On February 25, Superskum.com conducted an interview with drummer Kelly David-Smith of Arizona metal veterans FLOTSAM AND JETSAM when the band opened for TESTAMENT in Denver, Colorado. You can now watch the chat below.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM recently returned to Metal Blade Records to release their new album, "Ugly Noise". The lead single and title track is available for streaming below.
"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.
Funding for the new FLOTSAM AND JETSAM album was aided by the PledgeMusic.com project, which encourages fans to contribute funds to the recording of albums and the artists themselves to donate to charity as a part of their fundraising.
In an interview with Legendary Rock Interviews, Kelly stated about the songwriting process for "Ugly Noise": "We took on a totally new approach to our writing from the start. The enjoyment came from the process of writing the songs and sharing the process with the fans on PledgeMusic.
"I am not sure about you, but when I make something, it starts with an idea, then it goes to paper, then it goes to design, and then the physical realm.
"When we first start off, it is very raw in form and we go with how it feels to us. Does it move us in any way? Then Mike [Gilbert, guitar] will lay down some pre-production tracks, demos, and I take that and start adding my ideas for rhythms. From there is goes back to Mike again and apply any changes that need to be made, all the while A.K. [singer Eric 'A.K.' Knutson] is getting ideas for his parts. Once we have a framework, then Ed [Carlson, guitar] starts to mold into the process of adding colors and highlights, leads and overlays. The bass comes in to lay down the meat of the low end. Once we have a solid structure, we are now in full pre-production mode and we all just listen and play to the songs refining them for final production. Every record the songs evolve all the way up to the last minute. Once we are done, there is a big sigh of relief and sense of accomplishment."
On the topic of making an album without the support of a record label and illegal music downloading, Kelly said: "I have struggled with the whole download thing. I get it — as a kid, I shared my music when I made a cassette from my LP so I could listen to my music in my car or share it with a friend. Seems harmless, really, because back in those days, people weren’t able to market worldwide and share one file with millions in a click. The upside about it is this: people are getting our music and then they show up for us live. Hey, if you want to steal our music, buy some merchandise at the shows. This is our job, and if someone kept coming to your boss and stealing your check, you wouldn't want to go to work anymore, right? We all have families and lives outside of music. We need to eat just like you. So, does working outside the box of a record label free a band up to be able to do exactly what they want and create something more immediate? Yes, mainly the freedom to chose who and what is being done with your music and ownership."
The band's current lineup is the same as the one that recorded the "Cuatro" (1992), "Drift" (1995) and "High" (1997) albums:
Eric "A.K." Knutson - Vocals
Ed Carlson - Guitar
Michael Gilbert - Guitar
Jason Ward - Bass
Kelly David Smith - Drums