Flotsam And Jetsam drummer Smith quits

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Flotsam And Jetsam drummer and founding member Kelly Smith has left the band to care for his family, he’s announced.

They’ve parted ways with guitarist Edward Carlson and bassist Jason Ward in recent years who were replaced with Steve Conley and Michael Spencer respectively. Now they’ll look for a new drummer to complete work on their as-yet-untiled 12th studio album.

Smith says in a statement: “As of August, my family has suffered the loss of two family members and a third is now in a critical condition. With all that has taken place, it has taken me away from the focus of my duties in Flotsam for the foreseeable future.

“In 1982, Flotsam was born in Scottsdale, Arizona on my parents’ back patio. Despite all the progress we’ve made, I am regretfully unable to continue on this journey. As always, I only want the best should my comrades continue the good fight.”

The band issued a statement, saying they wished their “brother” well in the future.

They report: “We regretfully announce that Kelly Smith will be stepping out from behind the drums to focus on caring for his family. Please extend him your love and support during this time, as we wish him nothing but the best for our Flotsam brother.”

The group have been working on the follow-up to this year’s No Place For Disgrace – a re-recording of their 1998 album of the same name.

Their next record will feature tracks originally planned for that album along with material written for their 1986 debut Doomsday For The Deceiver. It’s pencilled in for a 2015 release.