I’ve been a big fan of American band Bobaflex since I heard their 2011 album “Hell In My Heart”. Since then they’ve released the albums “Charlatans’s Web” (2013) and “Anything That Moves” (2015) and I posted an interview with singer / guitarist Shaun online back in 2013. Their latest album “Eloquent Dreams” is released through Thermal Entertainment LLC on 25th August and I thought that was a good opportunity to get someone from the band onto the Show. I spoke to bass player Jymmy Tolland via Skype on 23rd August to talk about the band, the album, future plans and more.

That interview was featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show dated 25th August along with 2 tracks from the new album and a track from each of the previous three albums. That Show is now available on our MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-jymmy-tolland-from-bobaflex-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-on-25th-august-2017/

 


 

 

 

The interview has been transcribed and posted below.

 

Check out the band website at - https://www.theofficialbobaflex.com/

 

The band are Marty McCoy and Shaun McCoy on vocals and guitars, Tommy Johnson on drums, Dave Tipple on guitar and Jymmy Tolland on bass.

 

Playlist for the Show

BOBAFLEX – Hell In My Heart / Bury Me With My Guns On

GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Someday

BALEFUL CREED – The Wolf

ALTER BRIDGE – Metalingus (Live)

LIONHEART – Lionheart

ARCHANGE – Rock Non Stop

GODS OF SILENCE – All My Life

BOBAFLEX – A Spider In The Dark

Interview with Jymmy Tolland from Bobaflex Pt1 (7min)

BOBAFLEX – Hey You

Interview with Jymmy Tolland from Bobaflex Pt2 (12min)

BOBAFLEX – Long Time Coming

BOBAFLEX – I’m Glad You’re Dead

CONJURING FATE – Dr Frankenstein

DEVILFIRE – She’s Like Fire

IRON MAIDEN – Murders In The Rue Morgue

BLACKFOOT – Searchin

BLACKFOOT – Highway Song (Live)

NI ROCKS – Hi Jymmy, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Bobaflex release their latest studio album “Eloquent Demons” on 25th August. Where was the album recorded and who did you work with?

JYMMY – It was recorded with Joe Viers at Sonic Lounge Studios, Grove City Ohio which is only about four miles from my house, which made it really easy.

NI ROCKS – How long did it take to record then?

JYMMY – It was kinda broken up, but I’d say if you smashed it all into one chuck of time; probably two months or six week, something around there.


NI ROCKS – Quite often these days people record their own parts and submit them electronically without the band ever really being in the same room. I take it this done the old fashioned way, with the band all being there together?

JYMMY – Yeah, we recorded the bed tracks all as one, just the rhythm ideas. Then we ended up getting into so re-writing in the studio, you know ‘ah I have an idea’ or ‘this would sound better if’. Looking back and reviewing something; but the skeleton of the song was built as a band.


NI ROCKS – This is the first album released through Thermal Entertainment LLC – the band’s last three albums have been released on their own label BFX Records. Why the change?

JYMMY – We’ve been independent since, I think “Hell In My Heart” was our first independent release (2011). There has been a lot of good has come from that – you’re only putting in what you’ve got and getting back 100% of that. We wanted to make sure we weren’t hitting a glass ceiling, financially and other-wise – there is only so much you can put in when you only have so much. We’d known Kyle at Thermal for years and our current manager, who has been our manager for years, actually went to Thermal and is working through them. So it was a pretty easy transition to make. We’re still working with all the same people as we were before, but it’s under an umbrella and you have a little bit of a safety net and a leg-up financially and with connections.


NI ROCKS – “Eloquent Demons” is your second album with the band. How do you see this album differ from the previous release “Anything That Moves”?

JYMMY – We were a lot more comfortable as a group. The writing process was a lot faster. “Anything That Moves”, I’d been in the band three months I think, four months maybe when we started. And it had all been one long tour prior to that. So I kinda hopped in and didn’t really know the guys in a writing sense; all I really knew was the live show. We toured pretty consistently since and had some of the songs written a year ago, so it was a lot easier to come in and know everybody a lot better, and be more comfortable as writers and musicians. Instead of the writing process being 50% of the time spent on the album, we were in and out in two weeks probably writing. Then it was into the studio for recording; so a lot more time to pour over the little details of what makes a song tick on wax rather than writing it in a room.


NI ROCKS – In terms of song-writing, is there a standard process for tracks to come together, or is each very different?

JYMMY – It’s a 100% different each time. Sometimes it’s all five of us in a room just kicking around an idea until we’ve curbstoned (or is it kerbstoned!) it into a song. Other times Marty or Shaun the two lead singers will come together with a chorus and we’ll build around that. There’s one song on the record...

MARTY – That’s not true. I write everything. I’m a genius! (Laughs)

JYMMY -  That’s Marty, my singer coming down with his hair wet, pulled back and doesn’t want to be on camera as he just got out of the shower. He’s also a dirty rotten liar (laughs). Every song is different. We had one song that I recorded about a year ago just on the laptop; it was just music and I threw that to Marty and said the music is good, do you want to write lyrics to it. There’s that process, where somebody comes in with a huge portion of it written and just lets people pick apart the minutiae of it. It can change every time. I wish there was a standard, easier process to it for us, but we haven’t figured that out yet I guess.


NI ROCKS – There has been two tracks released from the album ahead of its release – “Hey You” and “Long Time Comin” – both of which there have been videos for as well. When will we see a third release and which track is that likely to be?

JYMMY – That’s a good question. The one thing we’ve learnt is that whatever we think is the single, is probably not going to be the single at the end of it. The one thing that you can know is that you don’t know anything. We did “Hey You” and originally the idea for that was that it was just a teaser between albums, but the reaction was so good to it that people were wanting it on the new album and we decided to put it on. Originally it was just supposed to be a stand-alone single. “Long Time Coming” was something that we wrote and recorded probably six months ago and that was the obvious choice for the next single. The one after this, I really wish I had even an idea, but I’ve learnt not to put too much thought into it as I’ve never been right yet. You kinda let the people and the people at radio decide – when you start to see people singing words back to songs real fast and they memorise everything real fast you start to see one song maybe peaking as the group favourite, but I try not to put too much weight on it because if I start thinking that I’m right all I’m going to get is disappointment when I’m inevitably wrong.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned the first release there which was a cover version of Pink Floyd’s “Hey You” - which we’ll play next. Why did the band pick that track?

JYMMY – I wasn’t even a big fan of Pink Floyd until we started doing that. Marty, one of our singers, and Tommy our drummer are die-hard Pink Floyd fans and know how to play every song they’ve ever done and know everything that has ever been written by them. They just kept badgering me with this idea of doing a Pink Floyd song. Finally, I got real stoned one night and sat up with Tommy and finally got it – I was like ‘Oh, this makes sense, I get it now, let’s do it’. We were not 100% sure which song to do, but they just wanted to do a Pink Floyd song. Post “Sound of Silence”, when Disturbed did that we were thinking let’s do something new and see if we can go even loftier with the goals. We talked about doing “Time” or “Wish You Were Here” or “Hey You” – they were the big three that we were tossing around and finally that was the one that eked the others out. We tried it at sound-check and people agreed that was the one.

 

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NI ROCKS – As I mentioned earlier this is your second album with Bobaflex. You replaced Jerod Mankin on bass and I think he’d been with the band for about 15 years. How did you get the gig?

JYMMY – I moved to Ohio from the west coast of the USA five years ago probably. The minute I got off the highway I went to a rock show that I heard was happening. It was a band that Marty was filming a video for – he was directing the music video. I ended up joining a band that opened for Bobaflex many times and Marty became a really good friend and was producing our records, managing us and all that. The band ended up splitting and I got a regular job. Then about a year later, I was still good friends with Marty especially, and the rest of the guys, and he called me up one night in the middle of the night and said that Jerod had quit and did I want the gig. It was kind of a pretty casual thing, all things considered. He just said you’ve got about a month to get everything together before we’re back on tour. Hit the ground running.


NI ROCKS - I’m guessing you’re the youngest member of the band – I’m not sure what age guitarist Dave Tipple is, but you’re the new guys so to speak. Marty, Shaun and Tommy have been together for a long time and have done all the albums together. What is the dynamic in the band like and what was it like stepping into Jerod’s shoes?

JYMMY – It was a pretty quick and easy transition. Obviously, like you said, Marty, Shaun and Tommy are all in their thirties and have been doing it since they were kids. So there was a certain amount of me wanting to learn the game – I’m 24 right now; I’ll be 25 soon. There was a certain amount of that, but then to an extent you get thrown into the lion’s den like that and you start learning things pretty quick. When there is nothing between you and getting ripped off every night except your own willingness to learn how people work, you get a pretty good idea how things work. Nobody really treats me like the new guy anymore and hasn’t for years. There’s not really that mental difference, like there was when I first joined. We’ve all been doing it non-stop for years now.


NI ROCKS – The band are known for their extensive touring schedule, playing a 100 to 150 shows per year. Looking at the upcoming shows you’ve 26 gigs between the album launch on 25th August and 1st October. How much of a challenge is that kind of schedule musically and physically?

JYMMY – I love it. It’s not a challenge for me at all. That’s where I feel most at home. I love the studio and all that, but being out on the road is my number one. Last year we did 154 shows I think it was. This year we’re on pace for 120 or something. If I had my way, which the rest of the guys I’d don’t know if they would want this quite as much as I do, I’d be out all the time. If I could do 300 shows a year and take a Monday and Tuesday off; just camp out at campsites and play Wednesday to Sunday every day, it’d be exactly what I’d do. I’d never go home!


NI ROCKS – Are we likely to see Bobaflex over in Europe in the near future?

JYMMY – I’d love to so much. We’ve had a bunch of opportunities where it almost happened. As I was saying with BFX Records we were limited by our own abilities to spend our own money. Getting over to Europe with five guys and a crew, plus whatever gear we’ve got to rent across there and vehicle rental and all that is a lot of start up cash. On your first tour you’re probably not even going to break even and will have to carry it as a loss. Hopefully with the new things that are happening (the contract with Thermal) we can piece together the money to make that happen once or twice, because everyone my entire time in Bobaflex has said you guys need to be in Europe – you’re almost more of a European band than an American band.


NI ROCKS – Looking forward into 2018 what plans does the band have?

JYMMY -  We’re starting out 2018 with a southern run because come January it’ll be real, real cold in the northern half of the US and we always try to play the first few months in the southern half of the US. I’d like to get working on a new album sooner rather than later. The longer you go between albums, the more you start to see a dead spot. We got this one done relatively quickly. I’d love, in late 2018, or something like that, to start working on a new album and hopefully have something out in early ’19. That might be pie in the sky, but that’d be my dream. To tour in the first half then come home and work on the record the last half. In between Europe of course!


NI ROCKS – The band have a reputation as a great live band. Has there ever been any discussion about releasing a live album?

JYMMY – Yeah, we’ve talked about it before. I don’t know the format that we’d do it under because live albums don’t sell like they used to. I’ve actually got a huge backlog of live recordings that I’ve done of Bobaflex, just plugging my laptop into the soundboard. I’ve a entire tour recorded and put on hard-drives so if we ever needed to do it, I’ve already got it recorded. It’d just be a matter of sending it to a mixer to get it all done. If we decided to do something we’d probably try to go the cost efficient route and give it away for free or something like that. Not spend thousands of dollars mixing it, because like I’ve said they don’t sell like they used to. It’s not Thin Lizzy “Live and Dangerous” or anything like that where you have a platinum live record.


NI ROCKS – Who were your own influences when you were getting into music?

JYMMY – When I was a real little kid my dad got me really into Aerosmith, The Stones and Guns n Roses. I remember being picked up at pre school and my dad had these cassettes and he’d hold them up and ask me which one I wanted to play. So I’d say I want to hear Aerosmith “Rocks” or I want to hear “Appetite for Destruction” or “Powerage” by AC/DC or whatever. There were only so many tapes that he had so I poured over those – it was more of an obsessive thing as I was 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 years old. I slowly started branching out and I got really into Thin Lizzy. I actually got more into old blues rock – The Faces, Rory Gallagher, Small Faces, Humble Pie all that. That is kinda where I come from musically and I try to spin that into a Bobaflex mentality.


NI ROCKS – A question now that I always like to ask. Can you remember the first gig that you went to and the last, other than a Bobaflex one?

JYMMY – I went to see Billy Idol with my mom when I was about 10 years old. I think it was at Paramount in Seattle. I remember the opening band covered AC/DC’s “Beating Around The Bush”, but they kept cursing and my mum was getting so mad. I don’t know what she thought was going to happen at a rock show. I remember she bought me this really cool, punk striped sweater and that was my 10-year old rock show outfit. Then when everyone started swearing my mom slammed her hands over my ears and I had to listen to the whole show like that. What was the last show? I have trouble making it out to concerts now because I’m out playing them so much. I get excited when we play a show with somebody that I’m into. We just saw Ozzy and Zakk Wylde.

NI ROCKS – You were at Sturgis (Motorcycle Rally) there weren’t you?

JYMMY – Yeah, we played it but I didn’t get a chance to see anybody, although I got to listen to Molly Hatchet. We were setting up our stage at the time so I got to listen to them. It’s been a little while since I’ve just been to a  show just because I’m at them all the time. Friday or Saturday I’m probably playing and don’t have the capacity to make it out to a show.


NI ROCKS – And a related question. Can you remember the first album that you bought and the last album that you bought?

JYMMY – The first album that I bought was Kiss “Double Platinum” on cassette. I think I cleaned my room for enough days, for enough weeks in a row, that my dad offered to either give me $10 or he’d buy me an album of my choice. I didn’t know any bands, I was only a little kid and I knew the ones that he had; I didn’t know any other bands. I just remember thinking that the shiny Kiss “Double Platinum” cassette looked really cool. I just pointed at that one and got it. I’ve long since become not the biggest Kiss fan in the world. I like them, but you know! It seems there should be a bigger, broader story behind me buying a Kiss album and falling in love with them, but I bought it and don’t know if I even listened to it. I might have played the first song and said can we listen to Aerosmith again. I just bought this – the Black Crowes – I’d heard it a few times. I’m a big Black Crowes fan but I never did pour through that album, but I’ve just bought it and put it on my laptop and onto my phone yesterday or two days ago maybe. I’m waiting for a good long drive so that I can pop my headphones in and get lost in that one. Every time I get back into the Black Crows I get way into it for a while.


NI ROCKS – That’s all the questions that I have. We’re going to finish with the second single from the new album - “Long Time Coming”. Can you tell us something about that track?

JYMMY – That’s probably the third version of that song that we recorded. We did a demo version of it at the time we were writing it. We totally scrapped that and went to our studio, the one that is just a few miles from me, and totally recorded, mastered and mixed the song again. Then we got it back and realised ‘wow’ – don’t really like it still. So we went back a third time and totally did it from scratch and that is the one that you’re hearing. It was kind of a little bit of a hair pulling process; when you pour a lot of time and money into something and listen back to it with fresh ears and go ‘man, that’s not really what I was hoping for, I guess we have to do it again’.

NI ROCKS – It’s a great track well. Third time lucky! Thanks Jymmy for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Good luck with the album and the tour.

JYMMY – Thank-you very much Nigel. I appreciate it.


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Last Updated (Friday, 29 December 2017 22:15)