Flotsam and Jetsam Discuss Re-Recording the Album ‘No Place for Disgrace’ + More
Flotsam and Jetsam‘s Eric “A.K.” Knutson and Mike Gilbert were the guests on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show. The rockers spoke with Jackie about re-recording their ‘No Place for Disgrace’ album, some of the changes since they started and more. Check out the chat below.
It’s Full Metal Jackie, bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. On the show with us this week, A.K. and Mike Gilbert from the band Flotsam and Jetsam. How you guys doing?
Eric A. ‘A.K.’ Knutson: What’s up?
Mike Gilbert : Hey!
Earlier this year, Metal Blade Records released a re-recorded version of ‘No Place for Disgrace.’ What did you always wish could have been done differently with the original release that you got to do the second time around?
AK: Not much, really. I mean, we tried to keep it as true to the original as we could. We just wanted to make the production a million times better. You know, over the last 25 years, since the thing was released, production has really come along, so it was really kind of a, just a whim of ours to hear that album with better production on it.
Creatively, how do you think revisiting the past with ‘No Place for Disgrace’ will affect the band when it’s time to start thinking about the next album?
MG: Hmm … it seems like we got a lot of flack when we were first starting to do it. We were kind of getting the word out that we were re-recording the record, you know? We got a lot of fans, ‘No no, don’t do it, it’s a classic, it’s a classic.’ But you know, with the production quality of it, the first go around, I think we’re actually enhancing the record. And after it came out, now we’re getting people going, yeah, it’s a great thing that you did that. Things were a little bit slower on the record. We played a different pace, but the clarity’s there, and that’s what we were looking for. It still maintains the heaviness and stuff like that, it’s just the clarity for us.
Do you feel like the technology that’s available now was helpful to be able to have this time around?
MG: Way better. We didn’t have the major label wall in front of us, too, where it’s like … it was such an obstacle for us when we were recording, because you always have someone coming in and going, ‘Well, I don’t like that, whatever, whatever, whatever.’ It’s a constant battle. Money, this and that. I mean, it’s just whatever. Things get caught up, and then by the time the record’s done you’re like, what the heck? That’s not exactly what we wanted, but this time we got it exactly how we wanted it.
Mike, when you and Kelly rejoined the band, compared to 1999, what was the most noticeable difference you noticed in how metal audiences respond to this band?
MG: There’s a couple of different things about that. AK asked us to come back, and it sounded like a great idea because there seems to be this resurgence of old school metal going on. And when we decided to call, me and Kelly join, and all make another record, which was ‘Ugly Noise’ at the time, we just got a lot of feedback from people, saying, ‘Yeah, right on.’ You know, “The original members are coming back’ and ‘This is going to be a good thing.’ So there was some good anticipation for us, of what was going on. And ever since since the ball started rolling, it just snowballing. So everything is going really well. A lot of old school metal people are coming back out of the woodwork and seem to appreciate it.
Guys, what’s been the biggest change in your approach to music that’s come with maturity?
AK: There’s a lot. Everything has changed. Back in the day, we were 19-years-old, and metal and rock and roll and the whole music industry was all about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was about where’s the next party? Where’s the next girl you’re going to meet up with? Where’s the next drink coming from? And now, none of that is in play. It’s all about the music. It’s all about being brothers, hanging out, creating stuff. We enjoy touring a lot more. We’re out doing stuff that you should be doing in other countries and other cities — seeing the sights, and, we go see aquariums, we go see museums, all kinds of stuff that was not on the plate before, and it has made touring and hanging out with my brothers, and writing, and studio great. It’s made everything so much more comfortable and so much easier that we’re now focused on the music and the band. And we’re not so focused on hanging out and being a rock star.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
AK: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
When you guys were starting out, you were new to the business. It’s obviously, totally a different situation than it was at that time. Is there a different excitement to it now, or were you more excited about it before?
AK: It seems a little more difficult now to keep the ball rolling. You know, guarantees aren’t what they used to be for any bands. The only way to make any money and to stay out on the road is to sell merch. And times are tough for the fans. They have enough money to buy a ticket in the place, and they’re not buying any merch. Which leaves us with no money to keep going to the next show. So it’s a little difficult that way, but we’ve got a lot more fans showing up than we did back in the day. The old school fans are bringing their kids, and their grandkids (laughter) you know. It’s pretty crazy, the generations that show up now.
What could you tell us about what’s to come in terms of touring for you guys and moving forward for the rest of the year?
MG: We’re just going to try to stay on the road as much as we can. You know, hopefully, get in the little nooks and crannies that we haven’t been to for years and years and years, you know? Us, as a unit right now, it’s probably the best the band has ever been, as far as performance, and quality, and everything. It’s super tight. And we want, especially for the United States, to get out and play the United States, United States is a tough market.
Awesome, well I appreciate you guys taking the time, and good luck with everything that’ to come.
AK: Thank you very much.
Thanks to Flotsam and Jetsam’s Eric “A.K.” Knutson and Mike Gilbert for the interview. You can pick up their re-recorded ‘No Place for Disgrace’ album at this location. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.