By Carl C. Sundberg
Bobaflex is not the type of band that takes it easy. With six full length albums – seven total – and relentless tour schedules that keeps them on the road more often than not, Bobaflex believes in the power of blood, sweat and tears. Formed in 1998 by brothers and guitarist/vocalists Shaun and Marty McCoy, the band is celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. For many bands, these acts alone are a feat. But the McCoy brothers come from a legacy of family honor and strength with ancestral ties to the most infamous family feud in American history between the Hatfield and McCoy families.
The notion of conflict, struggle and fury that fueled that feud remains pumping strong, generations later, in the blood of the McCoy brothers. This is also very clear in Bobaflex’s music and album artwork. Take their latest album, “Anything That Moves” their seventh release, for example. In addition to powerhouse songs that were recorded with no auto tune, no tricks and mostly live, it features an album cover of the sexiest post-apocalyptic world since “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Complete with a scantily-clad female warrior standing in the ruins of a devastated American capitol, holding a couple of wild weapons of mass destruction in each hand, it doesn’t get much more aggressive.
“Sex and violence is always the theme of every Bobaflex album,” says Marty McCoy. “She is the perfect image for the album. The title ‘Anything that Moves’ can be attached to whatever statement you like. Fuck, kill, love, hate, help, crush, anything that moves. That’s the band in a nutshell.”
The latest single from “Anything That Moves” is a mammoth anthem called “A Spider in the Dark” which follows in a long tradition of imaginative and haunting tunes from a band who fearlessly weaves their personal lives into their songs.
“It’s about becoming a monster,” says McCoy. “ Experiences shape our lives and not always for the better. Some of the things I’ve seen keep me up at night. I think a lot of people can connect with that.”
People are connecting to it. “Spider” is rising up the rock radio charts and is being played on over 25 stations across the country and growing. It’s connected even more online. In a world of trolls where it’s more common to see disgust and hate in any given comments section, the YouTube video for “Spider” is flooded with fans from every walk of life, young and old, singing praise for the song, the band, and the legacy they continue to build with consistency and unique songwriting.
What helps Bobaflex stand apart from the rest of the pack most likely comes down to their lineup, which consists of not one, not two, but three vocalists who also play guitar. In addition to the McCoy brothers, Dave Tipple rounds out the trio of singers and axe slingers alongside Jymmy Toland holding down the low end on bass and Tommy Johnson in the back on drums. The multiple singer/guitarist approach has always been there, even before Bobaflex existed. It may come as surprise to many fans as to the origins of this technique.
“It came about from our bluegrass roots,” says Marty McCoy. “We grew up with my father always jamming with bluegrass musicians in our living room. Everybody sang and switched instruments and it was common place to hear harmonies and different lead singers. We always thought ‘if you can’t sing you can’t be in the band’.”
With that in mind, Bobaflex also writes their music as a group, leaving no one out of the process. Unless of course, someone gets to rehearsal late.
“As far as writing goes, we all are involved,” says McCoy. “It’s a beautiful thing. If you show up to rehearsal late you might be left out of the song. Everybody writes and we like it that way. Keeps us from sounding the same on every song/album.”
This variety is one of the great aspects of Bobaflex, who has managed to write distinct, yet signature songs on every single album that never stray from heavy topics including: drug use and abuse, violence, broken relationships, nasty booking agents, insanity, death, wild sex, self image issues, America’s disintegrating society and the trials and tribulations of being a touring band among other things. Each song is a novel in itself and the epic tales within them tend to come from a very personal point of view.
Take the brutally intense, “Home” from Bobaflex’s 2007 album, “Tales From Dirt Town” which tells the story of a musician on the road who longs for the comfort of his home and does everything he can to endure and keep moving forward, including the ingesting of medication from a doctor. The dark, Pink Floyd-ish vibe is chilling to the core.
“It’s absolutely an autobiography,” says McCoy. “We tour so much that sometimes you get really home sick. When you’re 2,000 miles from home and your woman tells you she never wants to see you again you get great songs out of it. Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands. Any time we can rip them off I’m all for it.”
Some Bobaflex fans are in a land of confusion so to speak with Disturbed’s recent cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic, “The Sound of Silence”. The reason for the confusion? Five years ago, Bobaflex released the same cover song on their album, “Hell In My Heart”. The fact that Disturbed did it too doesn’t really concern Bobaflex however.
“I love Disturbed’s version,” says McCoy. “They can do no wrong in my book. When we covered it, we wanted to do it as if Simon and Garfunkel were a new band in the music biz today. It’s a beautiful song and it stands the test of time. All you have to do is sing it and it will remain beautiful. I’m glad to have been apart of it.”
Despite the fact that the guys in Bobaflex are bonafide rock stars in their own right, they are still rock fans deep down and believe that “rock is alive and well”, naming Nothing More, Red Sun Rising, Wilson, Be It The Means, Artifas, Bridge to Grace as some bands that have blown their minds recently.
They also have their fair share of personal “rockstar” moments. “I got to sing with Brett Michaels (of Poison) March 20th at the famous Machine Shop in Flint, MI,” says McCoy. “He’s one of my heroes. He’s a really nice guy as well. It was awesome. Actually, we played an outdoor festival with him last summer too and asked me to come up.”
Finally, it must be acknowledged, that the band did indeed name their band after one of the most mysterious and coolest characters in the Star Wars universe – Boba Fett – the bounty hunter from the original Star Wars trilogy. With that being said, we wondered what McCoy’s thoughts are on the new Star Wars movie. McCoy says, “[It] made me feel like a kid again! I was so happy with it!!!”
Would anyone in the new Star Wars movie be able to take Bobaflex in a fight? McCoy has only two words: “Hell NO!”
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