Flotsam And Jetsam
David Kelly (drums) and Jason Newstead (bass) started off by recruiting Eric A.K. Knutson (vocals), Mike Gilbert (guitar) and Ed Carlson (guitar) to start their dream band, Flotsam And Jetsam. The group recorded tracks for a couple of compilation albums, including Speed Metal Hell II and Metal Massacre IV before signing to 'Roadrunner'. Their debut, Doomsday For The Deceiver (1986), was warmly received by the Thrash Metal press who claimed that they were destined for greatness like their contemporaries Testament and Exodus.
It wasn't long before dark clouds collected over their parade for later that year Newstead left to join Metallica to replace the recently deceased Cliff Burton. Troy Gregory (ex-Prong) filled Newstead's shoes by the time No Place For Disgrace (1988) came about. The album contributed little to their once burgeoning style and flapped uselessly in the wind against their competition, including Metallica and others. An ill advised cover tune of Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting was launched as a single, and then being dropped from their label didn't help either. They did, however, get caught up in the usual and predictable major label attempts to cash in on musical styles when 'MCA' grabbed them and funded two albums, When The Storm Comes Down (1990) and Cuatro (1993), the former seeing Jason Ward taking the newly vacant bass position. Predictably the company was served right for picking up such a marginal operation as Flotsam & Jetsam with the albums failing to generate anything new musically or fulfill the commercial expectations of 'MCA'.
Since then they were forced to downscale their business relations by switching to 'Metal Blade', where they continued to produce, what many believe to be, second rate old-school Thrash for diehard fans. High (1997), Unnatural Selection (1999), which saw Smith and Gilbert replaced by Mark T. Simpson and Craig Neilson respectively). Their latest to date, My God (2001), saw Eric A.K. leaving and temporarily replaced by James Rivera (ex-Destiny's End/ex-Hellstar) for the tour. The release could be seen as their last shot. It missed. The status of this band's future is unknown. .