Chris Slade says that he is "always ready to go" if he gets a call from AC/DC to join the legendary hard rock band on tour.
The 73-year-old played drums for AC/DC's "Rock Or Bust" world trek after Phil Rudd was arrested for drug possession and threatening to kill an employee. Since then, AC/DC has apparently finished recording a new album, with Rudd sitting behind the kit in the studio.
Slade addressed his current status with AC/DC during a new interview that was conducted by Robert Cavuoto of Sonic Perspectives. Asked if he can offer an update on AC/DC's touring plans, Chris said: "There are always going to be rumors with AC/DC. The only person who knows what will happen is Angus [Young, AC/DC guitarist]. It isn't going to be this year. I can actually say that it will not happen in 2020. [Laughs]"
Asked if he will be ready to rejoin AC/DC in 2021 if he gets the call, Slade said: "I'm always ready to go. I love to travel, playing drums, and being on the road as not many people can say that. I hope I will be doing it for many more years."
Slade originally followed Simon Wright in AC/DC's lineup, joining in time to play on 1990's "The Razor's Edge" album. When Rudd returned in 1995, Slade was shown the door and harbored some bad feelings about that for a while.
Four years ago, AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson was forced to leave the band mid-tour due to a dangerous level of hearing loss. He was eventually replaced on the road by GUNS N' ROSES vocalist Axl Rose.
Speaking about the chemistry of performing with both Johnson and Rose, Slade told Sonic Perspectives: "I think Brian was doing the best he possibly could do. I could hear him so well, because I was using in-ear monitors. He didn't sound anything like he thought he sounded. But, of course, he felt really bad that he couldn't do what he considered his best. I was shocked when he was no longer around. I was even more shocked when they said they were trying out Axl Rose. I was, like, 'What?' because I heard all the stories. Turns out he was the nicest guy, and when he started singing, I didn't realize that he had that voice. He was phenomenal and could cover all the eras. He was never late for anything, as AC/DC goes by the second, not the minute, when they start a show. Only once did they not start a show on time in 45 years, and I happened to be in the band. It was due to an issue with Angus's guitar not being set up properly. As far as they were concerned, they have never been late on stage.
In the summer of 2018, Rudd and Johnson, along with guitarists Angus Young and Stevie Young, were photographed outside Vancouver's Warehouse Studios. Based on the pictures, the assumption was that AC/DC was in the midst of making — or at least planning — another album, with Rudd and Johnson both back in the lineup.
Ever since AC/DC completed the tour cycle for its 2014 album "Rock Or Bust" three and a half years ago — a turbulent trek that weathered the forced retirement and eventual death of co-founder Malcolm Young, plus the departures of Johnson, Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams — fans have wondered whether sole remaining founding member Angus Young would keep the band going or decide it was time for AC/DC to pack it in.
In February 2019, a photo surfaced on social media suggesting that Williams has also returned to AC/DC and will appear on the rumored comeback album which is expected to be released in the coming months.