It’s rare these days to find a decent band that plays really good straight up rock n’ roll, but Bobaflex is one of the rare exceptions to this rule. Originating in Mason, West Virginia, Bobaflex was formed back in 1998 by brothers Shaun and Martin McCoy, who both play guitar and share vocal duties. The rest of the band consists of Dave Tipple also on guitar and vocals, Tommy Johnson on drums, and Jymmy Tolland on bass, and vocals. One might be thinking that this band has a lot of people on guitar and vocals, but Martin McCoy had this to say about the potential competition between members: “It kind of just feels right. I know what songs Shaun is going to be a better fit for and vice versa. The competition is trying to make the next song better than the last.”
By March 2003, Bobaflex was signed by Eclipse Records to release their first full length album Primitive Epic. The band then went on to TvT Records, who many know because of their legal battles with Nine Inch Nails, where they released two albums in Apologize for Nothing in 2005 and Tales From Dirt Town in 2007. When that label went bankrupt in 2009, the band decided to start their own label, BFX Records in 2010. They released an EP in 2010 called Chemical Valley. This EP helped put them on the map with their especially catchy but heavy song Bury Me With My Guns On, which is a crowd favorite.
When asked how BFX records is currently doing and if they have ever worked with any other bands other than Bobaflex, guitarist Martin McCoy elaborates, “Yep, it’s still going. We’ve worked with other bands. They all broke up when they realized this isn’t all chicks and drugs. It’s hard work. It’s a 24 hour a day job.” Since they do run their own label, one also has to wonder if it can be difficult working on both the creative and business side of things? Martin McCoy states, “The business side of things can also be a lot of fun. We have great manager (Doug Weber) and we work well together. It’s s balance, but Doug makes it much easier to be creative and run the biz.”
The group released their seventh studio album Anything That Moves on July 17th, 2015 featuring the singles, Mama Don’t Take my Drugs Away and A Spider in the Dark in 2013. The band has played over 250 shows to support the album so far. Martin McCoy explains that playing this many shows can be exhausting: “We go to the gym and try and eat healthy. We don’t party as much as we used to. Naps help.” However, he also discusses the bands amazing stage presence live and how they keep this up: “We put it all on the stage. If you’re not soaked from head to toe after the set, you didn’t give it your all. The band and the fans feed off each other. Everybody leaves full.”
Bobaflex has already started laying down the tracks for the next album. When asked how the band keeps up their steady work ethic Martin McCoy replies, “I think you get better at something the more you do it. At least I hope that’s how it works. We love what we do and that’s a big part of it as well.” The band recently did a cover of Pink Floyd’s Hey You, which will be featured on the new album. It is beautifully done and very true to the original. As far as why they chose that song, “Tommy and I are huge Floyd fans. We wanted to pretend we were in our favorite band for a couple days in the studio. It was worth every dime.” When it comes to the direction of the new album verses their previous work, Martin McCoy states, “We are writing it as we speak. So far it’s a little darker, and maybe a little heavier. Not sure yet.” If it gives any hints, some of the band’s music influences are “Tool, GNR, Motley Crue, Metallica, Megadeth, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Alice in Chains” just to name a few.
Some favorite lyrical themes the band likes to tackle are “Sex and violence. Drugs and religion. The cornerstone of any good song.” Bobaflex also believes that a visual element with music is important. For instance, their recent single Mama Don’t Take my Drugs Away, has an accompanying music video directed by Paul Cunningham that features stark imagery of drug use and its aftermath. Martin McCoy explicates, “Times have changed and people are watching everything on their phones. If you don’t have a visual element to your music they will move on to the next cat playing drums video.”
An interesting fact about that band that not everyone may know is the brothers are related to the McCoys of the Hatfields and McCoys fame. History buffs may be aware that the Hatfield–McCoy feud involved two rural families of the West Virginia–Kentucky area in the years 1863–1891. The feud has entered the American folklore lexicon as a metonym for any bitterly feuding rival parties. Martin McCoy explains that while it’s no longer a major part of his family history, “It’s cool, but it was a long time ago. We don’t hate the Hatfields anymore!”