Although Slayer have continued touring without guitarist Jeff Hanneman (who's been ailing from a rare flesh-eating virus) this year, the band have no plans on recording new material without their missing bandmate. As Slayer plan to hit Europe with the Big Four this summer (followed by Yankee Stadium in September), singer-bassist Tom Araya talked about the band's future.
"There's no way we'd go into a studio without him", Araya told Billboard.com. "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."
While Hanneman's been out of commission, Exodus' Gary Holt and Cannibal Corpse's Pat O'Brien have been filling in. However, Hanneman did get to play two songs with the band at April's Big Four show in California.
"It was a big deal for him to play for us it was, too", Araya said. "We thought that would be a nice surprise for everybody and also make everybody aware that he's still there. It's pretty severe what he's going through. He's had skin grafts, and he's got to rehabilitate his arm and get it back in shape again. It's going to require a lot of time."
Thanks for the report to Bryan Wawzenek, Gibson.com.