Before taking the stage at yesterday’s (Wednesday, September 14) “Big Four” concert in New York City, SLAYER members Tom Araya (bass, vocals) and Kerry King(guitar) spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about the significance playing the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium.
“We’ve only played one other place that I think is a really special place, and that’s Madison Square Garden,” said Araya. “I want to be tight at Yankee Stadium,” added King. “I want to be tight everywhere, but you know, this is a big show.”
Gary Holt of EXODUS has spent the last few months filling in for SLAYER founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman who in January contracted necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite, and has been undergoing surgeries, skin grafts and intense rehab since.
When asked for an update on Hanneman‘s health and when fans can expect to see Jeff back up on stage with SLAYER, Araya told Linnéa Olsson of SVT in early July, “Jeff was seriously ill. Jeff ended up contracting a bacteria that ate away his flesh on his arm, so they cut open his arm, from his wrist to his shoulder, and they did a skin graft on him, they cleaned up… It was a flesh-eating virus, so he was really, really bad. So we’ll wait for him to get better, and when he’s a hundred percent, he’s gonna come out and join us.”
Araya told Billboard.com that SLAYER will not return to the studio until Hanneman has fully recovered.
“There’s no way we’d go into a studio without him,” Araya said. “As a band we’re not going to do something without him. He’s an integral part of the band. We require his musical skills, his writing skills. He’s an integral part of the band. So we’re going to hold off until he’s at 100 percent and can join that process and be part of it.”