AC/DC has commented on the arrest of the band's drummer, Phil Rudd, by New Zealand police on charges of attempting to arrange a murder.
Said the group in a statement: "We've only become aware of Phil's arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil's absence will not affect the release of our new album, 'Rock Or Bust', and upcoming tour next year."
Rudd also faces charges of possessing the drugs methamphetamine and cannabis, and of threatening to kill. Rudd's home in New Zealand was raided by police on Thursday morning (November 6) and the 60-year-old drummer was taken to court, where he entered no plea to the charges later that afternoon. He was released on bail and will reappear in court on November 27.
Rudd is alleged to have tried to hire a hitman to kill two men. Their names and that of the intended hitman were not released to the media. If convicted, Rudd faces a maximum of 10 years in jail.
The alleged events reportedly took place between September 25 and September 26.
Rudd was missing from AC/DC's new publicity photo and was also a no-show at the group's video shoot on October 3 and October 4 for its two new singles, "Play Ball" and "Rock Or Bust".
Rudd was replaced for the filming by drummer Bob Richards. Singer Brian Johnson reportedly told fans at the shoot that Rudd was unable to participate due to an undisclosed "family emergency."
AC/DC's new album, "Rock Or Bust", will be released on December 2. The 11-song set is AC/DC's first without guitarist Malcolm Young, who is suffering from dementia. He has been replaced by nephew Stevie Young.