Jeff Hanneman
Guitarist in the thrash metal band Slayer
Jeff Hanneman
Jeffrey John "Jeff" Hanneman is a rhythm/lead guitarist and founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer. Hanneman grew up in Los Angeles in a family of war veterans, and his fascination with warfare is attributed to his upbringing. His interest in the subject of war pertains to much of his lyrical material including the song "Angel of Death".
Jeff Hanneman's personal information overview.
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Up & Coming
The Portland Mercury - over 3 years
Music previews for the week of June 26-July 2. WEDNESDAY 6/26 ALELA DIANE, HOLCOMBE WALLER (The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!, and our read our article on Alela Diane. CHRIS PUREKA, EMY REYNOLDS BAND (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Like the other singer/songwriters to whom she's typically compared—Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Neil Young—Chris Pureka's art thrives in emotionally desolate environments. Who can say why one person's interpretation of heartbreak and loneliness speaks so clearly to you while another's leaves you cold, or worse, bored? Thankfully, Pureka, who's recently relocated to Portland, is never boring. Actually, her sound has gotten bigger and more adventurous over the years, though the theme of fractured relationships has remained. Pureka's new EP, Chimera II, is just out, the follow-up to the first Chimera, which came out four years ago. Her impressive finger-picking is timeless, and evocative, ...
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The Portland Mercury article
Memorial For Slayer Guitarist Becomes Mosh Pit (VIDEO)
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Fans of the thrash metal band Slayer sent off recently-deceased guitarist Jeff Hanneman in the best way they knew how — with a massive memorial mosh pit. Four thousand Slayer supporters filled the Hollywood Palladium to capacity on May 23 for Hanneman's memorial service. At one point during the memorial Hanneman's guitarmate in Slayer Kerry King joked how ironic it was that the event was happening at the Palladium because both he and Hanneman had been banned from the venue for over 20 year. And then when the band's iconic song "Reign In Blood" played over the venue's soundsystem, well, all hell broke loose. It's actually pretty touching in a smash-yourself-into-everyone-around-you kinda way.
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Huffington Post article
Jeff Hanneman, Guitarist for Slayer, Dies at 49
NYTimes - almost 4 years
Mr. Hanneman, who was a founder of the band Slayer while still in his teens, helped to create some of the darkest music and imagery in metal.     
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NYTimes article
Spider bite contributed to Jeff Hanneman’s death
Entertainment Weekly - almost 4 years
Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman thought he was on the mend after a spider bite followed by an infection. He’d been
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Entertainment Weekly article
Slayer's Jeff Hanneman: 10 clips that showcase his fury - Los Angeles Times
Google News - almost 4 years
ABC News Slayer's Jeff Hanneman: 10 clips that showcase his fury Los Angeles Times There are times when it's best to let the riffs, tangled leads and headbanging speak for themselves. Slayer co-founder Jeff Hanneman, who died Thursday, was by all accounts a silent, reserved presence in real life, but when he stepped onstage to play guitar, ... Speculation about rocker Hanneman's death spotlights spider-bite effectsCNN Spider Called Pivotal In Slayer Guitarist DeathNPR Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dies at 49Leader Journal Hindustan Times all 565 news articles »
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Google News article
Jeff Hanneman dead; Slayer guitarist was 49
Fox News - almost 4 years
Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald said Hanneman died Thursday morning of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side.
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Fox News article
Guitarist Jeff Hanneman of metal band Slayer dies
CBS News - almost 4 years
Founding member of Slayer died Thursday morning of liver failure; he was 49
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CBS News article
Slayer heavy metal guitarist Jeff Hanneman dead at 49
Yahoo News - almost 4 years
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a co-founder of the seminal heavy metal band Slayer, died in Southern California on Thursday, the band said in a statement posted on their website. He was 49. "Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure," the band said. Hanneman founded Slayer with fellow guitarist Kerry King in the early 1980s in suburban Los Angeles. The band was known as one of the "big four" thrash metal groups of the 1980s, along with Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica. ...
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Yahoo News article
Top weekend shows: Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax, Jimmy Webb
Chicago Times - over 4 years
Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax: These three titans are part of something called the “Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival,” which includes eight metal bands. The headliner is Slipknot, but Slayer (even with guitarist Jeff Hanneman sidelined, replaced temporarily by Exodus’ Gary Holt ), Motorhead and Anthrax have built decades of integrity and classic songs that make each of them worth seeing, let alone all on the same bill, 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Midwest Bank...
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Chicago Times article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jeff Hanneman
  • 2013
    Age 48
    However, later in February 2013, Kerry King revealed continuing health problems that kept Hanneman from working.
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  • 2011
    Age 46
    In light of his illness and Slayer's upcoming participation in the Australian Soundwave Festival tour that was set to begin on February 26, 2011, the band made the decision to play the dates without Hanneman, and on February 16, 2011, brought on Gary Holt (guitarist of the band Exodus) to fill in for him.
    More Details Hide Details Pat O'Brien joined as Slayer's temporary second guitarist when Holt left the tour to play with Exodus. In 2012, bandmate Tom Araya announced a recovery from the disease.
    In early 2011, Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis.
    More Details Hide Details Reports linked this illness with a spider bite he claimed to have received while in a friend's hot tub.
  • 2009
    Age 44
    In a 2009 interview with Decibel magazine, he stated his father is German, but fought for the Allied side in World War II.
    More Details Hide Details In the same interview, he also goes into detail of what district of Germany his father and grandparents hail from. His grandfather was fluent in German. Hanneman was introduced to heavy metal music as a child through his older sister Mary, when she was listening to Black Sabbath at her house. Once he reached high school, he discovered hardcore punk, which had a significant influence on his style and attitude.
  • 1996
    Age 31
    Hanneman's major influences included hard rock and heavy metal bands like Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and hardcore punk acts such as Wasted Youth, Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, T.S.O.L., which led to Slayer's 1996 album Undisputed Attitude.
    More Details Hide Details Hanneman's and King's dual guitar solos have been called "wildly chaotic," and "twisted genius". Early albums, such as Hell Awaits and Reign in Blood, featured a "wailing style" and "demented soloing often mimicking the screams of the song's victims." South of Heaven featured "more technical" guitar riffs, utilizing the aforementioned tremolo picking and down-picked notes, improving musicianship while retaining a melodic sense. Both Hanneman and King were ranked #10 in Guitar Worlds "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time." Hanneman's guitar work had a notable impact on the heavy metal scene. Musicians like Robb Flynn (Machine Head), Dino Cazares (Fear Factory, Divine Heresy), Mille Petrozza (Kreator), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Dan Lilker (Anthrax, Nuclear Assault), Eric Hoffman (Deicide, Amon), Trevor Peres (Obituary), Mark Morton (Lamb of God) and Kelly Shaefer (Atheist) cited him as an influence on their playing and songwriting. Jeff Walker said that "Hanneman's playing and riff writing and attitude has had a big impact on Carcass". Shavo Odadjian declared that "without Jeff Hanneman, there would be no System of a Down".
  • 1990
    Age 25
    Around 1990-1991 Hanneman began using ESP guitars, he mostly used as backup for this Jackson Soloist and other tunings.
    More Details Hide Details He had his own signature model made, based on the specs of his original Jackson Soloist. When touring, Hanneman carried six guitars due to the different tunings he utilized. Most albums such as Haunting the Chapel – Divine Intervention and World Painted Blood have E-flat tuning. However, albums such as Diabolus in Musica – Christ Illusion feature alternate tunings such as Drop B and utilizing seven string guitars. The first album, Show No Mercy, was recorded in standard tuning, while live performances of those songs were played in E-flat since about 1984.
  • 1989
    Age 24
    In 1989, Hanneman married Kathryn in Las Vegas. They had met in 1983 before the release of the debut album Show No Mercy, during a Slayer show in Buena Park, California.
    More Details Hide Details The couple had no children and lived in Los Angeles. Kathryn stayed at home when Slayer toured; Hanneman claimed to prefer this, having said that when he came home, she was "all brand new again." Kathryn only toured with the band twice in twenty years. Hanneman was a reserved person when he was offstage. Unlike the other members, he was very selective in socializing and rarely gave interviews. As vocalist/bassist Araya said: "If he didn't like you, he wouldn't hang with you." Hanneman was a reformed cocaine and pill abuser, much like Araya. They decided to quit when they realized "this can lead to only death or something, this is going too far." Hanneman was a long-time fan of the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Kings. Hanneman's interest in German war medals and Nazi Germany was illustrated by many of his lyrics. Those interests in the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS began with medals given to him by his father, including some taken from a dead German soldier. His most prized medal was his Knight's Cross, which he had bought from a Slayer fan for $1000. While touring with Motörhead, Hanneman discovered Motörhead vocalist Lemmy's interest in medals, and the two discussed medal designs, weapons and tactics used by the Wehrmacht.
  • 1988
    Age 23
    In 1988 he began playing the famous Jackson Soloist that he would use constantly as his main guitar for songs played in E-flat tuning until 2001.
    More Details Hide Details It originally shipped to him with passive Jackson pickups (probably a J-50 and J-80) and a JE-1200 mid-boost circuit, but were soon changed for EMG-81 pickups as well.
  • 1987
    Age 22
    From 1987 he was seen using a custom made BC Rich Gunslinger with similar specs as his '86-'87 era Bich, he shortly after had the pickups replaced with two active EMG-81 humbuckers.
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  • 1986
    Age 21
    He and King can both also be seen with a second set of BC Rich's around 1986-1987, which had 6-in-line headstocks, black hardware and DiMarzio pickups.
    More Details Hide Details More rarely he also used a BC Rich Ironbird model.
  • 1985
    Age 20
    In mid 1985 he began playing B.C. Rich, notably a Rich Bich model he bought off his band colleague Kerry King, he subsequently applied various graphics to.
    More Details Hide Details His first Bich had a 3x3 headstock, chrome hardware (including the Kahler Pro bridge) and the pickups were DiMarzio Super Distortions.
  • 1984
    Age 19
    In 1984, Hanneman, Lombardo and Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George had a brief hardcore punk side project called "Pap Smear" – the band had many tracks and was due to start recording when Hanneman was advised to avoid the side project by Slayer's producer, Rick Rubin, who is quoted as saying "Ahhhh, don't do it, man – this is the kind of thing that breaks bands up!" and Hanneman took Rubin's advice.
    More Details Hide Details Only a demo was recorded, consisting of Hanneman on vocals and bass, Lombardo on drums and George on guitar. Later two of the songs were re-recorded on Slayer's 1996 album Undisputed Attitude.
  • 1981
    Age 16
    In 1981 Hanneman, who was working as a telemarketer at the time, met Kerry King, when King was auditioning for a southern rock band called "Ledger".
    More Details Hide Details King remembered: "As I was leaving, I saw Jeff just kinda standing around playing guitar, and he was playing stuff that I was into, like Def Leppard's 'Wasted' and AC/DC and Priest". After the try-out session, the two guitarists started talking and playing Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs. Slayer was born when King asked "Why don't we start our own band?", to which Hanneman replied " Fuck yeah!". Hanneman stated that he was playing guitar "for like a month" by the time he met King and put an effort into improving his skills after watching him play. Hanneman, who was heavily influenced by hardcore punk music, got the other members into the genre, leading Slayer into a faster and more aggressive approach. The band's drummer Dave Lombardo asserted that his hardcore influences pushed him to play faster, contributing to shape his drumming style.
  • 1964
    Hanneman was born January 31, 1964, in Oakland, California, and grew up in Long Beach in a family containing several war veterans: his father fought in Normandy during World War II and his brothers in Vietnam, making warfare a common conversation topic at the dinner table.
    More Details Hide Details War films were popular on TV at the time, and Hanneman often joined his brothers in constructing and coloring tank and plane models. His interest in warfare and military history has been attributed to his upbringing.
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