Marty McCoy of Bobaflex is a bonafide rock and roller in the grand old style. We got to sit down and talk about why he loves the genre, and how he seeks to reflect that in his own music.
Interview by Matt Bacon
From March 2016 Vandala Magazine
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So, How the hell are you?
Marty: I’m great. Busy but great. Parking in New York City is hard though, it takes a little while to park a big ride and a big trailer. It doesn’t happen very often! Other than that the tour has been great, the guys in Orgy are awesome, the crowds have been great and it’s great to be back in New York City.
How’s it been going with the new record?
Marty: Really good. It’s actually been getting some of our best reviews from magazines and online stuff. We love the record and it’s my favorite record that we’ve ever done. It felt like we were a band again. It’s been great. We have a new single called Spiders in the Dark coming out soon and it tested really high so we’re excited about that. That’s coming out soon!
What does it mean when you say you ‘felt like a band again’?
Marty: Well we got a new bassist because our old bassist Jared got married and he wanted to have a kid and he don’t want to tour anymore. When you don’t want to tour anymore touring is a nightmare. When Jimmy came in and Dave Tipple came in, this is our first record with him, we were all together we weren’t living in separate cities. So we locked ourselves in a room for two months and it was a joint effort. It felt like being in a band again.
Was it a return to your youth!
Marty: Absolutely! The album became a lot more rock and roll. When Jimmy and Dave joined the band they toured with us for about two years straight so it was there band too. Everyone had equal input and so the record went a lot more places.
Do you think that a part of this rejuvenation is due to the revival we’ve seen in the nu-metal movement?
Marty: Absolutely. Rock took a backseat to other things for a minute but now it’s crawling out of the grave. Everyone from the Guitar Hero days grew up so now rock guitar is coming back. The guitar heroes are making their way back to the forefront. Bands like Poison and LA Guns are selling clubs out again an rock radio is starting to change and take chances. A lot of really cool bands are coming up now too, there’s a lot of energy in it now.
Do you identify more with rock than nu-metal?
Marty: Yeah. In the 2000’s it was like, if you don’t wear wristbands and jump around a lot no one gave a shit about your band. That was never really my thing but I kind of grew up in the late 80s and early 90s and had that influence. I was always more into Guns n Roses and stuff like that. All the influences have come together in our writing and the more we write the more we ignore the rules and pull away from what is popular an just what we like. People seem to connect a lot more easily now and are more into it. I think rock and roll is a big wide genre and you’ve got death metal, which I don’t say is rock and roll, but there’s a wide spectrum of things that fit in there.
Why isn’t death metal rock and roll?
Marty: Because it’s death metal! It’s music from hell.
A better question might be is what is rock and roll?
Marty: Guitar solos! That whole screaming thing I never got into. I come from a time where you sing. You sing melodies and then that whole scream thing ruined it for me. People thought they were sounding like Pantera but they forgot that band had one of the best guitar players on the planet and Phil Anselmo can sing his ass off. It was cool when I Was fourteen but after a while I wanted harmonies again. I like girls and I like when girls are at concerts. When we were coming up in the early 2000s we were constantly partnered with bands that were so brutal that their fans hated us. TBT Records didn’t understand that we didn’t want to be on tour with those kinds of bands.
They would be like “You guys are going on tour with Butchered at Birth!” And that doesn’t make sense because we do four part harmonies with falsettos. The more we did that the more we pulled away from that. Nothing against those bans, they’re great. The bands that do that well are really cool. I can’t sing like that though or play guitar like that. Rock and roll needs to have guitar solos and that blues influence for it to work.
You’ve named dropped Guns n Roses two or three times now…
Marty: There’s a reason I smoke cigarettes, wear leather jackets and play Les Paul guitars. I was at that age when they were coming up. I saw them on TV at the music awards when they were cursing and drunk and my parents were like “This is awful!” Which immediately turned me onto them. I was there when Metallica started coming out too. That was the Headbangers Ball era and I stayed up late to watch that. Those were the dangerous days of rock and roll where it was like ‘Are these guys going to show up? Is there going to be a riot?” It was insane! That’s what kind of brought me to cigarettes and music, it was bands like Guns n Roses and Metallica, with great guitarists and singers.
What do you think of the reunion?
Marty: Excited! I saw Slash with Miles Kennedy and that blew my mind! I hope it works out with the lineups and all that – but if it doesn’t happen, I saw Slash with Miles Kennedy and I’m good. If it doesn’t happen and they don’t show up, I saw a pretty good version of it. Slash looks great and Miles Kennedy is just so good. He’s a great guitarist too! The rest of the band is awesome! I just saw them play in Florida when we were on a bill with them and we just stood there with our jaws dropped. Slash is just timeless. It was amazing. I’ve followed them for so long and I remember waiting in line to get Use Your Illusion and now what happens for video games used to happen for albums. Watching skinny white dudes sell out stadiums was a beautiful time.
Because that’s no longer the case do you worry that rock and roll is no longer dangerous?
Marty: When you listen to the radio I’m not scared of the people. I think there are bands that are starting to bring it back but the real deal crazies are hard to find and don’t last very long. I listen to rock radio and there’s exciting stuff happening now. I love that bad Nothing More and Red Sun Rises. They are starting to change the mold again and are starting to make active rock radio a little less safe. Once Nickelback had success labels signed a bunch of clones and it just turned into stuff that your mom could get into. That’s not it for me. For me you have to sneak it behind your parents back. I remember getting AC/DC records and feeling like I was in trouble for looking at the album covers! And I would get in trouble. With all of those bands it felt kind of evil. I haven’t felt that way in a long time but it’s starting to come back. People are starting to smart up and not shoot heroin or do too much cocaine. That’s how you die as a rock star! It just seems like it’s starting to come back and the clubs are getting bigger and the fans are coming back. It’s a good thing and we’re really happy about it.
What do you love so much about music?
Marty: I love music. I love going to the studio. I love tours, I love going on stage. My girlfriend asks me why I do this every day an I have to say that this is not what I choose to be this is what I have to be. If we go home and have some time off of tour which seldom happens, I get a day to rest but then if I’m not doing something with music I feel pretty worthless. I have no other skills. I can’t build stuff or do any of that fun shit. It’s just who I am. When I was 8 I got my first guitar and I knew that everybody in our school would go work in factories and I knew that wasn’t the life for me. I could be doing something for eight or nine hours a day and not realize time had passed. I lucked out and found four other guys who are the same way. It’s a business where I say “God damn I never thought I would see that!” Every other day. You can’t freak out, you need to find guys who are laid back and want to play music. It’s hard to find but then the sky is the limit.
Any final words of wisdom?
Marty: I don’t have much wisdom. If you are in a band rehearse every day and buy a tuning pedal. You can’t go on stage and not have a tuning pedal and expect to run with the greats. If you want to really be a musician its 24 hours a day at 110% if not it’s a hobby and that’s totally cool too. Don’t bitch about the scene sucking if you can’t tune your instrument and barely practice.
Bobaflex is currently on tour with The Veer Union across the USA. Also their latest release ‘Anything That Moves’ is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all the usual places. Until then you can follow the band online: