100% HEAVY / 100% Free / 0% Spam

Weaponising Music With KEN MARY From FLOTSAM & JETSAM

Share This:

“It’s so tough to compete with nostalgia.”

Ken Mary

When it comes to iconic metal bands, they don’t come much better than Flotsam & Jetsam.

Since pummelling their way onto the scene with their crushing debut album Doomsday For The Deceiver almost 40 years ago, Flotsam & Jetsam have ridden the wave that is thrash metal almost too faithfully, preferring to remain loyal to the calling despite the perceived conforming of other bands from their era.

It is a stance that may have possibly cost the band greater worldwide success, but in sticking to their musical beliefs and morals has ensured Flotsam & Jetsam have survived with not only their integrity intact but also the love and respect of their fans.

With the band on the cusp of releasing their 15th studio album, I Am The Weapon, on September 13, HEAVY spent some time with drummer Ken Mary to take a look inside the inner sanctum that is Flotsam & Jetsam.

“It’s a new killer album,” he said proudly. “I feel like we’ve done a great job on the last two albums, and I think this third one is… I don’t wanna say anything, but it might be the best one yet. We’ll find out.”

We ask Ken if the band feels any pressure going into a new album release with the burden of a massive fan-based expectation each time.

“Honestly, we did,” he nodded. “We feel the pressure pretty much on every record. I feel like the last four albums have been kind of a renaissance for Flotsam & Jetsam, and it’s kind of like a new era, if you wanna say that. Like a new era for the band. And every time there’s a new album, we’re always wondering if we can top the last one (laughs). When we finished The End Of Chaos, we thought wow, how are we ever gonna top this album? Then we came out with Blood In The Water, and I feel like we topped Chaos with that. When we finished Blood In The Water, we were like oh my gosh, how are we gonna top this record? This time we definitely felt the pressure. We felt things like do we have enough gas in the tank to make something that will at least equal that? So we just started writing, and we wrote a ton of songs, and then we started eliminating songs and finishing songs and by the time we were done we were like, yeah, I think we can at least equal it, and hopefully we topped it. I’ve had some people that have heard it – and I’m talking about all the records, including the first two albums – say to me that this is the best Flotsam album yet. Ever. That’s pretty good when you hear that. It’s so tough to compete with nostalgia. When somebody talks about the first few albums that they grew up with, it’s really hard to beat that, and for somebody to say that and be sincere… that’s quite a compliment.”

In the full interview, Ken talks about the musical side of I Am The Weapon, the opening track A New Kind Of Hero and experimenting with the album intro, the band’s writing process and their conscious effort to retain their thrash DNA in new music, surviving 40 years as a band, how he is settling into Flotsam & Jetsam, coming into an established band and keeping your own musical identity, touring plans and more.

Discover more like this on HEAVY:

Our Picks.

Get the HEAVY

Get the HEAVY Digi-Mag in-boxed weekly. 100% HEAVY / 0%SPAM.