Bassist Cliff Williams is coming out of retirement for the festival

AC/DC [Courtesy Photo]

Ahead of their appearance at Power Trip in California, AC/DC have confirmed that drummer Matt Laug will be playing drums for the band. Laug is a rock veteran who’s sat behind the kid for Alice Cooper, Mike Campbell and the Dirty Knobs, Slash’s Snakepit, and Alanis Morissette.

The band shared an audio clip of their Power Trip rehearsals, which can be heard below.

AC/DC also confirmed that original bassist Cliff Williams is coming out of retirement for Power Trip. After the completion of the band’s Rock or Bust World Tour, Williams announced in July of 2016 that he would be retiring after the band’s tour. He returned, however, in 2018 to record bass on Power Up.

The confirmation of Laug’s involvement with the band for the upcoming festival may be connected to legal issues stemming from original drummer Phil Rudd’s 2014 arrest. Rudd was charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men, according to New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty Police District representative Kim Perks at the time. He was also charged with threatening to kill, possession of cannabis, and possession of methamphetamine. The names of the men he allegedly tried to have killed and the name of the alleged potential hitman that he tried to hire were not released.

A day after he was arrested, one of the charges for attempting to procure a murder was dropped. In April of 2015, Rudd pleaded guilty to the remaining charges at the Tauranga District Court (New Zealand). In July of 2015, he was sentenced to eight months of home detention plus a $120,000 USD fine.

At the time of his arrest, Rudd had already completed recording drums for AC/DC’s sixteenth studio album Rock or Bust, which came out just days later on November 28. Despite Rudd playing on the record, AC/DC recruited former Shogun drummer Bob Richards to fill in for Rudd in two music videos the band shot for the album amid Rudd’s ongoing legal issues at the time. In February of 2015, AC/DC recruited former drummer Chris Slade to play with them at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Slade was a member of AC/DC from 1989-1994 and played drums on their 1990 album The Razor’s Edge. The album hit #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and contains some of the band’s biggest hits. To date, the disc has sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Slade also appears on the band’s 1992 live effort AC/DC Live. Slade would then join the band for their massive Rock or Bust World Tour, which began on May 5 at the Gelredome in Arnhem, Netherlands.

While best known for his stints with AC/DC, Slade has also performed with the likes of Asia, Gary Numan, Manfred Man’s Earth Band, Terra Nova, Bloodstock, David Gilmore, Uriah Heep, Gary Moore, Tom Jones, The Firm, Damage Control, and others.

In 2020, AC/DC returned with a brand new LP Power Up. The album once again featured Rudd on drums.

The first-ever Power Trip is set for October 6 through October 8 at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California. AC/DC will join Metallica, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Tool, and Guns N’ Roses over the weekend. On July 11, it was announced that Judas Priest would be stepping in for Ozzy Osbourne at the festival. Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella, Stagecoach, Cruel World, and more will be putting on Power Trip.

Camping options include Car & Tent Camping, ready-to-go 2 person Lodge/4 person tents, RV spots and more. Amenities and activities are available for all campers. Accommodations include hotel packages: Bundle your Power Trip tickets with nearby hotel accommodations and “any line” shuttle passes. Available for groups of 2 or 4 people, exclusively through Valley Music Travel. Packages start at $3,199 + fees.

Fans who want to commemorate the weekend can pre-order a Power Trip Commemorative Poster. The premium quality giclee print poster delivered in advance of the show. Designed and printed by artist J. Bannon (limited edition of 1,000), the posters are available in 18×24 on fine art textured stock. For now, you must purchase a ticket in order to add the poster to your order.

In 2020, AC/DC released their seventeenth studio album Power Up. The record peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and topped the charts in several other countries around the world. The album once again features Stevie Young, Angus and Malcolm Young’s nephew who took over rhythm guitar duties for Malcolm after his passing in 2017. AC/DC have not toured since their Rock or Bust trek wrapped up in 2016.

AC/DC are undeniably one of the greatest music artists of all time. To date, the band has sold over 200 million albums worldwide and have produced some of hard rock and heavy metal’s biggest anthems. The band’s watershed album Back in Black (1980) has received the rare diamond certification by the RIAA three times over, selling 25 million copies in the United States alone.