Thursday, December 17, 2015

Slayer's Jeff Hanneman Lives On Through His Guitar Collection

Re-Posted via Gear Gods and Broken Hope


Recently, GUITAR WORLD Magazine released an exclusive, compelling, and unique feature regarding the reactivation of numerous famous guitars and amps owned by SLAYER’s late guitar-god, JEFF HANNEMAN--now acquired by BROKEN HOPE guitarist and HANNEMAN loyalist, JEREMY WAGNER.

Since this major news dropped, Wagner took this story one step further and gave GEAR GODS an exclusive and in-depth look into some of the Hanneman guitars and gear in a special video feature directed by Tommy Jones (Slayer, Testament, etc). In this special feature, Wagner takes you inside his home studio (aka: BROKEN HOPE HQ), and invites the viewer in to get the historical backstory on Hanneman's most famous instruments, and elaborates on his mission to carry on JEFF HANNEMAN's legacy through the use and preservation of the Hanneman guitar estate.

SCORES of EXTREME METAL bands have been influenced by SLAYER over the years, but Jeremy Wagner, guitarist for death metal outfit BROKEN HOPE, has taken his love and reverence for the band—and, in particular, guitarist Jeff Hanneman—to new heights. The guitarist and songwriter is currently composing music for a new BROKEN HOPE record, their second since reuniting a few years back, and he’s doing it using only guitars that were previously owned and played by Hanneman himself. How did these instruments come into Wagner’s possession? Following Hanneman’s death in 2013 from liver failure, his widow, Kathryn, put a few of his guitars up for auction, with proceeds benefitting one of Hanneman’s favorite charities, the WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT.

After hearing of the auction, Wagner got in touch with Kathryn and the two hit it off. “She told me, ‘Jeff would have wanted these guitars to be used, not just sit in a vault,’ ” he says. Kathryn wound up selling a number of Hanneman guitars directly to Wagner, with the proceeds still going to charity.

The oldest and most iconic of these is Hanneman’s “punk rock” Jackson, a 1988 Soloist model that he covered with stickers from punk bands. “Jeff used it on the South of Heaven album and tour, on Seasons in the Abyss, and on the Clash of the Titans tour,” Wagner says. “It’s in the ‘War Ensemble’ video, it’s on the cover of Decade of Aggression…it’s been on stage with Jeff at Madison Square Garden, Wembley Arena, Japan, South America, in every venue and magazine around the world! It’ssuch a legendary guitar…maybe the most iconic guitar in thrash metal, period.” Two of the instruments Wagner acquired are more recent models: a 1998 ESP Custom Shop model Hanneman used during the recording of Diabolus in Musica, it’s in SLAYER’s War At the Warfield DVD, and in the video for the God Hates Us All track “Bloodline,” and a “Raiders” logo ESP that, Wagner says, “was probably one of the last custom guitars Hanneman got from ESP.”

The guitars that Wagner has been using the most for composing the new Broken Hope songs is the "Bloodline" guitar, and then another Hanneman axe known as “Killer.” “It’s another ESP custom model also done up with Jeff ’s personally applied stickers,” Wagner says. “It was built in 2005 and played in the studio for Christ Illusion. 

Wagner, who also owns some of Hanneman’s classic amps, including a 1986 Marshall JCM800 2203 that is customized with a green “Heineken/Hanneman ” baffle and Jeff’s original settings stickers. This particular head Jeff owned and used since Reign In Blood.

Wagner confirms that the new BROKEN HOPE record will feature him playing “100 percent Hanneman guitars,” he says. “I feel a real responsibility to Jeff and to Kathryn to use these guitars in a way that honors him. As long as I own these guitars, I will use them and carry on Jeff Hanneman’s legacy. He remains a huge influence to me, and I probably wouldn’t be here as an extreme metal guitarist/lyricist without him.”

BROKEN HOPE is currently in Wagner’s home studio doing pre-production for their 7th, as-yet-unnamed studio album, due out for release sometime in 2016 via CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS.