SYDNEY - AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd says his bandmates are ignoring him after he was charged with threatening to kill and drugs offences, despite the Australian wanting to join their world tour.
The 60-year-old made a surprise guilty plea to the charges at the opening of his trial in New Zealand last month, and in his first public comments since his arrest admitted he made a mistake.
"I've seen the error of my ways and it's onward and upward from here. It was a mistake, we all make mistakes," he told Australia's Channel Nine late Tuesday, with the Melbourne-born drummer hoping to avoid jail after changing his plea.
Rudd was arrested in September at his waterfront mansion in the New Zealand coastal town of Tauranga, and has had no contact with his AC/DC bandmates since.
In recent appearances, including at the Grammys this year, the band featured Chris Slade at the drum kit and he is playing on their "Rock or Bust" world tour, which kicked off this week in Europe.
Rudd said he was "fit and ready to go" and his current bail conditions would allow him to join the tour, but admitted the band was giving him the cold shoulder.
"They haven't called me. I wrote them a letter and I tried to get in touch with Angus but I have had no contact from anybody," he said, referring to band co-founder Angus Young.
"I'm very disappointed, but that's life."
Young responded to the broadcast with a statement explaining that Rudd had changed from the man who originally joined the band in 1975.
"Phil created his own situation. It's a hard thing to say about the guy," said Young.
"He's a great drummer, and he's done a lot of stuff for us. But he seems to have let himself go. He's not the Phil we've known from the past."
Rudd is due back in court on June 26.
While threatening to kill carries a potential jail term of seven years, his solicitor last month said he would apply for a discharge without conviction, claiming the incident was just an angry phone call.
Rudd was allegedly upset about poor organisation at a function to launch his solo album "Head Job", calling an associate to say he wanted the ex-employee "taken out", then phoning the man and threatening his life.
When police raided Rudd's home, they found 0.478 grams (0.017 ounces) of methamphetamine and 91 grams (3.21 ounces) of cannabis, court documents said.
Rudd initially faced another charge of "attempting to procure murder", but it was dropped after prosecutors decided there was insufficient evidence.