After a rehearsal on April 17, drummer Kelly D. Smith of Arizoma metal veterans FLOTSAM AND JETSAM popped what appeared to be a blood blister. On Monday, April 21, he was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital And Medical Center emergency room in Phoenix for a severe MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a bacterium abscess on his left index finger. The band was to perform at the Keep It True festival on April 25 in Germany. After two surgeries to remove infected tissue, the band departed on time on Wednesday, April 23, leaving Kelly behind. Smith was released late that day and flew out on Thursday, April 24 just in time to jump on stage that Friday night.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM co-headlned Keep It True on April 25 and also recorded a special set, "No Place For The Deceiver", for a DVD, to be released before the end of the year.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM recently parted ways with guitarist Edward Carlson and bassist Jason Ward and replaced them with Steve Conley and Michael Spencer, respectively.
Says the band: "After completion of the 2013 tour with TESTAMENT in the U.S., Edward Carlson was no longer able to tour due to physical issues that would require back and neck surgery to possibly correct. We will miss our comerade and wish him well on his next adventure. Steve Conley has been officially recruited to fill the spot. Having played with David Ellefson (MEGADETH) in F5, we are confident in his ability to hold the spot with integrity.
"Jason Ward's departure happened after the tracking of 'Ugly Noise'. Jason had spent 21 years in FLOTSAM and decided to stay at home with his new family and career. He was, and is, one of the strongest personalities in the FLOTSAM catalog of players.
"We have all had a turn on the sidelines.
"We will miss his participation on the road and his witty humor.
"Shorty after the TESTAMENT tour in 2013, Michael Spencer took the helm as bassist. He was the first bassist to replace [Jason] Newsted in 1987 (Spencer was formerly in SENTINEL BEAST). He was a part of the writing of 'No Place for Disgrace' in 1987, and he was on our first tour with MEGADETH in the U.S. and Europe. With that history, it made perfect sense that 'No Place' should be redone. You can hear him on the reproduction of 'No Place for Disgrace'."
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's current lineup is as follows:
Eric "A.K." Knutson - Vocals
Michael Gilbert - Guitar
Kelly D. Smith - Drums
Michael Spencer - Bass
Steve Conley - Guitar
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM released "No Place For Disgrace - 2014", a re-recording of the band's second album, "No Place For Disgrace", on February 14 in Europe and digitally on February 18 in North America via Metal Blade Records. The physical CD was made available in North America on March 4.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM recently returned to Metal Blade Records to release their new album, "Ugly Noise".
"Ugly Noise" is FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's eleventh full-length album, their first release on Metal Blade since 2001, and the follow-up to their 2010 album "The Cold". The record also heralds the return of original members Michael Gilbert on guitar and Kelly David Smith, who hadn't recorded with FLOTSAM AND JETSAM since "High" in 1997.