Bobaflex are ‘Dead by Xmas’ at Oddbody’s

By Matt Clevenger

Photo: Bobaflex’s ‘Dead by Xmas’ tour hits Blind Bob’s Dec. 17; photos: Payne Productions

Succeeding in the music business can be a struggle, and no one understands that better than Bobaflex. After seven albums and more than two decades specializing in giant rock festivals, the West Virginia-based metal legends are still known as one of the hardest working bands in the country.

“We started out on Friday in the Carolinas, and we’re on our way to Jacksonville, Florida right now,” singer/guitarist Shaun McCoy says. “We’ll be [playing] around 185 shows this year, so we’re moving and shaking.”

Bobaflex comes by this fighting spirit honestly. The band’s founders, brothers Shaun and Martin McCoy, are real-life descendants of the McCoy family involved in the infamous feud with the Hatfield family.

“Our family migrated from the Tugg River where it all went down, and moved north in West Virginia,” McCoy says. “That’s where we grew up, around Mason County. But we’re just a few hours from where the feud took place, and, yes, we are direct descendants of the McCoy and Hatfield feud.”

The brothers started Bobaflex back in 1998, after playing separately in several successful local bands. “We decided we weren’t into our degrees in college,” McCoy says. “We pretty much dropped out of school, then started a band and started taking it seriously.”

“We played like five days a week,” he says, “and we ended up getting a couple of record deals out of it…I think we got our first record deal in 2005.”

The band quickly stepped up to playing festivals and other large venues, including Ohio’s largest rock festival, Woodshock, which they headlined for several years in a row. “Tim Buchenroth was our manager back then, so we had an easy in,” McCoy says. “We hadn’t played Rock on the Range yet…At that time, we had done several festivals, but that was one of our bigger first ones.”

Since then, the band has released seven albums including its 2003 debut Primitive Epic, the 2011 release Hell in My Heart, which included the hit single “Bury Me With My Guns On,” and their latest album Anything That Moves, which features the singles “Spider in the Dark” and “Mama Don’t Take My Drugs Away.”

“It’s a lot different,” McCoy says of Anything That Moves. “We’ve streamlined this band a lot over the years. We used to be more of a spontaneous, eclectic, weird band when we first started, but we kind of moved more towards straight rock. We got a little more commercial, but we’re… more of a well-streamlined rock band. Before we were kind of metal-funk meets hip-hop meets System of a Down, and now it’s a little more just straight forward rock.”

Anything That Moves represents new territory for the band in another way, as well; it is the group’s first album since deciding to go independent and create their own label BFX Records. Legal troubles motivated Bobaflex to take business matters into its own hands after a label they were signed with filed for bankruptcy.

“The label went bankrupt, and we had to fight with a bank for a year to be independent,” McCoy says. “Our old music was sold, which was on the label. That was the Apologize for Nothing album as well as Tales from Dirt Town; they sold it to Orchard Music.”

“The bank owned us for one year once the label went bankrupt,” he says. “They owned us, like, a house. That was a dark time in our past, but we made it through and continued making records on our own independently.”

Now, the band runs its own company, BFX Records. “BFX is our label,” McCoy says. “I’ve got money in my pocket, and that doesn’t happen when you’re on a label.”

As part of the “Dead by Xmas” Tour, Bobaflex will appear with opening acts Shallow Side, EpikisT, Shotgun Surprise, and Blackwater at Oddbody’s in Dayton on Saturday, Dec. 17.

In addition to touring, the band also plans to start recording a new album sometime early this year. “We’re actually taking a little bit of time off in February, and just working on a new EP,” McCoy says. “As an independent artist, you know if you don’t keep cranking out product in this day and age, you’ll fall by the wayside. It’s our living, so we’ve got to get home and get to work and write some good songs, put another EP out. So that’s what we’ll be doing this January and February; look for it in 2017 on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.”

Bobaflex will appear Saturday, Dec. 17 at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. in Dayton. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $15. For more information, please visit Oddbodys.com or TheOfficialBobaflex.com.

 

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