AC/DC Get Rid Of Longtime Member Before Return

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According to Blabbermouth, AC/DC has recruited drummer Matt Laug to perform with the band at the Power Trip festival next month in Indio, California. This performance will mark AC/DC’s first gig since 2016. Matt Laug is an American drummer known for playing with various bands and artists, including Alanis Morissette, Alice Cooper, Slash’s Snakepit, and Vasco Rossi. Laug previously supported AC/DC as part of Slash’s Snakepit during the “Stiff Upper Lip” tour in 2001.

AC/DC shared a short audio snippet from the rehearsal sessions for Power Trip, which included a message stating that Cliff Williams would come out of retirement for the festival, and Matt Laug would be on drums.

Notably, there was no explanation provided for the absence of AC/DC’s longtime drummer Phil Rudd, who rejoined the band for their comeback album, “Power Up,” released in November 2020. Rudd was temporarily replaced during the “Rock Or Bust” tour by Chris Slade due to legal issues and was subsequently involved in the recording of “Power Up.”

Rudd’s return to AC/DC was initiated during Malcolm Young’s funeral in 2017, where Angus Young and Rudd had a conversation that ultimately led to Rudd rejoining the band for the album.

AC/DC postponed the last 10 dates of their spring 2016 North American tour when singer Brian Johnson was advised to stop playing live to avoid hearing loss. Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses filled in as a guest vocalist for those remaining tour dates.

“Angus and I had a good chat at Mal’s funeral and caught up,” Rudd recalled. “[After I played on the ‘Rock Or Bust’ record] there was crazy shit going on, but since then, I’d got my shit together and put a little band together, I went to Europe and was doing a bit of playing and stuff and did [a solo] album. The guys knew I was still playing, so when I caught up with Angus at the funeral, we were sort of chatting away and somehow, he just sort of [asked me] if I was up for [doing a new AC/DC] album. And he started writing the next day. He went in the studio and started writing straight away.”

Angus told Rolling Stone that it was indeed Malcolm’s funeral that helped heal old wounds.

“[Phil] was there and in good shape,” the guitarist said. “He was keeping himself well together. He was getting therapy and sorting himself out. It was really good.”