to tour in the new year. On the impending tour, Stevie Young will be replacing his uncle Malcolm, who is in care suffering from Dementia, but Rudd’s involvement still remains in question.
“I don’t know the exact situation,” adds Angus Young. “I can only say, from our perspective, that the guy needs to sort himself out.” Rudd will still defend the drugs charges made against him, and the charge of threatening to kill, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years. He is due to appear in court again on Thursday, 27th November.
The band’s new album Rock Or Bust is due out Friday, 28th November.