SLAYER guitarist Kerry King and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya have released the following statement to their European fans:
“We know that our fans everywhere are hurting for the loss of Jeff [Hanneman, SLAYER guitarist] just as we are.
“We want to let you all know that when we come to Europe this summer in June, July and August, we’ll ALL be making noise together for our brother and dear friend, Jeff… We’ll see you then!”
Hanneman passed away on May 2 from liver failure at the age of 49.
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.
SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo sat out the band’s recent Australian tour due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Filling in for him was Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX).