Anthrax bassist Frank Bello gave an interview to Ultimate Guitar in which he resembled Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman‘s death to Metallica bassist Cliff Burton‘s in many aspects.

Back in early 2011, Jeff Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis. Due to that, Slayer decided to play their Soundwave Festival tour without him. Although his bandmate Tom Araya announced his recovery in 2012, it turned out in 2013 that Hanneman was still battling with health issues.

The guitarist then died of liver failure on May 2, 2013, in a hospital near his home. A week after, his official cause of death was announced as alcohol-related cirrhosis. Following Hanneman’s tragic death, Gary Holt of Exodus replaced him in Slayer until their disbandment in 2019.

In an interview by Ultimate Guitar, the host David Slavković talked with Frank Bello about The Big Four concert and asked him if he had a chance to spend time with Jeff Hanneman. As a response, Bello shared his thoughts about Hanneman and compared him to Metallica’s Cliff Burton.

Frank Bello said Jeff was a fun friend, and he was always there with them. Moreover, he said that Hanneman was a friend they grew up with just like Cliff Burton. After praising the guitarist’s personality and talents, the bassist said he talks about Hanneman as if he’s still here because he thinks he is always with him.

Speaking to Ultimate Guitar, Frank Bello talked about Jeff Hanneman as:

“Jeff was a fun-loving friend. That’s what I have to say; he’s one of us. Jeff was always here. You know, Jeff’s another one of those guys that pass and you see them, they’re still here with you. Like Cliff Burton, these are all friends that we grew up with, you have to understand.

And that laugh, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Jeff laugh, it’s amazing. It makes you laugh when he laughs. He is a very fun-loving guy, a great writer… All of the above, love him, great player, you know – great stuff.

But, he was one of those guys who always wanted to make you laugh, and he would. He would. He’s got that, you see, I still talk about him like he’s here ’cause I don’t think he’s ever gone. He’s always with me… Jeff, yeah, Jeff was the real deal.”

Back on June 16, 2010, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax, or the ‘big four’ of American thrash metal, performed together for the first time at the Sonisphere Festival. Following the performance, a live video consisting of the bands’ performances ‘The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria’ was released on October 29, 2010.