By: Erin Callahan – Chief A&E Writer
In 1998, Bobaflex was just your typical garage band in a small West Virginia town. What stands out about this group of rockers is its extensive 16-year career, 13 of which have been spent on the road, as well as the fact that four of the five members have been there from the start.
When they were kids, the band was inspired by Guns N’ Roses on TV, practiced six to eight hours a day and knew they wanted more out of life than what their small football town could offer.
Bobaflex stars Marty and Shaun McCoy on guitar and vocals, Dave Tipple on guitar, Tommy Johnson on drums and Jymmy Tolland on bass and vocals.
Marty McCoy described Bobaflex as “true-blue rock ’n’ roll.” They’re used to playing in front of 20,000 to 30,000 people at concerts or music festivals, but on Friday, the band will rock out at Oddbody’s Music Room in Dayton.
Dayton is only one stop on their 2014 tour, which has averaged about 150 shows to promote the band’s sixth studio album, “Charlatan’s Web,” and they’re showing no plans of slowing down.
“We’re a well-oiled machine,” McCoy said. “We’ve been touring for six months straight and we’re not missing a beat. This is the best sound we’ve ever had, more amped up and high energy.”
McCoy credited the success of their new album and recent shows to the band’s longevity.
“Since we’ve been around for so long, we’re not fighting to stay alive anymore, and we were really able to take our time on this album,” he said. “Our strong suit is live performance, so we thought, ‘Let’s try and make this album sound live.’ It’s just two guitars, bass, drums and three singers. It’s really instrumental, and definitely bigger, brighter and better than our last album. It’s exactly what we wanted.”
It seems to be exactly what the audience wants, too. Though they aim to represent the hard-working, blue-collar folks who want to blow off some steam on the weekend, McCoy joked that he still gets excited when teenagers show up, thinking, “Yes! We’re still relevant!”
Fans of their ’80s-style rock span multiple generations, from 13-year-olds to 50-year-olds, he said.
The influences that have made Bobaflex what it is today are deeply rooted. The band members listen to just about everything, McCoy said, and much of it is what their parents raised them on. As far as what they write and play themselves, they take a personal approach.
“Our inspiration now, and for the last seven years or so has come from actual experiences that have happened to the band or our close friends,” he said. “We create melodies you want to sing back. They aren’t too heavy or too light.”
Despite a passion for the music, 13 years of touring could sound trying to some musicians. Bobaflex is an exception.
“Touring is the dream. It’s camping and playing rock music all in one trip,” McCoy said. “It’s like a drug. We may do a radio show in the morning, and then eat lunch on the road. Next up after arriving at the venue is sound check, meet and greets, dinner and finally we get the adrenaline rush of performing – what we’ve been working for all day.”
Looking forward, McCoy said he hopes to eventually be “the biggest band in the world, with their own jet planes and playing in stadiums – like any other band hopes to do.”
Bobaflex will perform at Oddbody’s Music Room Friday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. For more information, visit theofficialbobaflex.com.