Slayer frontman Tom Araya has told Billboard.com that the band will not resume recording activities until after guitarist Jeff Hanneman has fully recovered from a recent bout of necrotizing fasciitis.
"There's no way we'd go into a studio without him," Araya says. "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."
Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, while the band were on tour in Australia recently. It was likely the result of a spider bite.
Despite still being in the recovery process, Hanneman made a surprise appearance during Slayer's encore at the Big Four festival in Indio, California, last month.
"It was a big deal for him to play - for us it was, too," Araya says. "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."