As most of you know, the music industry is such an incredibly volatile place right now. With the ever increasing emergence of digital downloads, online radio, and other technologies constantly changing the landscape, it makes it even harder for bands to survive or make a decent living at their art. That’s why it’s so hard to meet bands that are truly good people and in it for the right reason; to make kick ass music that people genuinely relate to and enjoy. The epitome of this type of band has to be the good ‘ol boys from West Virginia, Bobaflex. Never have I come across a group of super-talented musicians who are humble and down to Earth. They’ve been through just about every bullshit situation a band could go through and survive yet Bobaflex has done much more than that. They’ve taken the situations they’ve had to deal with and let it make them even stronger. Vocalist and guitarist Marty McCoy talks with Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue about the band’s new album “Hell in My Heart,” System of a Down, Simon & Garfunkel and 94.1 WJJO.
Maximum Ink: Talk to me about playing WJJO’s Taste of Madison stage Labor Day weekend with that kickass backdrop and playing for JJO again. What’s it like?
Marty McCoy: Oh my gosh, man! It just feels like; I don’t even know what it feels like! When I was looking at that capital singing, I was just like, “Sing your lines and quit staring at the background.” JJO and Madison, Wisconsin is just one of those places that are blue-collar, hard fucking rock towns. That station is so cool, it does what it wants and you can actually call the program director (Randy Hawke) and he’s nice as hell, he takes chances and he listens. He reads all the numbers and stuff but he takes chances on bands that he thinks are cool. And that’s the way the town is, the way that station is; Madison just has that vibe that everything is cool man.
Max Ink: Tell us a little bit about your latest album “Hell in My Heart.”
McCoy: It came out in stores on Tuesday and we had to get some new music out. It’s been so long since we’ve had a new record out because it’s been far too long. We were putting that record out no matter what happened.
Max Ink: It’s a hell of an album man! Tell me a little bit about you think the albums been accepted? It’s only been out a week or two. How do you think the fans have liked it?
McCoy: It’s been great! It’s been selling out at all the FYE’s that are carrying it, Amazon sold out the first week and it’s been like people have been waiting so long for the record and we’ve been waiting so long to put the record out. We had such success with “Guns” (Bury Me with My Guns On) on the radio that it just made it a totally different ball game.
MaxInk: Tell us a little about the process of raising money for the promotion of this record and how it also gave back to the American Cancer Society. That has to be one of the most unique ways I’ve ever seen anyone go about raising money for the promotion of a record.
McCoy: It’s a brilliant idea! Pledge Music (www.Pledgemusic.com) is the wave of the future. The fans that want to buy records and get records from their favorite artists, and all the things having to do with downloads and people stealing music, it’s a brilliant survival tool and what has come out of the ashes. And the fans that are really into your band can pledge to help push your records. They do all kinds of things like push your record. We did it because we were going to radio. We went to radio with “Guns” and we did a soft push and hit #40 on the charts and we had such success with that song that we decided we’re going to save up the money, and our fans pledged so much. We are going to really attack the radio like we’re an actual major label.
Max Ink: “Hell in My Heart” is extremely eclectic. There are so emotions throughout the album and you guys have always sort of been that type of band that can go in and kick your ass one song, then cool it down and really open yourselves up. Where did it all come from on this album?
McCoy: This record is called “Hell In My Heart” for one reason. When TVT went bankrupt, and we fought and fought and fought with the companies to get loose and get out records out, we toured for two years, almost three years selling t-shirts. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to make this record and if there was going to be another record or what was going on. We had some pretty good songs on this record, we thought, and we felt really good about some singles and loved it and we shopped it to record labels and they didn’t want anything to do with us. So we didn’t know what was going to happen. There were some labels that came to the table but it just wasn’t the place for us. Major record labels don’t get us and they don’t understand us and to be honest that’s fine, I understand that. It was just one of those things that we put everything we had into this record and all the true stories. It’s so true and so laid out on the table because there’s been so much shit happen with the music industry and all we’ve done is keep our head down and keep playing and try to be nice. It just seems like the industry keeps wanting to smash you into the ground so we just decided to do it on our own with all the hell in our hearts. Fuel for the fire, burn it all down, we’ll do it ourselves! Just fuck it and I think it’s turned into the most success we’ve had in our careers.
Max Ink: You said it perfectly, “Fuck it!” It comes down to pure rock n’ roll with you guys. You guys are nice guys, you’ll come out and meet the fans?
McCoy: Hell yeah! It’s because the music is real. It feels so good now for our fans to come through and do this pledge thing and stick next to us through all these years no matter what happened to us and they were always so cool. It’s about us and the fans and now seeing it grow because of everyone’s hard work is amazing. It started out seeing these kids come to the shows and not getting it and I’d think to myself, “Are we just the worst band in the world?” “Do these people have any idea what good music is?” Then you see it grow and you realize these people, these fans are your family. And that they knew and stuck with you and I just feel like we’re standing on top of the world right now. It’s only going to get better too because we haven’t released “Sound of Silence” on the radio yet and when we do it’s on.
MaxInk: Where did that idea come from to record that song? It’s way off of the usual Bobaflex sound?
McCoy: Our bass player (Jerod Mankin) is such a great singer and I was looking for a song that really matched his voice. And the whole Bobaflex thing is that we’ve always all sand, but the older we got we got more into the Eagles and stuff like that. We didn’t know if this was going to be our last record or not, so if anyone brought a song to the table and they wanted to play it, we just said “Do whatever you want. You’ve been in this band for ten years so if you want to record a new song let’s record it.” So on this record I was looking for a song for him to sing on and I heard that song and it was beautiful and was Jerod’s voice. What sunk the deal was, I saw on television Simon and Garfunkel came out when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and there were some blistering bands, U2 and Coldplay and they sounded amazing. Then those two old men came out and sang on a little microphone and it blew my mind and that’s when I knew it. I just thought, “Oh my God!”
Max Ink: Hell yea, you guys kept it very original but still managed to put a little hard rock, Bobaflex in there and it really kicked ass.
McCoy: Because we didn’t fuck with it! I know I keep loving on Jerod’s voice, but it’s amazing; but he does such an amazing job. He has sang in this band from day one and done harmonies and anything we’ve asked him to do. I just wanted to show everbody what he can do. He’ll sing and I can back him up, watch this shit! And he nailed Art Garfunkel’s part, I sang Paul Simon’s part and we never changed any of it. We sang exactly what they sang because it’s a beautiful song and that’s the way it should be. And when it kicks ass we just did the obvious. Just bust in and sing the same harmonies and go for it harder and it worked perfectly because it’s such a beautifully written song. It wouldn’t of mattered what you did to it, it would have been fucking cool.
Max Ink: There’s a lot of smaller bands out there that are going the same route you guys are with no major record label. Why do you think you guys have been so successful?
McCoy: It’s because we’re not 60 year old dudes in suits trying to sign the same fucking band over and over again and just keep throwing their rod into the same pond with the same fucking bait on it. It blew me away listening to rock radio. I like some of it but a lot of it sounds the same. And I saw a band called System of a Down take off and sell thirty fucking million records and the record industry looked at that and turned right back around and went back to signing bands that kids don’t give a shit about. You’ll sell some records either way but someone took a chance on an artist and they sold thirty million records. Why would you not even witness that and turn your head and pretend it didn’t happen?
So we just thought if we write good songs and make ourselves happy, and we know everyone in the industry, so we know what labels do, so we just did it ourselves and to boot, we’ll actually pay them and it’ll be on time. We’ve hired New Ocean Media, Doug Weber and everyone over there at New Ocean Media are awesome. That was one of the first experiences I had in the music industry where I said here’s some money for this, and you’ll do this, and it actually happened and was on time. I was like, “Holy Shit!”
Check out Bobaflex’s new album “Hell in My Heart” at your local FYE store or on Amazon.com or on theOfficialBobaflex.com!(1823) Page Views Bobaflex Online:
• Website • Facebook • Wiki
CD: Hell In My Heart Record Label: Megaforce
• Purchase Hell In My Heart on Amazon
• Download Hell In My Heart on Amazon