On June 23rd, Bobaflex headlined a major show at L-Treyns in Keokuk, Iowa featuring guests Shallow Side, Caught in the Crypt, Best Kept Secret, and VYCES. Prior to the show, I had an opportunity to walk around town with Marty McCoy, vocalist and guitarist for the band. Here are just some of the thoughts we discussed during our stroll!
Fernetti: You guys have been to Keokuk several times now, correct?
McCoy: Yes, yes we have!
Fernetti: Anything in particular that keeps bringing you back? Just a regular tour stop?
McCoy: The fans! The fans here are awesome. Playing the big cities is great. I love playing everywhere, actually. But, there’s something about these small towns. The big rock shows don’t come to these places. These small towns feel like our special place.
Fernetti: Definitely! I get that.
McCoy: We play at probably hundreds of them (small towns) across the country. You know, New York and LA aren’t the only places on the planet to rock and roll. You get into these smaller towns and, they call them B and C markets, the big rock shows don’t come here, so the fans don’t have to drive two and three hours to see a great band, have to pay for parking and all that. Instead, they can see a great show right in their hometowns. There’s great energy as well. The fans are excited to come out and see the music. It’s a magical thing. It really is!
Fernetti: That actually leads into one of my later questions. I saw that you guys are playing several of the bigger festivals this summer. Is there anything different you guys have to do, maybe in terms of a mindset, when doing one of those festivals versus doing a show like here at L-Treyns?
McCoy: Umm….a little bit. The mindset is that we’re playing earlier in the day at one of those. Maybe the hangover hasn’t worn off yet! (laughs) Maybe not quite awake yet. No, seriously, though a live show is a live show. We get ready. We get our voices ready the same. It’s like going to war. We go out there and fight and do what we need to for our fans, every song, every second of the show.
We also have a little shorter of a set list at a big festival. We can come out swinging a little bit harder and don’t have to conserve as much energy. There’s a lot of bands so you have to move ‘em, get them on and off fairly quickly. But, that can help make our set more powerful. But, I like the 30 minute set, the 45 minute set, the hour and half set. We aren’t Metallica. We can’t play two hour sets yet. But, when you’re at a festival with Metallica, Nothing More, Zakk Wylde, a 30 minute set is perfect. You can come out swinging, full of energy, and get the crowd into it right away. Give them your absolute best songs right away. There’s pros and cons to all of it, though. We may have a bit shorter of a set, but we may be playing to 10,000 more fans than normal too!
Fernetti: I bet there are pros and cons! Especially given the fact you guys have been at this for years now…
McCoy: Yeah, at the big festivals you get to see people you haven’t seen for a long time. Everybody’s crews are interchangeable. If you’ve toured for years, you get to know EVERYBODY! Some of these events are like family reunions. It’s cool. I love the big festivals. They’re fun! I love playing everywhere, really (laughs)!
Fernetti: You guys have been around since, 1998?
McCoy: Yeah, sort of. I would say 2003 was when we decided to really do this, really get serious about playing and trying to make this our thing. That’s when we started gaining some success and REALLY learning the ropes of how to do this, what it was like to tour, and all that goes into that. That’s around the time I really felt this is what I wanted to do for a living. Before that, it was really just something for us to do on the weekends.
Fernetti: Okay, that was sort of the transition then…
McCoy: Well, I’ve always really played. Hell, our drummer and I have played together since we were 11 years old. We got old enough to where we still played, but also had jobs. We were like, ‘Fuck this! Let’s play music and see what happens.’
Fernetti: You can answer this from the perspective of your band or from the perspective of the industry as a whole, but what’s the biggest change you’ve seen in all that time? That may be hard to narrow down…
McCoy: Oh, God! (laughs) You could have narrowed that down to two years ago and that would be tough to answer (laughs again). Every year it seems like there’s a big change. ‘Where did that come from?’ ‘What the fuck is happening here?!’ (laughs again). The big change, though, that I’ve seen in just the last couple years is radio stations have changed. Two years ago we had a big radio single that radio stations really supported, so now we’ve gone back to those places, the connections we thought we had…and they’re gone! Spotify comes in…and hell maybe it goes all the way back to Napster. These things have changed. So many different ways to get music out to the fans now while some of the old standbys have either changed completely or aren’t even around anymore. It’s great for fans, don’t get more wrong. But bands have had to be more creative in how to go about things.
Fernetti: I wasn’t as tech-savvy as some of my friends, but I remember possessing a lot of files in college…(laughs)
McCoy: Right (laughs) But no, it’s awesome for fans. So many ways to get music out there now. What’ll be interesting is…what happens if Hollywood starts being affected? What happens if these streaming services take over–I mean really get into–the movie industry? That’s when we’ll see our next wave of change. But, the technology evolves so fast…those changes will already be there! That’s the way the world works.
Fernetti: Some bands have gone to releasing music strictly through streaming services. You guys ever consider that?
McCoy: A lot of bands ask themselves what’s the point of doing an album now. But, we really like being in the studio, working out our songs. We’ve had that thought before, just releasing singles, but we’ve always just stuck with producing albums.
Fernetti: I’m one of those people who still buys CDs. I love the art, the lyrics, the booklets that come with it. It’s a great way to still support the artists.
McCoy: So do I. I love reading the lyrics. I also absolutely agree about it being very supportive of the artists. We’re independent artists. If you buy a song, we’re still getting money. Someone buys a record, we’re still getting money. We aren’t going to make millions, but we make enough to support our lifestyle and our careers. We have a fan base that seems to love us, we’re happy making the music. We love it!
Fernetti: Hey, that’s all that matters! I’m going off topic and back five or six years with this next question: “The Sound of Silence” video…who came up with that? (laughs)
McCoy: Oh, man! Some people thought it was great, some people absolutely hated it (laughs).
Fernetti: I loved it!
McCoy: Oh, I did too! It’s very cheesy, I admit! It was one of the first videos I decided to direct. I wanted it to be…well, the original song is about the JFK assassination. I don’t know if most people know that or not.
Fernetti: Oh, I actually didn’t know that…
McCoy: Yeah, he was assassinated, the whole world became silent…that was the concept of the original. People didn’t know what to say. It weighed really heavy on me. Then later, there was a lot of violence in the world. It seemed like something crazy was happening every week…but, I don’t know why we did that video the way we did (laughs). The song is great, the video is fucking weird. I’ll admit that! Doing music and videos is the same kind of thing. They’re both creative outlets. I had this vision…but sometimes you take a swing… and then sometimes you miss (laughs).
Fernetti: Okay, now transitioning to the newest album, what is the motivation for the “Hey You” cover?
McCoy: Honestly, it goes back to “The Sound of Silence”. It did really, really well for us. It opened up a lot of doors for us. Then….Disturbed decided to do “The Sound of Silence.” They crushed us with it, but whatever (laughs). Honestly, we felt we needed to develop another cover that’s ours, so to speak. Obviously, a cover isn’t really yours, but we needed something else.
Fernetti: And, then with that, the new album? August 25th? Do I have that right?
McCoy: Yep, Eloquent Demons. I fucking love that name. My brother came up with it. Great name. He always comes up with the album names and then….We actually come up with our titles first and then that helps shape the music that is the vibe of the record. We always come up with the story idea first. ‘What kind of story do we want to tell with this music?’ That shapes the process for us and that’s kinda how we do the albums.
My brother is super creative and he just pulled out a list and was like, “Hey, I have like 30 names for the album!” Hell, ten of them I thought were brilliant but Eloquent Demons stuck out. The album titles always have something to do with us personally. The name Eloquent Demons? We’re real nice guys…but we’ve done some demonic shit over the years too!
Fernetti: Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to stroll with me and I really look forward to the show tonight!
Please view the videos below: a reminder on the masterpiece that is the “Sound of Silence” video and the new cover of Pink Floyd’s “Hey You” that is available on the Eloquent Demons album available August 25th. The “Hey You” video itself is a tribute to Pink Floyd’s work “Live at Pompeii” that Pink Floyd fans will instantly recognize.
Also, Bobaflex has a very busy summer scheduled! Check out the following performances and links for more information on this great band!
Wednesday, July 12 at Bud Light Rock Fest, Cadott, WI
Thursday, July 13 at Rock USA in Oshkosh, WI
Saturday, July 15 at WhoElse Land in Nelson, IL
Sunday, July 16 at Ink the Clink, Mansfield, OH
Friday, July 21 at Loud N Lima, Lima, OH
Thursday, August 3 at Lafayette Theater in Lafayette, IN
Friday, August 4 at Czar’s 505 in Saint Joseph, MI
Saturday, August 5 at The Foundry in Jackson, MI
Sunday, August 6 at Penny Road Pub in Barrington, IL
Thursday, August 10 at Lewis and Clark Tap Room in Helena, MT
Friday, August 11 at The Do Bar in Great Falls, MT
Saturday, August 12 at Rockin’ the Rivers in Three Forks, MT
Tuesday, August 15 at the Nestor Tavern in Fargo, ND
Wednesday, August 16 at Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul, MN
Thursday, August 17 at District in Rockford, IL
Friday, August 18 at Vintage Villains in Danville, IL
Saturday, August 19 at Southern Ohio Buckeye Bike Rally in Court House, OH
Friday, August 25 at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH (ELOQUENT DEMONS release party)
Saturday, August 26 at Machine Shop in Flint, MI
Wednesday, August 30 at Firebird in St. Louis, MO
Thursday, August 31 at Cafe Acoustic Live in St. Joseph, MO
Friday, September 1 at Outland Ballroom in Springfield, MO
Lastly, please check out the following for more information on Bobaflex: