ERIK 'A.K.' KNUTSON Says MCA Was Grooming FLOTSAM AND JETSAM To Be 'Their METALLICA'
December 23, 2018
Chris Peters of Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Eric "A.K." Knutson of Arizona metal veterans FLOTSAM AND JETSAM. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's upcoming album, "The End Of Chaos":
Eric: "It's one of our best pieces of work yet. It's kind of bits and pieces of every album so far."
On the songwriting process for "The End Of Chaos":
Eric: "You know, we have always just written whatever comes out and it just happens to be pretty metal each time, so it's really not a conscious direction or anything. We just write what we feel and that's what we come up with."
On what "The End Of Chaos" album title represents:
Eric: "It has a few different meanings. Our career has been pretty chaotic, so, we're putting an end to that. We're putting an end to all of the chaos in all of our career. Everything is going to be positive from now on. 'The End Of Chaos' as far as everything that's happening in the world right now. [President Donald] Trump running the states, just all the chaos that's going on around the world. We're calling for an end to that. It's also a mixture of two different titles of songs off of the record. There's a few different meanings for it."
On whether FLOTSAM AND JETSAM felt any pressure in following up their 2016 self-titled album which was largely well-received:
Eric: "I did worry about that a little bit. But this new one has turned out so well that now I can kind of exhale and relax a little bit. This is really a good record and it's not falling short from the last one."
On FLOTSAM AND JETSAM still producing quality material 30 years into their career:
Eric: "You know, I produce stuff that I like. Fortunately for me, there's a lot of FLOTSAM fans out there who have the same taste in music as I do. It works out pretty well."
On whether it has become easier or harder for the band to write and record new material:
Eric: "It's always difficult, but I think the years of experience and all the albums I've done have made it go a little smoother for me."
On what the musical climate was like when he joined DOGZ, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's predecessor band in 1983:
Eric: "Well, let's see: When I first joined the band, I had never heard of METALLICA before and I don't think they even just put their first record out. It was a completely different world. You didn't have to be very heavy to be the heaviest thing out there. Back then and still today, we just do whatever we feel and we don't worry about whether it's heavy or too heavy or too light. We just play what we feel and hope that somebody likes it."
On whether he thought the band's 1986 "Doomsday For The Deceiver" debut would be successful upon release:
Eric: "We weren't really sure. I know we liked it a lot. It wasn't until we got the 6K rating in Kerrang! magazine is when we started thinking, 'Oh, this record is going to do something.' Now it's looked at as one of the classics in the early stages of metal. It's kind of nice to be on that shelf with the rest of the classics, but we're not stuck there. We're going to continue to be a bigger and better band as the years go on."
On whether he is disappointed FLOTSAM AND JETSAM never received the commercial and critical acclaim of some of their peers:
Eric: "Yeah. MCA [Records], we were on MCA for three records and they were grooming us to be their METALLICA, basically. They were grooming us to be their version of the metal thing in the scene and we got to a certain point where they're ready to launch us on the world and then they got bought out by a bigger corporation and all the bands that they had never heard of before they just got rid of. We were one of those bands. They were grooming us to be something big, [and] then we just got dumped for no reason at the last minute. That was kind of a big, emotional hit for us, I think. It knocked us back down to earth and we had to decide whether we were doing this for the love of music or if we were doing this for the wrong reasons."
"The End Of Chaos" is due January 18, 2019 via AFM Records.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM recently officially welcomed Ken Mary (ALICE COOPER, ACCEPT) as the band's permanent drummer. Mary began touring with the group last year after Jason Bittner was invited to join OVERKILL.