Chad Smith Names The One Musician AC/DC Owe Everything To

In a recent installment of Rhino’s “Totally ’80s” podcast, Chad Smith disclosed the identity of the person responsible for AC/DC’s sound from the start.

Who Contributed To The Band’s Music?

Smith said that it was difficult for him to capture the vibe that Phil Rudd brought to AC/DC’s songs. He also cited Rick Rubin’s contribution to maintaining that sound, alluding to the drummer’s comeback to the group with the release of “Ballbreaker” in the middle of the 1990s:

“When Rick Rubin went and did his record with AC/DC in the ’90s, he was instrumental in getting Phil Rudd back in the band because he knew that is the key component.”

He continued by outlining Rudd’s position inside the band.

“Feel of AC/DC, everyone contributes to it, but without Phil Rudd, it’s not gonna be the same. It’s just where he places the beat. As simple as it is, you can’t. It’s just – It’s him!”

In his 2014 book “Dog Eat Dog,” Michael Browning, the original manager of AC/DC, echoed Smith’s observations on the band’s formative years in the music industry. He remarked, alluding to Rudd’s admission to the band in 1975:

“Phil became integral to AC/DC’s musical style and was over time admired worldwide by his peers for his wonderful timing and feel.”

On And Off The Lineup

Over time, there were pauses in Rudd’s membership in the band. Slade took the drummer’s job for AC/DC’s 2015 “Rock Or Bust” tour since the prior aide had drug convictions against him and had threatened to murder him.

After Malcolm Young passed away a few years later, Rudd re-joined the group to work on a new album. In an interview with the “Let There Be Talk” podcast, he discussed his comeback following the release of the “Power Up” album in 2020. He said:

Angus [Young] and I had a good chat at Mal’s funeral and caught up. 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 if I was up for [a new AC/DC] album, and he started writing the next day. He went in the studio and started writing straight away.”

Nevertheless, Rudd was absent from AC/DC’s first live show in seven years, which took place in early October 2023. At the Power Trip event, Matt Laug took over as drummer for the performance.




Leave a Comment