Chris Slade says that he has "had no indication" that he is no longer part of AC/DC's touring lineup.
The 73-year-old played drums for AC/DC's "Rock Or Bust" world tour 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 an interview that was conducted by Barbara Caserta of Linea Rock on February 14 in Bergamo, Italy. Asked if he knows whether he is still in AC/DC or not, Slade replied (see video below): "I've had no indication that I'm not. But AC/DC, as you probably know, have always taken five years between anything. And then suddenly you get [a phone call], '[Come to] Florida next week.' 'L.A., 10 days' time.' They've always been that way."
Slade also spoke about how he found out that AC/DC wanted him back in the band for the "Rock Or Bust" tour five years ago. He said: "I was working with [THE CHRIS SLADE] TIMELINE in Switzerland, and my phone is an American phone. And I saw this New York number. Because what had happened… People kept saying to me, 'Have you had the call yet? Have you had the call? Have you had the call?' And I [said], 'No, I haven't had the call, and they're not going to call me. Okay?' After the first few months went by, I thought, 'Oh, I'm not gonna get a call now. Angus [Young, AC/DC guitarist] probably has a nephew who plays drums or something.' So I was on the road with TIMELINE and I got this call, and I was, like, 'Wow!' It was the manager, and he said, 'Chris, the guys would like you to come back in.' And even at the end of it — and this went on for, like, probably 10, 15 minutes — at the end of it, I said, 'Does this come from the guys, from the band?' And he went, 'Of course it's coming from the band.' And I [went], 'Okay then.' I'd already said 'yes,' by the way."
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.
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.