Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas conducted an interview with drummer Kelly D. Smith of Arizona metallers FLOTSAM AND JETSAM for the "Metal Hammer" radio show on TeamRock Radio at this year's Bloodstock Open Air festival. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM is preparing to enter the studio to begin work on a new album for a tentative early 2015 release. Asked by Felicity Hall of GetYourRockOut at this year's Bloodstock Open Air festival if the band has begun writing new material yet, singer Eric "A.K." Knutson said: "We've written a little bit. We have some songs that were actually written for 'Doomsday For The Deceiver'  and 'No Place For Disgrace'  that never made it to the record, and we're pulling those out of the vault and we're gonna try to kind of revamp them and see if we can turn them into something cool."
Eric also spoke about FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's renewed energy and attitude towards the touring lifestyle after only playing sporadic shows and engaging in limited touring activity for many years.
"This business, for me, is more fun than it ever has been, and I'm ready to play anywhere," Eric said. "I think back in the day, we were so worried about where the next girl was coming from, where the next beer was coming from, where the next party was, and now it's much, much more about the music to us and the fans and that short time on stage we have; that's really the best part of all of it. And it's a completely different look at the industry now for us, and it's more fun than ever."
According to Eric, one of the top motivating factors in keeping FLOTSAM AND JETSAM alive more than 30 years after the band's formation is the inspiration his band has provided for so many of the newer artists, many of which acknowledge FLOTSAM as an influence.
"One of my biggest payments about being in this band is all the bands from around the world telling me, 'You know what?! You guys are the reason why I play guitar," he said. "You guys are reason why I sing or why I do this.' An that's one of the biggest paybacks you can get in this business. And we get that from a lot of bands, just saying, 'I grew up listening to you. You're the reason why I do this.' And that's better than any paycheck you can get anywhere."
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM recently parted ways with guitarist Edward Carlson and bassist Jason Ward and replaced them with Steve Conley and Michael Spencer, respectively.
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 returned to Metal Blade Records for the release of the group's 2012 album, "Ugly Noise".