DFW Music News

Slayer Will Play Tribute to Jeff Hanneman on This Tour, Just Not the Way They Wanted To

This year marks thrash metal's 30th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than watching one of the Big Four bands that helped to bring it to the masses?

Tonight, Slayer will bring their pulse-pounding metal to the South Side Ballroom at Gilley's in Dallas. It's their first tour since guitarist Jeff Hanneman's death early this year from complications due to liver failure. They planned a memorial to their legendary bandmate, but plans for that element of this tour fell through.

"We had put together a nice stage setup and management dropped the ball on it," says frontman Tom Araya of his band's memorial to Hanneman in a recent phone interview. "It was something we wanted to do, and they dropped the ball. And I'm throwing them under the bus for it. They messed up. It was something I felt was really important to do."

In an email, management told us they wound up canceling because it was going to cost too much.

See also: Jeff Hanneman of Slayer is Dead

Earlier this year, Hanneman was in a California hospital recovering from necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease people who suffer from chronic liver disease are susceptible to contract. In 2011, he was bitten by a brown recluse spider. "Didn't even feel it," he later told Classic Rock magazine. "But an hour later I knew I was ill." The spider's bite had become infected.

At their upcoming show in Dallas, Araya and the rest of the band -- Kerry King, Paul Bostaph and Gary Holt (formerly of Exodus), who filled in for Hanneman when he fell ill -- had originally planned to honor their fallen brother's memory with a special tribute. Now it's just a backdrop with Hanneman's Heineken logo.

"But the fact that we're playing Slayer music, that's a memorial in itself," Araya says. "Like I said, the majority of the stuff that we play live is all Hanneman's music." It was the ball-crushing sound of hard rock acts such as Iron Maiden, Venom and Queen that influenced Hanneman to combine elements of punk rock with the growling rhythms of Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. He not only wrote the songs, but he also helped other band members like King put together ideas.