AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd will face a judge-alone trial in Tauranga District Court in New Zealand beginning on April 21 on charges of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. A "not guilty" plea to the charges was entered by his lawyer in December.
The "judge-alone" trial means that no jury will be present.
Rudd was arrested in early November on charges of attempting to arrange a murder, threatening to kill and possession of meth and marijuana.
The murder-for-hire charge was dropped quickly but Rudd still faces several years in prison if convicted of the others.
Rudd's problems affected the recording of the new AC/DC album, "Rock Or Bust", as guitarist Angus Young explained. "Getting him there to do the album was quite tough, and his behavior's been a bit strange, you know," he told The Pulse Of Radio. "'Cause when we were doing the album, one minute he was coming, next minute he wasn't coming, so it took quite a while to get him to the studio. I mean, when he got there, he did his great job, but it's not the Phil that we've known all over the years, you know."
Rudd showed up late for his last court appearance on November 26, 2014 and had his bodyguard give him a piggyback ride to his car after the hearing was over. Rudd then backed up the vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck, almost causing an accident.
Although Rudd played on AC/DC's new album, "Rock Or Bust", he did not join the the band for their performance last night (Sunday, February 8) at the Grammy Awards. One-time AC/DC drummer Chris Slade played at the event and will likely join AC/DC on tour beginning this spring.
"Rock Or Bust", AC/DC's 16th studio album, came out on December 2, 2014.