Embattled AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd sounded a hopeful note on Sunday (August 9), appearing on New Zealand's "3D" TV news magazine for his first in-depth interview since legal issues began last fall.
Rudd, who's serving an eight-month home arrest after being convicted of threatening murder and drug possession -- and is now facing charges of violating the terms of the sentence -- told the program that he's been getting psychiatric help and has "a lot to think about now. I've grown up, but I've not grown old."
Rudd says his primary goal is to "get my job back" with AC/DC, “get back on the road and make a lot of money...I still want to play drums. I've got a lot of game left...So I just want a chance to get back in with my boys and just carry on from there."
Rudd did express disappointment that he hasn't heard from any of his bandmates during his ordeal; "I tried to get in touch...They haven't called me. You know who your friends are. That's life."
AC/DC is currently touring with Chris Slade, who had replaced Rudd before from 1989-94; Rudd called Slade "a good drummer, but I've no idea what he's doing up there...I got nothing against Chris. It's just he hasn't got a permanent job -- I hope. That's all...I'm going to be back. I've never been fitter. I’ve never felt better. I've never been psychologically or physically in better shape my whole life, and I love playing. I've realized who I am and what I can do, and I just want a chance to go out there and show everyone who the man is. I'm the man."
AC/DC begins a North American tour August 22 in Foxboro, Mass. The group will play in New Zealand during December but has said it won't be reinstating Rudd for those shows.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.