Who do you think of in music today, when someone mentions the word originality? For me, my mind immediately goes directly to Bobaflex. The guys have always had a knack for doing what they want and making things work, no matter how dire the circumstances may have become. Recently they released their newest offering titled Charlatan’s Web, which I reviewed here, and are beginning to sprinkle in some new songs on the road.
Listen to the entire Marty McCoy interview below:
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Today, I’m happy to welcome Marty McCoy to the Unsung Melody family. Marty is a guitarist and vocalist in the band Bobaflex. Thanks for joining me today.
Thanks for having me.
I brought ya on today to discuss all things new in the world of Bobaflex. It seems we have a new album to discuss. It’s titled Charlatan’s Web. It’s not a concept album, per se, but the characters do intertwine a bit. Where’d the idea come from for Charlatan’s Web?
The title Charlatan means a snake of a fake and we’ve met a lot of them along the way. We just thought, we were sitting in the studio coming up with album titles and my brother sent that one out and everyone’s heads whipped around, the room got silent and we were like, “That’s the one.” We thought it was great. He came up with, I don’t know, probably 400 album titles within an hour. Just saying all of these titles, then he said Charlatan’s Web. That’s it.
It’s good that it was a clear choice. Because a lot of times, that’s one of the hardest things for a band. Choosing album titles and all that stuff, so that’s good.
We always try to have a good one.
The band introduces an old school, classic rock vibe on the album. Especially in the song, School For Young Ladies. Of course the story is pure Bobaflex. Did you set out to write an old school feel or did the song just evolve into what it is?
That’s another Shaun McCoy thing coming out. We got together one night and he said, “I’ve got this song that I’ve been writing. I want you to hear it. It’s called School For Young Ladies.” I thought, Ooooookay. I already knew it had an 80’s classic rock vibe to it when he told me the title. He started telling me this concept and I’m like, “Are you out of your mind?” (laughter) He was like, “What do you mean?” I said, “You’re crazy. This is crazy.” The more the song started to develop, I was like, “This is crazy, but in a good way.” I really liked it. I ended up really liking the song a lot, but I remember when he first came up with the concept. That’s all Shaun McCoy. When I first heard the idea, I thought, he’s got to start taking meth or something. It ended up being amazing and it’s one of those songs that he could write and only he could turn it into something that would go on the record. I love having him in the band. I love that whole left field aspect of my brother. I’m just like, “Alright, you’re crazy, but it’s a good crazy.”
The first single is Bad Man and it sets the tone for this record, which touches on some pretty taboo subjects. You guys have always said what you think and I think that’s what the fans relate to. Were there any songs, not just on this album, but over your career you had second thoughts about releasing?
Bury Me With My Guns On was one of those songs where the concept, I came up with the concept and called everybody and told them I had this song that I wrote, I want to sing it to you. They were all like, “Uh, how are we going to get that on the radio?” I was like, “You leave that to me. Don’t worry about it.” Everyone said they really liked the song and it’s really catchy, but the subject matter is pretty out there and I don’t know if people are going to accept the song or not. It was hilarious that they did. I think it’s funny that most people don’t get the meaning. I know people do, but there’s a lot of people that truly don’t get the concept of that song. They’re like, “Man, I love that song where you’re talking about shooting the devil.” Then you know that they have missed the whole point of the song. That’s fine though. People think what they’re going to think and draw their own conclusions. That song’s pretty out there. That’s about as far as you can go I think.
Rogue is one of my favorites on the new album. It seems to be a much more personal song than you guys are generally known for.
We’ve all been on the road for a long time. We’ve all had our fair share of heartbreaks and breaking hearts and stuff. The song Rogue was just blatantly telling it how it is. Now being on the road and having things that you want and money isn’t a trouble anymore. Crowds are showing up and girls are showing up like crazy. It used to be, it was all guys at the show and now it’s all girls. (laughter) It’s one of those things where you try to tell the people you meet on the road, that I’m going to the next town and there’s no chance in hell that I’m staying here tonight. We’ve got to go and they just don’t want to listen.
I’m going to the next town and you’re not.
They’re like, “When are you coming back?” “Uhhh, four to six months.” They’re like, “I’ll wait for you.” “Don’t.”
Don’t do that. (laughter)
Some of them do. When you back to town, they’re still waiting on you. You gotta say, “What are you still doing single?” “Well, I was waiting on you.” “Well, I told you not to.” (laughter)
Fair enough. Tell me a bit about your new guitar player Dave Tipple.
Dave Tipple is the man. Dave Tipple came into the band at the eleventh hour and is a really cool dude. One of my best friends. It was a fast relationship with all of the band members. We’ve known him for a while. He was in a band called Of Humans, which was a great band around the Columbus, Ohio area. A really talented band. It’s a shame they broke up, really. We were looking for a guitar player the day that his band broke up and he just happened to call Jerod and was like, I’ll try out for the band. We were hurting in a bad way, because John Hoskins, who is a phenomenal guitar player, we thought he was the final piece to the band and I was heartbroken when he left the band. I was like, “Oh man. What are we going to do now?” Dave kicked in the door with an acoustic guitar and a voice like an angel and saved the day. A lot of positive energy comes from that guy and he’s such a great guitar player, and a talented singer, he really just fell right into place and brought the band to another level. Okay, this guy can sing as well as anybody that I’ve ever met. He can play guitar as well as anybody in the band or outside of the band and just had this positive energy. Just so easy to get along with and was down for the cause. He’s just a lifesaver. I was just down in the dumps until we met Dave. I didn’t know what we were going to do. Screw it, let’s not find another guitar player, let’s just stay us four and stop this revolving door of guitar players once and for all. Then Dave stepped in and he stopped the revolving door. He’s staying, there’s no way he’s leaving. I won’t let him leave.
You mentioned Dave singing well and that’s one of the things, that if someone hasn’t seen you live, they probably don’t realize, often times you’ve been considered on the metal side of things, but your harmonies live, well on the album as well, but live are just awesome. I commend you guys for that.
It’ s one of those things, where it’s like, if you can’t sing, what are you doing in a band? That’s how I was taught. (laughter) It’s not the case with all bands and there are some great bands out there. We grew up on bluegrass and bands like the Eagles and Pink Floyd and KISS that had all of these singers and I just thought, we always thought that’s how it was supposed to be. So when we were putting the band together, when we were younger, it was like, “This guys a great guitar player. Can he sing?” “No, he can’t sing a lick.” I was like, “Well, onto the next one.” We kind of just thought that you were supposed to be able to sing and have a real band instead of one guy doing all of the vocals. That gets really stale and really boring. If everybody can sing, we can do whatever we want. We got lucky enough that Jerod is an amazing singer and his range can go anywhere. Shaun’s got this wild range that nobody else can really do. When Shaun sings, he doesn’t sound like anybody else. When he opens is mouth and I hear it on a record, I’m like, “Welp, that’s Shaun.” People don’t sound like him. He’s got this strange tone that just commands attention whether you like it or not. You have to listen whether you hate it or you like it. Just having all of these singers, you can do whatever you want. You don’t have to stop at a certain range. You don’t have to say, we can only hit this note and this note because I can’t hit it myself. If I can’t hit it, Jerod can hit it. If Jerod can’t hit it, Shaun can hit it. Now young Tipple can hit it. We can hit it all. Everybody thinks it’s just this wild thing where we all sing and it’s not. You just haven’t seen us in a while. It’s what we all grew up on. Four and five singers. I remember watching the Last Waltz with my Dad from the band on HBO. When we had HBO, when I was younger. Now I have to rent Boardwalk Empire because I don’t have HBO. We would watch this and they would all just switch around and sing. It’s just how it was supposed to be. My Dad would play bluegrass in the house and they’d have all these musicians come in and everybody would sing. They would switch instruments. It was just normal. A really, really normal thing. When we started doing it in the band, I remember even the record label saying that you can’t do this. You can’t switch singers and you can’t switch guitar players. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. I’m like, “What are you talking about? First of all, I’m in a band so nobody tells me what to do. The whole reason we started the band was so we wouldn’t have to live by rules. ” It was just really strange for me to see people that were older than me that were in the record industry telling me that this is not how it’s done. You have one singer. You have one sound in the band. You need to focus your sound, instead of just all over the place. It was kind of a double-edged sword, but they’re gone and we’re still here. In your face! (laughter)
I’m glad you kind of through up a middle finger to them and did your own thing.
I hate to say it, but that’s the West Virginia way. We do what we want. If we wanted to be told what to do, we would be in the military or we would be working at the factory with short hair and baggy pants. (laughter)
Well, with this new album and being out on the road. The last time I saw you, you were pretty much playing Hell In My Heart from start to finish. What’s the new setlist looking like these days?
Because the album is so new, we’re adding in all the time. What we did learn with Hell In My Heart, is that you don’t want to bombard fans live with the new stuff, especially if they don’t have the record yet. (laughter) They like it, but they’ll just stand there and watch you though and take everything in. We’re slowly working new songs in. We’re playing Bad Man, which is of course the new single. We’ve got a top 40 hit by the way. Bad Man hit the top 40 which is a really nice feeling.
Thank you so much. It’s a great feeling. We’re playing about four new songs and we’re getting together and working up a new setlist. We’re working in some new songs, but we don’t want to beat people over the head with the new songs. They just got the record, certain people don’t even have the record yet. We kind of want them to bob their heads and rock and roll, instead of just watching us like a television set. We’re slowly working in some new songs and we’re playing some older songs too. Some stuff off of Hell In My Heart and stuff off of some older records. Which we’ve got so many records now that I can’t even remember the titles of them. Just kind of giving the fans what they want and slowly but surely playing the new songs.
You mentioned some older songs. There’s a ton of older songs that I’d love to see sprinkled in the setlist. Let’s go way back here. Songs like Medicine, Turn The Heat Up and Tears Drip would be awesome to see live. Any chance you guys do something like Megadeth has done and revisit a classic album some day?
That’s awesome that you mention Megadeth. One of my favorite bands. One of my favorite guys in the world, Dave Mustaine. He was so good to us. We toured out with them. He was one of the coolest cats in the world. That’s one of the experiences of being in the band that I couldn’t believe. I was like, “Oh my God, Dave Mustaine is standing right there.” He’s watching us play and he’s talking about our songs and giving us advice. There he is, it’s Dave! It’s hard to contain. We played it cool on the tour and didn’t bother Dave, but I was giddy the whole time. “There he is. Oh my God!” I played it cool and let him talk to us and didn’t bother him and I’m sure he appreciated that, but man it was cool as hell! To see my hero standing right there in front of me every night. Yeah, but some of the older songs, when you’re writing and you have some successes and some failures, you tend to get away from the stuff, where you feel like, “Oh, well nobody bought that album anyway.” After you get away from it a little bit and you start seeing the fans coming out more and more, they’re requesting songs like Home and Tears Drip, and Savior and Turn The Heat Up and stuff. You get away from what we used to do and you start thinking, alright let’s start playing some of these songs and you start noticing how many people actually know them. So we’re definitely, we’re talking about doing a live record, because a lot of record labels owned, labels that we are no longer with, some of those older songs, so we can’t really just record them or sell them anymore. We’ve got a loophole around that, we’re going to go back and do a live record of some of the old classic songs that people really like and record them live and get them back out there and get the energy back behind them again. I think it’ll be a lot of fun. It’ll probably be one of the easiest records we’ve ever recorded.
Show up. Do your job and go home. I like it.
Yeah. That’d be great. Get a little alcohol running, get loose, play it one time and there it is. It’s done.
This is more of a personal question than a band question. For me, the History Channel is milking the hell out of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, which you and your brother Shaun are descendants. Does all this exploitation bother you at all or do you even give a shit?
I always thought growing up, that McCoy was an awesome last name, I thought. I always wanted people to call me McCoy instead of Marty. I was like, “Oh Marty McFly…great.” (laughter) I remember the movie Megaforce with Chuck Norris, his name was McCoy and I just always thought that McCoy was the coolest name. Growing up, we knew about the feud and everything and I always thought it was cool. The Real McCoy and the Hatfield-McCoys, I always thought it was a cool thing and I really started getting into and reading a lot about it. There are a lot bigger feuds in the history of the United States. A lot bigger gang wars and stuff, but for some reason this one grabbed the media attention and exploded all over the nation. I’m not really sure why. I know a lot of people think that West Virginia is full of mystical rednecks and stuff, but it’s not. I love West Virginia. I love being there and growing up there. It’s a great place and it’s just one of those things that caught the media attention. There can be five murders in the United States and one of them takes off and everybody is talking about it. There’s six other ones that happen the next day. It’s just one of those things that blew up. I though Kevin Costner did a really good job. It’s gotten a lot of media attention that we wouldn’t have gotten beforehand, so I can’t really say that I am not into the resurgence of the popularity of the feud. Because there is a lot of interviews and stuff in magazines that didn’t want anything to do with us, then they found out, “Oh! There’s McCoy’s from the Hatfield-McCoy’s feud. We can talk to them.” I kind of take it with a grain of salt, but it doesn’t hurt in getting the name out there. We’ve met a lot of Hatfields over the years, because of the feud and we’ve made a lot of great friends. It’s kind of all been good actually. It hasn’t hurt us one bit.
That’s a very unique perspective on it. I didn’t even think about that aspect of it, so very cool. Alright, I always end on a random question. As if that wasn’t random enough. You’re cast in the next Star Wars series, you get to pick, Jedi or Sith; What do you choose and why?
What would I be? I would be a Jedi.
What’s your reasoning for being a Jedi?
Cause they’re awesome and they protect the universe. They’re good at heart. I feel that I’m that way. I may look like a Sith, but I feel like I’m a Jedi. I just remember being a kid and my Dad took my brother and I, and my twin sister to see Return Of The Jedi and I just remember it being such an epic, huge thing. That was something that I had never seen before. They’re doing a new one and they’re bringing back like Han Solo, the older characters, I can’t wait to see it. I hope it’s not cgi’ed out. I’d be nervous if I was the director. It’s one of those things where you can knock it out of the park or you can mess it up. I’m just so happy, I’ll go watch it anyway. Regardless. I’ll watch it a million times, whether it’s terrible or great. I can not wait to see it.
I’m right there with you. When they did the re-releases of the old movies, my son was really young, so I got to experience that with him in the theaters. It spans generations. It’s awesome.
It’s hard to make movies like that again. I just remember being in this other world and they were on these other planets. The scene where they’re in the bar and there are all of these aliens playing music and drinking, and it’s violent. It’s like the old west, sat in the future. I mean, we’re lucky. We got to see that on the screen and now, I remember when you used to have to call people from the phone at your house or a payphone, and you could rent movies at a building that they had, called a video store. Now they can do so many things with movies and sometimes the story gets lost in the technology. I’m just really happy to have that series in my collection at the house that I can pull up at anytime. It’s really something special and I can’t wait to see what they do with the new one. One way or the other, I’m buying it and I’m watching it a million times and being a nerd, like I always have been.
Marty, I appreciate your time so very much. Hopefully I haven’t bugged you too much today.
You can call me anytime.
You’ve been awesome. The site and myself wish you nothing but the best.
Preview or purchase Charlatan’s Web below:
Bobaflex – Bad Man