Tim Flaherty had spent many years in several bands in his native Louisville, Ky., until he became a card-carrying member of Hot Action Cop.
The Nashville-based group’s self-titled Lava/Atlantic album, released March 4, is spreading “Fever for the Flava” (the first single) through a provocative music video directed by Mark Klasfeld (Nelly, Sum 41). A combination of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone, with a hint of Faith No More, the Cop is tailor-made for the skateboard, PlayStation-addicted, sex-on-the-mind, X-Games-lovin’ MTV crowd.
And that’s right up Flaherty’s alley.
“I got asked to do this other project with a guy I know,” he said recently. “Mike Baker, our producer, was working with them. They needed a heavier-style guitar player, so I came in and started rehearsing. Mike asked me, ‘Come down and put your guitar style on this other project I’ve got going in Nashville.’
“I heard the songs, like ‘Coochie’ … that’s what we call ‘Fever for the Flava,’ ‘The Coochie Song.’ Then I heard ‘Special’ and ‘Club Slut,’ all these things that (lead singer) Rob (Werthner) had written. I was going, ‘Oh, my God, they’re awesome.’ I was like, ‘Can I please be in your band?’ They said, ‘Hell, yeah. We need you.’ ”
Joining Werthner, bassist Luis Espaillat and drummer Kory Knipp meant that Flaherty would have to drive back and forth the two and a half hours between Louisville and Nashville, but he knew it was worth it. Within three months, the group signed with Lava.
It has been all recording and touring ever since.
Though they’re label mates with Kid Rock, there’s no need to lump the Cop into the rock-rap category.
“The music is definitely different than anything that’s going on,” Flaherty said. “You could say it’s got points of rock and rap and nu-metal – I’m not sure what nu-metal means anyway – but then it’s also got little things, like reggae and hints of pop and R&B.
“Whenever we go on the road, we get a lot of comments from kids. People are saying, ‘You guys are so different.’ To them, it’s so good to hear something that makes you laugh and makes you feel good, instead of all that ‘Kill your mom’ all the time.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love everything that’s real heavy sounding and depressing, but this music’s really fun. It makes you smile.”
With the nation preoccupied with a war in Iraq, “Fever for the Flava” is just the type of song to take listeners away from it all.
“This will help chill people out a little bit,” Flaherty said. “It’s the same way you feel like Friday after work. You have a couple drinks with your friends and you kind of forget about all your troubles. I think that’s what our music does, let’s you forget about it for a while.”
Just what President Bush, Saddam Hussein and the United Nations could use.
“We should make them all listen to ‘The Coochie Song,’ ” Flaherty said, laughing. “That would be great. ‘Sure, George, we’ll get rid of our bombs. Fever for the flava of the coochie. Yo, hey momma hoochie.’ “A little world peace from Hot Action Cop.”
Fans may buy the album solely for “Fever for the Flava,” Flaherty says, but once they do, they’ll be hooked on the other songs.
“There’s so much good music on there,” he said. “I don’t think people can ignore it. They’ll love all the songs, and it’ll spread.”
ORDER “HOT ACTION COP”: Click here.
ON THE WEB: www.hotactioncop.com.
BWF (before we forget): Upcoming tour dates – April 11, Columbia, S.C., Senate Park; April 18, Knoxville, Blue Cats.