Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman was close to death
The spider bite that’s sidelined Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman for over a year came close to killing him, the band have revealed.
The attack in February 2012 left him fighting “flesh-eating disease” necrotising fasciitis, which wasted the skin and muscle of his arm. Now the band report he’s still not fit to return – and they’ve supplied more details of the days following his diagnosis.
A statement says: “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.
“Since then, he’s 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.”
Hanneman has participated in songwriting sessions for Slayer’s next album, and was scheduled to return to live duties this summer. But he’s decided he’s not ready yet, and the band have vowed to give him all the time he needs while Exodus axeman Gary Holt continues to stand in.
They continue: “While we want him back, all of us support his decision. How long will it be? The best and most honest answer we can give you is: ‘As long as it takes.’”
The thrash giants also say they’ve “tracked a few songs” for the upcoming record, and plan to complete work after they finish touring for the year.