ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian (pictured below) has paid tribute to SLAYER axeman Jeff Hanneman, who passed away on May 2 from liver failure at the age of 49.
In a statement to LA Weekly, Ian said: “There was a real dichotomy knowing Jeff. On one hand, he was a really great guy — easy-going, very kick-back and chill, friendly, loved to laugh — and on the other hand, he wrote some of the darkest, most brutal lyrics and riffs in the history of metal. If he had only ever written ‘Angel Of Death’, that alone would be enough to claim the throne of evil, let alone the catalogue of work he created. He was a singular talent and a fun person to be around. I’ll miss him.”
Hanneman had actually not been playing with SLAYER for more than two years since he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard in January 2011. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman‘s arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Hanneman‘s last appearance with SLAYER was in April 2011, when he played an encore with the band at the “Big Four” concert in Indio, California.
It is not clear whether the cause of his death was linked to his struggle with the flesh-eating infection.