They classify themselves as “Las Cruces rock” or “groove rock,” but these musicians say, “We are like a little black dress…we go with everything.” Their music is made up of a wide mix of genres, including rock, soul, groove, hip-hop and everything in between. Performing only one cover song (“Down Under” by Men at Work), Bofus is a crowd favorite on the Las Cruces music scene.
Oliver Charity (lead vocals, turntables) and Steve Valenzuela (vocals, guitar) are the voices of Bofus, but it’s their catchy and addicting original lyrics that make up the uniqueness of this five-member band. Scott Guthrie (guitar), Jason Reed (bass) and Myki Box (drums) round out the members, who have been together for a little more than a year.
“We’ve known each other a long time and we have all been in various bands in Las Cruces,” Steve says. The band is made up of members who have played with well-known local bands, including The Liars and Somebody’s Weird, which included Jason. Oliver and Scott were a part of Captain Jookie and Jason and Myki played for Words Like Knives.
Their influences include The Black Crowes, Raging Slab, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beatles and old-school Incubus. As for their name, “The name Bofus just kind of came out—we wanted something that no one knew,” says Oliver. “The name doesn’t make you—you make the name.”
And make it, they did.
Over the past year, Bofus has gained national exposure after competing in the Internet-driven Bodog Battle of the Bands sponsored by Bodog Music. The competition judged the band on songwriting, musicianship, look/presentation and performance. The prize up for grabs was a $1 million global record deal with Bodog Music. In March, they competed in the regional championship at Avalon in Hollywood, but were defeated by The City Drive, a Los Angeles-based band. Going into the final competition, Bofus was ranked first out of 4,000 bands—and won first place in every competition except against The City Drive—and if they won, would have gone on to compete against the top 10 bands from around the world in a reality show, the “Bodog TV Show.”
“We got a lot of great MySpace response and local response to the competition,” says Jason. “We had some great trips and great times, so it was a one-of-a-kind experience.”
“We are notorious for losing every battle of the bands we have ever entered; and we’ve been in three so far,” jokes Steve.
They attribute their success to the support of Las Cruces and support from the local music scene. “A lot of bands out there claim overnight success, but we aren’t one of them,” says Steve. “The music scene here in Las Cruces is fantastic; out of all the places we have played and traveled, Las Cruces has some great musicians and really great talent. We have noticed that bands help each other out unlike in any other city. As few venues as we have here, it’s still a good scene.”
In the beginning, Steve and Oliver met and discovered that their voices matched well acoustically. They named themselves G.O.A.T., an acronym for Greatest of All Time, and recruited another guitar player: Scott, from Las Cruces. Myki and Jason joined the band shortly thereafter, playing in a few shows together at The Club in Las Cruces. They have been together ever since.
Myki says there is still a need for locals to come out and support bands in the area. “I wish more people [in Las Cruces] would enjoy what’s out there; come out, listen to some great music and support the local scene. That’s what we need here,” he says.
“Thanks to all of our families for their support,” says Jason. “It takes a lot of sacrifice to do what we do, and without those people in our lives, it couldn’t be done. Hubbard’s Music is also a big part of our support system and we love every one of our fans.”
“It’s us as people that make it work,” says Jason. He laughs as he jokes, “We get along as long as we don’t spend too much time together… We do all of this because it is what we love to do.”
Published Fall 2008
I Don’t Know Why
I Ever Loved You.
And I Don’t Know
Why I Cared.
The Scars of
Through My Skin.
And All This Time,
Just Won’t Let Me In.