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Phil Rudd New Interview, May Be Touring Europe This Summer

May 13, 2016

In an interview this week with New Zealand newspaper The Bay Of Plenty Times, Phil Rudd reveals he's "stopped all the crazy stuff," and may be touring Europe with his solo act as soon as next month. He reflects on the events from 2014 and what the future holds for him, including possible club dates in France and Belgium in June.

Here are some excerpts from this interview:

"I have behaved myself pretty well. I even tried to give up the cigarettes but I haven't. I didn't drink. I am not a big drinker so it doesn't bother me. But I have stopped all the crazy stuff."

"At first it was hard. Frustrating. Not being able to go out to the shops. Do the little things. I was allowed a couple of hours twice a week to check on my boat. I'd go in the morning. I got to drive my cars. It was my only freedom. But being Taurus, a self-determining person, at first I struggled with having to be home at a set time. But now, I am a homebody."

He says he hasn't minded the quiet days. "I don't get bored. In the music business you get used to a lot of waiting around. I enjoy days when there is nothing to do because there are days ahead when it will be busy."

The quietness of the past eight months and the more low-key lifestyle is something he wants to continue, he says.

"It has become part of who I am now. With help. I have had to get help on my issues."

Help has been in the form of a psychiatrist.

Rudd says he has been meeting with the doctor for one-on-one sessions for more than a year, which he describes as "really good".

"He comes here to the house about once a week. I have got to know him pretty well. I would even describe him as a mate. At first I'd give him lots of s***, about Clockwork Orange psychiatry and all that ... but talking about everything, as well as giving up the crazy s***, means that in a funny way, being forced to do that, it has been good. I was quite happy to get the help."

"I've never felt better in my life. Physically, mentally, I am in the best shape I have ever been."

"I am still the bad boy on the drums. I am probably playing better than I ever did."

Which brings up the questions of Rudd's former day job: AC/DC, the band he was with for about 40 years.

Lawyer Craig Tuck had originally sought a discharge without conviction on the charges because of the impact a criminal conviction would have on Rudd's prospects of touring internationally with AC/DC, particularly to Canada, Japan and the US.

Rudd's appeal against the sentence was dismissed in October last year, with the judge dismissing the argument that Rudd could lose significant income because of the convictions, saying for that to arise "the band would have to want to play with him".

Rudd's conviction means he is not able to travel to America. He can, he says travel to Europe.

So the "elephant in the room" still is the question: is Rudd still with the band? Is it rock or is it bust?

Rudd draws on his cigarette and looks out to the water. He takes a sip of his tea.

He says he has not spoken to band members since his conviction.

In an NZME interview earlier this month, when asked about Rudd, Angus Young said, "Phil I haven't heard from. He's been very quiet of late," but Axl Rose was quoted as saying "I've talked to him about these other singers, though!"

Rudd smiled at that. "No, I have not spoken to Axl. He has not spoken to me."

As for playing again with the band, Rudd is not saying never.

"It is up to Angus, what he wants to do. I am limited to where I can go."

It is a much more subdued approach compared with straight after his sentence when he appeared on TV3 saying he wanted to "get my job back ... I'm going to be back".

Why the change of heart?

"I was over-fuelled. All over the place. I am not like that any more. I've never felt better as a drummer or a person. I am not saying I never hope of ever playing with AC/DC again but, then again, is it even AC/DC any more? No Bon's beautiful voice. No Malcolm. No Brian."

"I am going to France and Belgium to play some gigs. Small venues. Hey, it might even be a pub, you know. It is going to be low key."

It was after the album's launch party in August 2014 that things started to go downhill for Rudd. Rudd celebrated with friends and family - including his children Steven, Thomas, Jack, Milla, Tuesday and Lucia. Rudd's local music mates were there. The wine and beer flowed at Phil's Place, which fed the revellers salmon caviar and prawn dim sum, lamb chops and fried chicken nibbles.

But in the days afterwards, Rudd says he had got "stressed", and was "highly strung". At his sentencing, his behaviour - including the threats to the former contracted employee - was described as "methamphetamine-induced psychosis" with his lawyer saying the issues that stemmed from his drug use had resulted in a "perfect storm" that "impacted heavily on those around me".

In the appeal, his lawyer said at the time of the offending Rudd had been experiencing "significant addiction problems and abusing substances", and his wild "nutting off" phone call was made during a period of paranoia.

Rudd says he now accepts he needed help. "I am not glad it happened. But it is not bad it happened."

He says he is closer to his children more than ever. He has some good old friends that have stuck by him. You don't see him guarded by bodyguards anymore. "I don't need them ... I really have given up all that s***."

The music, he says, is where he started, and that's where he goes back to.

"I am looking forward now, to doing a bit a racing. To playing again. But I am not going to take it too fast. Not take too much on. I like living here, in this house. I like being by the kids. I don't want to leave Tauranga. I just love simple things now, like just sitting, enjoying the sun."

Read the full article at The Bay Of plenty Times.

Source: The Bay Of Plenty Times


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