March 26, 2014 Interview – Marty McCoy of Bobaflex
Hard work and determination can be a force of nature like none other. For Point Pleasant, WV rock band Bobaflex there was never any other way since their inception in 1998. Having experienced the highs and lows of success with radio singles, extensive touring, and withstanding their labels bankruptcy; Bobaflex remained focused to live out their Rock-n-Roll dreams. Following up the success of their 2011 album Hell in My Heart, 2013 brought perhaps the band’s most astounding rock offering yet with Charlatan’s Web. Recently we sat down with vocalist/guitarist Marty McCoy for a personal look at the rollercoaster ride of the band, keeping a positive attitude, pure love for rock music, and much more.
CrypticRock.com –Bobaflex has been together sixteen years now. The band was featured on Gigantour in 2005 and Rock On The Range in 2008 and 2012, and has released six full length albums. The road has been long and full of twists and turns. How would you describe the journey of Bobaflex?
Marty McCoy – There have been some ups and downs, it has been a blast though. The four core members of Shaun, Jared, Tommy and I just really enjoy playing music together, being in the studio, doing videos together, and writing songs. It doesn’t really feel like work because we are doing what we love, it is in our blood. We aren’t carpenters or anything so we don’t have to be on a roof anytime soon, it has been a blast. Like I said, there have been some ups and downs but definitely more ups than downs so we are really happy. We are finally at the point where I can call my mom up and say “I told you we were going to do this!” Things are going really well now and it feels nice because it is something we have worked our asses off for.
CrypticRock.com – It seems the hard work has paid off with the band still going strong. Now one of the bumps in the road the band has faced was after signing with TVT Records and releasing Tales From The Dirt Town in 2007, the label went bankrupt. That had to be extremely stressful for the band. Looking back on that situation what did you learn and did it help you become stronger as a band?
Marty McCoy – Absolutely, it was a big moment for us when we signed to TVT Records because they had Sevendust and had done the first couple Nine Inch Nails records. The big bands they had at the time were Little John and the Ying Yang Twins and we were like, “Oh my gosh, we are actually on this label with a bunch of heavy hitters”. Pitbull was on that label and he just exploded when he got off TVT. It was a cool experience and there were a lot of really good people over there, but it is just one of those reality moments where it does not matter what is going on, it could all end tomorrow. We met a lot of really good people and stayed in contact with them, and what we learned was how to do it on our own from TVT, because TVT was one of the big Indie labels. They were not a major label, but they were the biggest independent label in the industry at the time. We learned how to hit radio and how to write songs, we got to meet a lot of really cool people, met a lot of really cool producers, and just soaked everything up. The fear of that happening, which can happen to anyone, prevented us from wanting to sign with more major record labels when we got offers to produce our albums. We just decided to do it ourselves, and it is the best thing that has ever happened to us; to do it on our own, get that push from the label, and see the inside of the industry.
CrypticRock.com – It sounded like an eye opening learning experience. Through all the turmoil, you managed to keep the band going on; independently touring and releasing new music. That takes determination and drive. Was there ever a point, in light of all the issues, that you thought about giving up on Bobaflex or was that never in the cards?
Marty McCoy – Nah, that was never an option. It’s like, we are doing this, we made a promise to each other a long time ago, and the guys in the band are awesome; they don’t break promises. This is what we do, it is in our blood. I would not even know what I could do for a day job. There have been a couple times that have been pretty discouraging, wondering how we were going to get through things, but we put our heads down, worked on it, and our fans brought us through. The fans bring us out of the murky water every damn time. When TVT went bankrupt things should have been going really bad, and they were bad, but fans kept coming out to the shows. We did not have records we could sell so we were selling t-shirts to pay attorneys to get through this crazy bankruptcy loss. Our fans just kept coming, kept buying t-shirts, and spreading the word. What kept our heads above water was our fans, and they are still awesome, they are still doing it!
CrypticRock.com – That is really special that fans gave you the strength to keep going. The first time seeing Bobaflex live, right away you are aware of an extremely talented band. The switching vocals between three different band members throughout the whole show was just something you don’t see. It is quite exciting and interesting to watch.
Marty McCoy – It is a double-edged sword. The record labels did not understand it, they said, “you should only have one singer and you should sound exactly the same on every song”. We said, “No, we are not going to do that”. So our fans really got into it, but the industry was more like, “we don’t understand this, we don’t know what it is”. But then we would have some major people in the industry say, “It is really cool! We don’t want to have anything to do with it but it is really cool!” Growing up and listening to the bands that we listened to, they always had several singers. For instance, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, and Kiss; these bands just said if you can sing then you hit the mic. That was how we always thought it was supposed to be. Now a days it is treated like some new thing and we say, “It is not really new, it has been around forever”.
CrypticRock.com – That is very true and it is a great thing you did not give up because it seems the band is stronger than ever with your most current album Charlatan’s Web. Tell me what the writing and recording process was like for this new album?
Marty McCoy – It was really awesome this time. Because of the success of the last record Hell in My Heart (2011) with “Bury Me With My Guns On”, “Sound of Silence”, “Chemical Valley” all doing really well on radio. “Sound of Silence” opened up a huge market for us for people who would not normally be into the band. Things went really well on that record so this time getting into the studio was way less stressful, our budget was not as small as it once was, it was not so shoe string. We just had a really good time. We were not freaking out and everyone would just write and trust each other. We would say, “Okay I have got these songs” and everyone would say “cool!” It was the smoothest, least stressful album that I have ever done. It is my favorite album that we have done so far, I love it!
CrypticRock.com – The album has a lot of emotion in it. It also further displays a progression in the band’s sound and style. What inspired you to alter the band’s sound over the years?
Marty McCoy – It was just a gradual thing. It was not something we ever sat down and talked about. We just became less metal, more rock like some of the stuff we grew up on. It just happened all on its own. I would like to say we sat down and said “okay, this is what we are going to do”. The more we started writing, and I think we got better at writing instead of being so wild and crazy; we became a little more focused. We became more Rock and Roll, more singing, less crazy growl vocals, and all that wild shit. We became more focused with better song-writing and just Rock and Roll. I am a big fan of Rock and Roll, metal and all that other stuff is great, but Motley Crue and AC/DC, you can’t touch them.
CrypticRock.com – Do you feel like the current sound and style of Bobaflex fits your clearest vision to date of what the band should be?
Marty McCoy – It is getting really close. My favorite thing is that there are five different writers in the band. I really like the fact that the album goes everywhere. The last couple of years you go get albums that sound exactly the same; this song sounds like that song and it is really boring, I think. I remember getting records when I was younger and they just went everywhere and it was cool. One thing we always said was that we didn’t want our records to sound the same from beginning to the end. We wanted an album where you can listen to it from beginning to end and not just skip through it to pick a couple favorite songs.
CrypticRock.com – That is a good outlook to have as a band. You recently released a video for “I’m Glad Your Dead”. The video is a mix of some dark footage along with the band live. What was the concept behind this new video?
Marty McCoy – The concept of the video was just kind of to follow the song. Shaun came up with the idea to do it in the 1850’s so we rented costumes, and it was a lot of fun doing that. Keith Williams, Paul Cunningham, John Payne, a couple of really good friends, and I got together and directed it and did everything ourselves. The song kind of just told us what to do in the video. It was really a nice blueprint for the video. It was a blast; we really love doing that stuff. The band had a lot of fun doing it and you can really tell on screen that everyone was really into it and the dark humor. My dad is the preacher, it was just awesome, and I am really surprised a church let us do that in a church.
CrypticRock.com – It is a very good music video and sounded like it was a blast making. One of the most interesting aspects of Bobaflex is that yourself and your brother Shaun share vocal duties, depending on the song. The relationship is undoubtedly strong, as you two have stuck together this long as song-writers. What is it like writing music with your brother?
Marty McCoy – It is awesome to write music with the guys in the band. Everybody is so diplomatic and nobody gets mad. It is really a lot of fun. We have not had an argument in a really long time. That is because we can handle our liquor a lot better now (laughs)! No but really, everyone just trusts each other and if someone has a riff, before you even hear it you know it is going to be cool. You know they are not going to do something stupid. At this point in time we all really get each other so we are able to put things together really fast. I know what he is going to do and he knows what I am going to do and we cannot wait to hear what the rest of the band are going to do with it. It is a lot of fun, if it was not fun we just would not do it because for a long time we were doing it for no money.
CrypticRock.com – Having fun and being satisfied with your work is the most important thing. What are some of your musical influences?
Marty McCoy – I think my favorite bands are Pink Floyd, Tool, and then Guns N’ Roses. If I had to pick just one it would be Pink Floyd.
CrypticRock.com – That is a good handful of influential bands. My last question for you is regarding films. Crypticrock.com is a rock/metal and horror news site so we like to focus on all genres. Are you a fan of horror films and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?
Marty McCoy – Absolutely! The Exorcist (1973) scared the shit out of me when I was a kid! I remember being so scared I could not get up and turn the television off, and it still freaks me out. I just recently got Netflix and started going back through all the old horror movies. I have watched all the Evil Dead movies, and I just recently started watching the documentaries on the guys who did all of the make-up and crazy effects for horror movies. I think 30 Days of Night (2007) is one of the coolest movies I have seen in awhile. The Walking Dead, I’m all ate up with that show. Yeah, but really any horror movie I’ll watch, love them all!
Interview conducted by Amber Main