PHOTO: Stefan M. Prager | Getty Images
AC/DC’s official YouTube channel has just released a video statement from Cliff Williams explaining why he’s leaving the group. And it appears that his reason has changed from the time he first announced it.
“It’s just my time,” Williams says in the new video. “I’m happy. I just need family time now. Just chill out and not do this.”
But when the longtime AC/DC bassist announced this past July that he would be retiring from the band at the end of its Rock or Bust tour, he said his decision was influenced by changes within AC/DC that have been beyond the group’s control. Founding guitarist Malcolm Young was forced to leave the band in 2014 due to dementia. Last March, longtime singer Brian Johnson announced he was suffering from severe hearing damage and could no longer perform. Between the two losses, longtime drummer Phil Rudd fell out with the band and became enmeshed in legal troubles. He was replaced by Chris Slade, who drummed for the band from 1989 to 1994.
“It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording,” Williams told GulfShoreLife.com when he first announced his imminent retirement. “Losing Malcolm, the thing with Phil and now with Brian, it’s a changed animal. I feel in my gut it’s the right thing.”
In the new video, however, he says his decision has not been influenced by those departures after all.
“When [founding singer] Bon [Scott] died, it changed then,” he says. “Everything changes, so it’s not that. It’s just… I’m just ready to get off the road, really, and do what I do.”
Take a look. We’ve also included a recent video in which Williams reflects on his role in the band.