Chris Slade Recalls AC/DC Fan ‘Prejudice’ Against Axl Rose
Two-term AC/DC drummer Chris Slade said some fans had shown “prejudice” against him when he returned to the band in 2015, and that Axl Rose dealt with the same issues when he took over from Brian Johnson the following year. Slade, whose first stint ran from 1989 to 1994, doesn’t appear to be part of the band’s mystery new project, with Phil Rudd and Johnson both seen with other AC/DC members outside a Vancouver studio recently.
“It’s different, obviously,” Slade told United Rock Nations of Rose’s tenure in a new interview. “It can’t be the same. The music is the same, but the only thing that changes is the singer. Axl did a great job. He did an amazing job, actually. People sometimes listen with prejudice – and people also listen with [their eyes]. They don’t use [their ears].” He continued: “When I got back it was, ‘Ah, Slade can’t play drums… He’s an absolutely useless drummer. He should go an have lessons so he can play like Phil. That happened a lot – people listening with [their eyes].” But he added: “I understand people’s prejudice.”
You can watch the full interview below:
He revealed that he’d last spoken to the band at the end of their Rock or Bust tour, and, when asked about their future he replied: “We’re gonna have to wait and see … along with everybody else. Including myself!”
He also recalled his '80s audition while AC/DC were looking for a replacement for Rudd, saying he was “number 100” in a list of 100 drummers, including big names he declined to name. “I thought I hadn’t done very well,” he said. “I only lived an hour from the rehearsal place. AC/DC had called my house before I got home to say I had the gig.” He compared that to how he joined Asia in 1999. “Asia couldn’t get hold of me in any way… they actually wrote me a letter, saying ‘We’d like you to play drums.’”
Slade didn’t have to audition for his second AC/DC stint. “It was a complete surprise,” he said. “I was actually working with [solo band] Timeline in Switzerland when I got the call from the manager, and I said, ‘Has this come from the guys? Do they want me to play drums?’ He went, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ It was a very nice and welcome surprise.” He noted: “They didn’t even audition Phil when he came back [in 1994]… and they should have. I’m sorry, but that’s true.”