Slayer continues to play live while ailing guitarist Jeff Hanneman remains on the sidelines. But singer-bassist Tom Araya says the group will not consider any recording projects without him.
"There's no way we'd go into a studio without him," Araya assures Billboard.com. "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 is battling necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria syndrome that was likely contracted from a spider bite. Slayer has continued to book dates, with Exodus' Gary Holt subbing for most of them -- including the Australian Soundwave Festival tour, the Big Four show on April 23 in Indio, Calif., and the upcoming Hell On Earth Tour with Rob Zombie. Hanneman did play two songs, "South of Heaven" and "Angel of Death," at the Big Four concert, which Araya says was "very emotional" for all concerned.