Drummer Kelly Smith has left veteran Arizona metallers FLOTSAM AND JETSAM to focus on caring for his family.
Kelly was instrumental in bringing FLOTSAM back to its current form with a touring and festival schedule that, since 2013, saw the band perform live in 15 countries and across the U.S. for more than 80 shows.
Kelly has issued the following personal message to the FLOTSAM fans: "As of August, my family has suffered the loss of two family members and a third is now in 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 (first as DREDLOX, then as DOGZ) was born in Scottsdale, Arizona on my parents back patio. Despite all the progress we have made, I am regretfully unable to continue on this journey, as always I only want the best should my comrades continue the good fight. Flotz til Death."
As Kelly departs, FLOTSAM continues work on a new album that is still scheduled for a spring 2015 release, to coincide with the band's upcoming European tour and festival dates.
Details on the upcoming album and new drummer will be released soon.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM recently parted ways with guitarist Edward Carlson and bassist Jason Ward and replaced them with Steve Conley and Michael Spencer, respectively.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM released "No Place For Disgrace - 2014", a re-recording of the band's second album, "No Place For Disgrace", on February 14 in Europe and digitally on February 18 in North America via Metal Blade Records. The physical CD was made available in North America on March 4.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM returned to Metal Blade Records for the release of the group's 2012 album, "Ugly Noise".