According to CentrumDruku3D, a traffic circle in Jaworzno, a small city in Poland, has been renamed after late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman. The official sign unveiling, which took place yesterday (Thursday, Febraury 6), was made possible thanks to the Polish company Art-Com Sp. z o.o. (Art-Com Ltd.), which won the charity auction during the world-famous Wielka Orkiestra Swiatecznej Pomocy (Great Christmas Aid Orchestra).
For one year, the traffic circle in Jaworzno will be called Jeff Hanneman's Circle Pit.
A message on the official sign that is displayed at the traffic circle reads as follows:
"Jeff Hanneman's Circle Pit - unforgettable SLAYER guitarist
"During the XXII Final of The Great Orchestra Of Christmas charity, the President of Jaworzno put up for auction the traffic circle in the city centre, which was later auctioned by Art-Com Ltd. The company could give the name to the traffic circle and became its 'symbolic' owner for the period of one year. The money gathered during the XXII Final of The Great Orchestra Of Christmas charity was allocated for the purchase of specialized equipment for children's emergency medicine and deserving health care of seniors."
A two-minute video report on the official sign unveiling from Dla Ciebie TV can be seen below.
Jeff Hanneman died last year from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
The guitarist, who passed away in Los Angeles on May 2, 2013, had actually not been playing with SLAYER for more than two years since he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard in January 2011. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman's arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Hanneman's last appearance with SLAYER was in April 2011, when he played an encore with the band at the "Big Four" concert in Indio, California.
Revolver magazine recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King and drummer Paul Bostaph. You can now watch the chat at RevolverMag.com. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the progress of the songwriting sessions for SLAYER's long-awaited follow-up to 2009's"World Painted Blood":
King: "I've been working on stuff for the better part of three years, probably. I did a demo with [now-former SLAYER drummer] Dave [Lombardo] a year ago, [in] March . We finished two songs that we thought were gonna be out for [the Rockstar Energy Drink]Mayhem [Festival] in 2012, and to this day, they're not mixed. Now [drummer] Paul's [Bostaph] with us, so we're gonna re-record those with Paul. But [Paul] and I have done, like, 11 demos since Paul's been with us. I think there's two or three more that are finished that we've just gotta work on, and there's, like, halves of three others. So we have an abundance of material. We've just gotta sign a deal with whoever is gonna put it out and record it, which I'm really hoping to do in January. And we should be so prepared that it should be a pretty short recording time frame. So my idea [for a possible release date] is May of 2014]. But I'm always wrong."
On the possiliby of using material that was originally written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman prior to this death:
King: "Jeff had… We both had a song that was left off the last album ['World Painted Blood']. And mine, 'Atrocity Vendor', came out on some obscure single. But I'd like to re-record that with Paul, change the lyrics up a bit, change the leads and have that as a bonus track on the new record. Jeff's song he finished right at the end, so it was kind of like an afterthought. There's some good stuff on it, but good as a whole, it's gotta be reworked, and I plan on reworking it. I know Jeff wanted to rework it, so it's not like he's not here, so I'm gonna change his song. [laughs] I know he talked about rewriting lyrics for it.
"It's hard, because once a song is finished, it's hard to hear it any other way. You basically have to deconstruct it and start fresh. The verse will be the verse and the chorus will be the chorus, but all the glue in the middle, you've gotta deconstruct it and see what you can do to make it better. And I planned on working on that one; it's just that I've got a couple I'm working on I wanna finish first. And he's got, I think, two other strong ideas that I don't even think were done, so they're gonna need to be helped as well.
"My big thing is, if we're gonna put out something that Jeff wrote, I've seen other musicians and bands [release] music [that was originally written] in the past, and it's generally not good. I don't want it to be perceived like that. If we're gonna put out Jeff's last contribution inSLAYER, if it ain't awesome, you're not gonna hear it. So I wanna make it awesome, so youcan hear it."
On SLAYER's current North American tour featuring an "old-school" setlist:
King: "Well, we had a really good set made up, and since we were playing two shows in L.A., they wanted something for the night that was added, so I came up with a setlist that's'Seasons In The Abyss' and prior, and once we did it, everybody wanted it. And it's a good time to do it, because we don't have any [new] product, so… I'm, like, well, shit. It's fun to play, it goes by in a minute, it seems like. We just did it last night and played an hour and 25 [minutes], and it seemed like it was, like, 10 minutes. It was just [snaps fingers], bam, done."
Earlier this week, Dimitris Kontogeorgakos of Greece's Metal Kaoz conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how it feels playing with SLAYER again:
Bostaph: "It feels phenomenal. It feels really good. It feels like being home. I've always loved playing this music. I grew up on it… Just coming back to this, it's been really good. It's kind of like going back and playing with old friends again. I mean, Kerry [King, guitar] and I were really close and we still are, and I'm close to Tom [Araya, bass/vocals]. And I know Gary [Holt] from EXODUS [who is filling in for late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman] — I know Gary very well. The only bittersweet part of it, obviously, is that Jeff is not with us anymore. And I was looking forward to that, to playing with him again. But other than that, other than Jeff passing, it's been really good."
On his decision in December 2001 to leave SLAYER and how things are different today:
Bostaph: "Well, it's funny… I was different back then. The way I looked at things was different — right or wrong. And now I've had the time to kind of… Sometimes they say you don't know what you have until it's gone. And I think over the years, just seeing the guys and playing with different bands [since I left SLAYER], I kind of realized that playing with these guys is that there's a way that they do things that… In terms of… I don't know… It's hard to explain. There's a work ethic that appeals to me within this band. I think there's just a feeling of loving the music. First and foremost, and the primary thing out of everything, I couldn't find a band that could do what this band does. And that's the bottom line, really."
On whether he was the first and only name on SLAYER's list of possible replacements for the band's original drummer, Dave Lombardo, when Dave parted ways with SLAYER earlier this year:
Bostaph: "Honestly, I don't think so; I don't think I was the first and only [name on the list]. I mean, there's probably some other guys [that were being considered as well]. But I'm the guy that's here now. It made sense [for me to return]. I mean, you can't think anything for granted and think it's just gonna work. You have to try it out and see how things feel. It's been over [ten] years [since I left the band], and I'm sure they wanted to see how it felt playing together again, and being in a room together, you know what I mean?! You just don't make a snap judgment like that and [assume] that it's going to work. And they didn't. And we got together and we felt it out, and it felt really good, and here we are."
On how different it feels being in SLAYER without Jeff:
Brian Aberback of New Jersey's Steppin' Out magazine recently conducted an interview with SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Steppin' Out: You just started doing press for this tour and know that everyone will be asking about [late SLAYER guitarist] Jeff [Hanneman]. How do you feel talking about everything that's gone on in the past six months?
Tom Araya: You know you're going to get those questions whether we decide to do press or not. If you don't do interviews, no one is aware that you're doing a tour. It wouldn't bother me if Kerry [King, guitar] did all the interviews. [laughs] But when I do interviews, I enter them with an open mind and try to answer the questions the best I can.
Steppin' Out: Did you have any idea that Jeff was seriously ill before he died?
Tom: Nobody ever thought about Jeff passing away. I thought about him getting better and getting back onstage. We've been talking about getting back in the studio for the last two years, with Jeff being a part of that. It was something to be continued.
Steppin' Out: Have you thought about folding the band following his death?
Tom: His death has changed everything. Knowing that Jeff was on the sidelines, I was OK. It was always about, "Jeff is going to come back." Then he passed away and it was more like, "Why am I doing this now?" It changed my attitude about some things. Someone said, "It's really great that you decided to tour and move on," but these tours were scheduled in advance. At the end of this tour, Kerry and I are going to have to sit down and talk as far as how we want to move forward, if we want to move forward. There hasn't been time for me and Kerry to talk. We've been on the road but we haven't really sat down and talked about it. Jeff and I collaborated a lot, and he offered me the opportunity to write or to collaborate with him. Like I said, there are things we have to discuss to either move forward or just to figure something out.
Steppin' Out: How tough was it playing the first shows after Jeff's death this summer in Europe?
Earlier today (Monday, October 7), SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya spoke to Loudwire about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's next studio album — the group's first since the passing of guitarist Jeff Hanneman this past May.
"We have two songs," said Araya.
He added: "I haven't had the privilege of going through [Jeff's] 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."
Araya offered more information about the material that Jeff left behind that may end up on the next SLAYER record.
"One song was a song we didn't finish for [2009's] 'World Painted Blood'," he said. "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."
He continued: "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."
EXODUS leader and SLAYER touring guitarist Gary Holt joinedHANNEMAN LECTER, an "all-star" tribute to SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, on stage last night (Saturday, July 13) at the Hannemaniaevent at the Oakland Metro Operahouse in Oakland, California to perform cover versions of several SLAYER classics, including "The Antichrist" and"South Of Heaven". Also making an appearance with HANNEMAN LECTER was FORBIDDEN and SPIRALARMS guitarist Craig Locicero. Check out fan-filmed video footage below.
HANNEMAN LECTER is:
* Manny Lopez (ULYSSES SIREN) - Bass, Vocals
* Sven Soderlund (MERCENARY SF) - Guitar
* Chris Kontos (ATTITUDE AJUSTMENT, MACHINE HEAD) - Drums
* Michael J. Gardner (DEADLANDS) - Guitar