Not so long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, about the third rock from the sun to be exact, two brothers formed an alliance in college to figure out how to get drunk and play music on the weekends but it wasn’t that simple; they were good and they had something that you just can’t learn in school — talent. The brothers decided to form a band, yet needed a name for their merry bunch, but what to call themselves? A true Star Wars geek, one brother wanted something “George Lucas”. Boba Fett sounded cool but being chased throughout the universe on copyright infringement didn’t. One night a band member yelled out a handle that made sense because they needed a name….and Bobaflex was born.
One look at these West Virginia boys and it comes as no surprise they’d fashion themselves after Boba Fett, the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy. “Yeah, the name came from Star Wars’ — Boba Fett,” laughs Shaun McCoy. “It started out that my brother and I just wanted to get drunk and play on the weekends when we were in college and it just escalated from there. We just wanted a name and I’m a Star Wars geek but we didn’t want to be sued, and I think it was a band member who blurted out, ‘Bobaflex!’ and I thought, ‘Yep that’s fine that’ll work.’ Little did I know that it would snowball into quitting college and getting record deals and traveling all over the country as a profession; had I known that, I probably would have tried to think harder on a name, but it’s kinda cool; it truly means absolutely nothing — kind of an homage to me being a Star Wars geek and Boba Fett!”
Shaun and Martin McCoy have a history with infamy. They’re descendants of the legendary family who fought with the Hatfields — those ‘McCoys — but there is something else very interesting about where they hail from in Point Pleasant, West Virginia — the sighting of the Mothman. “Oh I just took my daughter down last summer; we took a picture in front of the sterling silver Mothman statue,” states McCoy with a knowing in his voice of what he’s about to say, “and I grew up with one of people portrayed in the movie; this was my good friend’s aunt and she wouldn’t speak. A lot of people got spooked when the first sighting of the men in black were here. The guys pulled up in a black sedan, all dressed in black, wearing black ties, warning people to keep their mouths shut, and they didn’t use a non-violent memory eraser. They pretty much were fairly menacing and seemed like they were from the government and told people to shut up or else — yeah, the first sighting of the men in black; that came from here.
“The movie itself they filmed in WV, and they filmed it in PA.,” McCoy continues. “There’s not much truth to the river scene because Richard Gere, in the wintertime thinks he can dive into the Ohio River underwater and save someone out of a car is not happenin’ — trust me. If you dove into that water, clothes on or not, it most likely would kill you or give you phenomena and that would kill you, but you can’t see anything down there anyway. Now divers did say that when they did go down and look for bodies, there are a lot of chemical plants in this area, hence the song, Chemical Valley, ‘cause a lot of that shit has been dumped straight into the river, so a lot of the divers said that when they went down to look for bodies, there were catfish that ran the bottom of the river that were as big as Volkswagens. Yeah, they were too scared to go down. These things were massive; they said they had never seen anything like that in their careers….at the bottom….bottom dwellers,” McCoy’s voice gets sinister, “at the bottom of a dark high river….”
The McCoy brothers started out more like a bar band performing covers instead of original music until they formed Bobaflex in 2003. They went through the usual adjustments over the years as they evolved with band member changes and growing pains, until the band settled into the current line-up: Marty McCoy (guitar/vocals), Shaun McCoy (guitar/vocals), John Hoskins (guitar/vocals), Jerod Mankin (bass/vocals), and Tommy Johnson (drums). In 2005, Bobaflex released Apologize For Nothing on TVT and hit the road with Megadeth, Mudvayne, and Sevendust. Their hard-hitting “take no prisoners” attitude garnered fans everywhere they played and life was not looking too bad. And college had gone by the wayside. “I wanted to be a writer,” says McCoy, “I’m about 40 hours/credits/units — whatever you want to call them — away from an Advertising degree with an English minor, but once the band thing started I kind of never looked back at college and I definitely didn’t want to write commercials for Jiffy,” McCoy says with a smile. “This whole rock thing seems a lot cooler than Hallmark ads.”
And so Bobaflex, well on their way, journeyed around the U.S., playing their brand of rock n’ roll, gaining momentum and notoriety everywhere they went; it seemed that nothing could stop them — except the Evil Empire.
“Our first release was on Eclipse Records and then we were on TVT,” explains McCoy. “We put out Apologize for Nothing on TVT Records and we did some big tours. Then we did the next album. As soon as the single was dropped the label went bankrupt and so our band was sold off like a house in a bankruptcy, and the bank owned us for almost two years. We finally got out of that but all we could do was sell t-shirts. We couldn’t release music or anything because the bank owned us. So we got away from the bank and we had a new demo already to go, but hadn’t released it yet. We shopped it around and got offered a deal with Universal/Republic but we passed. We just did not like the numbers and they weren’t willing to work with us on those numbers so we walked away from that, which kind of hurt but we decided to go through Megaforce Records; be our own label. It’s working out great. We’ve definitely have had our rough spots but it’s still working out. Our downloads are doing great and we’ve got our single, The Sound Of Silence, and we’ve got another EP lined up for February 2013.”
In 1964, Paul Simon penned The Sound Of Silence, after the tragedy that befell the country when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Shaun McCoy was not interested in covering the song originally, yet his brother, Marty, was relentless. It was Marty McCoy who pushed for the band to cover this iconic piece. “I did not want to do it!” McCoy states with a chuckle. “Neither did the rest of the band but my brother pushed it, he forced it. Once we recorded it everybody loved it and we put our own spin on it. We didn’t want to stray too much from the original but wanted to rock it out a bit. And we could have done a real heavy version of it but I thought nah, that’s kind of lame, so we just rocked it out a bit. And like I said, I didn’t want to do it. I thought, ‘Well, what are we going to do next — Jefferson Airplane?’ I just was not interested but it turned out great and it’s on our record.”
Bobaflex is getting ready to release a new EP in February 2013 but in the meantime, they’re rockin’ the free world in clubs and venues close to West Virginia until after the New Year, in support of their current release, Hell In My Heart. While their stage show is not full of pyrotechnics and huge antics, fans can’t wait for them to roll through a town near them, and that’s saying something. “Yeah well we just go out there and it’s all about stage presence,” McCoy says calmly with a smile. “Giving it your all and getting the crowd up is what we do. I wouldn’t say we’re a jump up and down type of band, but we have our own energy, and this is rock n’ roll, and we try to have some moxie there on the stage. We headlined the Jägermeister stage, which was awesome. And in Madison,WI, we were two bands shy of being direct support for KORN — it was us, then Nonpoint, then KORN. A slew of bands went on before us in Madison, WI at Band Camp, and that was pretty kick-ass. As far as Europe, we just got a new manager, his name is Doug Weber, and that’s his first priority. We’re supposed to go on the Mudvayne tour, which is the biggest tour that year as far as rock/metal goes so we couldn’t turn it down, but that is the plan for next summer — get to Europe. I’ve never been and I’d love to go over there.”
While 2012 is two months away from coming to a close, Bobaflex is hard at work getting all their ducks in a row for 2013. “We can’t wait for the new EP. And go check out our video, The Sound Of Silence, cause you’ll never see it on MTV,” laughs McCoy. “It’s a little racy due to the subject matter and nature of the video. Come check us out on Facebook or our official site and Twitter. And just say hello if you like us or if you think we suck. Again, our new EP will be out in February so we’re stoked. And come out when we’re live and see a real rock n’ roll show. There are no backing tracks, everybody sings three and four-part harmonies live and it’s all real. There’s no hidden guitars or keyboards coming out of speakers when there’s no keyboards on stage. We don’t believe in that and we don’t do that.”
And so our story comes to a close. Strapped with their guns on, Bobaflex fought those who would oppress and try to take from them what was not theirs. Though not completely free of the Evil Empire, who will always be there asking you to sell your soul if the price is right, Bobaflex can now jet into the stratosphere like the Millennium Falcon, playing in the evening sky between the stars. And why not? Their names are on them.