Slayer founding member and guitarist Jeff Hanneman may no longer be with us but his memory could live on through the band’s next studio album, frontman Tom Araya has revealed in a new interview.
According to Araya, Hanneman submitted several tracks at various stages of completion prior to his death earlier this year and said tracks may make it to the record. In the interview with Loudwire, says the band are focusing on two in particular.
While he can’t confirm that the posthumous tracks will make the final cut, he assures fans that they have every intention of making it work:
“We have two songs. I haven’t had the privilege of going through his audio files at the moment, but that’s something I plan to do. Once we get some business squared away, that’s something I plan to do; to go through his music and see what he has. I know that he had several ideas together that he had presented to us in the course of the past year. Before he passed away, there was one complete song that he had managed to send to everybody that I listened to and that I thought was really, really good and communicated that to him. There’s stuff that I thought would be great to listen to just to see what’s there and how we can possibly use what he had done. That’s something I have every intension of doing.”
Delving into more detail about the material, Araya explained that one track nearly made it onto the group’s most recent 2009 album World Painted Blood, though failed to shape up in time. The tracks will apparently be unlike anything fans have previously heard from the kings of thrash.
“One song was a song we didn’t finish for World Painted Blood. That song is actually complete. Me and Jeff were working on melody and lyric ideas for that song. We weren’t really happy with what we were doing or what was becoming of that song, so it didn’t make it on the album. It was just something we were working on and we couldn’t find anything we were happy with that would work well lyrically and melody-wise, so that’s one reason why that one didn’t make it on the album, but that song is complete, it’s done, it’s ready to go. I don’t want to use the term ‘typical’ [laughs] but it’s Jeff, it’s obvious who put the song together. It’s Jeff music. He created a certain way and he put music together a certain way; it’s signature Jeff. It’s new, it doesn’t sound like anything else that we’ve done, in my opinion. Jeff usually just wrote songs and a lot of his stuff had certain signature things he would do to songs. That stuff is in there, but I would consider it new.”
Araya remembered his departed bandmate fondly in the interview, recalling recent stories from the road and how it felt to be on stage in the months following Hanneman’s death:
“Listening to that, and this isn’t meant in a bad way, but when I listen to it and I’m thinking about him, it’s kind of like, ‘F—in’ Jeff!” [laughs]. That’s what crosses my mind; ‘F—in’ Jeff!’ Some people wouldn’t understand that, but having conversations with Paul [Bostaph, drums] on these past tours that we’ve done together, I’ll look at him, I’ll be onstage playing and then it’ll hit me. Then I’ll be talking to Paul after the show and I’ll look at him and sometimes I’ll just be like, ‘F—in’ Jeff!’ and he’ll just smile and say, ‘Yeah, I know what you mean.’ [Laughs] I do that periodically. When I think about him, that’s usually the phrase that’ll come to my mind.”
Fans can once again raise their devil horns after a long period of uncertainty. Hanneman died following a long battle with necrotizing fasciitis he contracted from a spider bite as well as liver damage which ultimately led to his demise.