Jeff Hanneman to sit out Slayer's summer tour, Gary Holt to continue to fill in at live shows
Last year, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman sat out most of the band 2011 touring cycle - including The Big Four shows recovering from contracting necrotizing fasciitis.
"It came close to killing him, Thankfully, he's making a good recovery." fellow guitarist Kerry King said in a recent interview of his band mates progress as they re-entered the studio to start writing for a new album.
Slayer will be heading to Europe later this month for the summer festival circuit before returning to the US for the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival tour, however last night the band announced Jeff Hanneman would be once again sitting out the tour.
In the open letter to the fans on their website Slayer explained about the guitarist's ongoing condition, "Slayer fans everywhere - it's time to let you know what is going on with our brother Jeff Hanneman.
As you know, Jeff was bitten by a spider more than a year ago, but what you may not have known was that for a couple of days after he went to the ER, things were touch-and-go. There was talk that he might have to have his arm amputated, and we didn't know if he was going to pull through at all. He was in a medically-induced coma for a few days and had several operations to remove the dead and dying tissue from his arm. So, understand, he was in really, really bad shape.
It's been about a year since he got out of the hospital, and since then, he had to learn to walk again, he's had several painful skin grafts, he's been in rehab doing exercises to regain the strength in his arm; but best of all, he's been playing guitar."
Last April, Hanneman surprised fans at The Big Four show in Indio, California when he joined the band for their encore, the band were just as excited as they go on to say, "We were all excited when he joined us onstage for the encore a year ago at The Big Four show at Coachella. Since then, we've given him all the time and support he's needed to continue his rehab so he can come back to the band fully recovered and able to deliver the kind of shows we all want him to."
Whilst still in rehabilitation, Jeff Hanneman has been attending the bands rehearsals over the past few weeks and writing new material for the new Slayer record but has decided he needs more time in rehab before he can tour with the band.
"We're very grateful that Gary Holt will continue to fill in for Jeff, and will tour with us until Jeff completes his rehab and is ready to return. How long will that be? The best and most honest answer we can give you is 'as long as it takes." The letter goes on to add, Exodus guitarist Gary Holt filled in for Hanneman during the bands 2011 touring cycle.
Slayer will continue work on the new album later on in the year after their summer tour schedule.
Visit www.slayer.net for full details and tour dates
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