Brian Johnson explains why AC/DC didn't retain Chris Slade after last tour

Publish Date
Tuesday, 13 October 2020, 8:13AM

Former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade admitted this past summer that despite plenty of circumstantial evidence, he never formally parted ways with the Aussie rock icons after their 2016 'Rock or Bust' world tour.

Slade laughed off the awkward situation this summer in an interview with Rolling Stone, understanding that while his second tenure in AC/DC was likely long over (the band had been spotted at a recording studio two summer earlier), none of the band's reps ever managed to update him on his employment status.

"To my absolute knowledge — and this is me being absolutely honest — I am the current drummer in AC/DC," he said. "It may sound deluded to some people..."

AC/DC confirmed late-last month that it has reformed for a new album, PWR/UP (due out November 13), with bassist Cliff Williams, frontman Brian Johnson and longtime drummer Phil Rudd, complimenting guitarists Stevie and Angus Young.

Johnson was asked on Loudwire Nights about Slade's conundrum.

"I don't know, that's the first I've heard of this," said the singer. "I would have imagined Chris would have known that — Chris stood in for Phil very admirably, did a great job, but as you know, Phil got himself into some trouble, but he's AC/DC's drummer, really, always has been."

Rudd first joined AC/DC in 1975 and played on nearly all of its classic albums. He was precluded from touring with the band during the last go-around due to legal problems, stemming from drug charges and alleged death threats.

Williams added that he was unaware of how little communication there was between Slade and the band's managers. He continued, however, noting that when the last tour ended, the job was over.

"In the past, Chris has been hired to come in and do the job, so that's been the premise of the whole thing," Williams said. "I didn't know that he feels that he's the drummer."

It doesn't seem like Slade has lost any sleep over the issue. He paints an impersonal picture of how the band is run, going back to his first AC/DC stint from 1989 - 1994, during the cycle for the classic Razor's Edge album.

"I've had no indication that I'm not [in the band," the drummer told Linea Rock earlier this year. "But AC/DC, as you probably know, have always taken five years between anything. And then suddenly you get, 'Florida next week,' L.A., 10 days.' They've always been that way."

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission