Flotsam and Jetsam have released their seventh album, "Unnatural Selection". The opportunity arose to do an email interview, which I used to interrogate the band on their two new members and, of course, their new release. The replies came from one of the members who played with the band right from "Doomsday for the Deceiver", guitarist Ed Carlson. Here's the result...

Could you give a short introduction of your two new members, including what they did prior to Flots?

Ed: Mark Simpson the guitar slinging wiz kid came from the band Oil here in Phoenix. And Craig Neilsen who was referred to us by Nick Menza came from the L.A. band Nevermore.

How do you feel about your new album, "Unnatural Selection"?

Ed: Well the new album I think is great. I had a lot of fun recording the album with Mark and Craig. They brought a whole new feel to the band. As far as comparing it to "High", when we did that album we were not as a whole. It was just basically Eric, Jason and myself. As compared to "Unnatural Selection", we were at a full blown working machine.

Could you go through the songs on the album and comment on the music and lyrics?

Ed: Wow, I am not sure where to begin. The lyrics are still very A.K. but the music has a new feel due to the new guys. In a whole it's full of energy and aggression. Definitely one to own.

Which new song are you most satisfied with?

Ed: "Welcome to the Bottom". It's one of my favourites. To play.

Is Flots a full-time job?

Ed: Sure, it's our baby and we like to give it a lot of attention.

Where do you get your inspiration from these days?

Ed: I get it from everyday life and adventures.

If you had to describe the music Flots makes, what would you say?

Ed: Straight forward, mean, ugly in your face that's not afraid to tell how it is.

Flots have done quite a few CDs, including some genuine classics, but for some or other reason there has not yet been a major breakthrough. What's the problem?

Ed: There's enough stuff to say why we haven't made it there but these subjects really don't need to be talked about.

Suppose you went on tour and you could only take five CDs with you. Which ones would these be?

Ed: How about Lurch Killz, any Ramones, Mr. Bungle, Pink Floyd, and any Kiss.

What was to you the music release of 1998?

Ed: Shania Twain.

Are any of the Flots members involved in side projects?

Ed: Mark and Jason do the Frank White and the Spades. Eric and I do the Electric Pickles, I also do this 70s thing. Eric also has his country project. As far as some stuff in the future we'll just have to wait and find out.

In what way do you think the music business has changed ever since, say, the "Flots Til Death" times?

Ed: They all cut their hair.

What's the Bay Area scene like today?

Ed: I'm not sure. I haven't been following it.

Here's the "words to react to section... First one is "Metal Blade".

Ed: Who could ask for more?


Ed: Still the one.


Ed: Needs help.


Ed: Keep trying.

The Internet.

Ed: Makes my head hurt.


Ed: Who?


Ed: Equals y square.

Is there anything you'd like to say to the readers to wrap this interview up?

Ed: Check out the new album. It's very new, very different but very Flotsam. See you all out on the "Unnatural tour".



Written March 1999


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