For Ray Carmen and his band mates, there’s absolutely no shame in putting on some costumes and rocking out in front of a bunch of kids.
The Graveyard Rockers deck themselves out in costumes and play their favorite monster hits for groups of kids all the time. And Carmen, the band’s drummer who hails from Akron, says it’s a blast playing for a young audience; the little ones have no worries about not looking cool, at least not yet.
And the band? They haven't quite grown out of it yet, either.
“This band has never been afraid to not look cool, you know?” Carmen said with a laugh.
It’s clear from the band’s stage names, too — they’re all in it for fun. Carmen goes by “Rat Fink,” while lead singer Michael Devine is called “Zombo,” lead guitarist Rob Branz is known as “Skeeter,” and rhythm guitarist Doug Wofsey is referred to as “Kogar.”
Folks around North Canton will get a chance to hear the Graveyard Rockers when they come to the North Canton Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for . They always ask their audience members — both kids and adults — to come dressed in their best Halloween costumes.
The band members stick with the same costumes each performance. If you haven’t guessed already, they dress as grave robbers.
“We wear capes and hats and we’re supposed to look like gravediggers or something, although my wife jokingly told me one day ‘You guys look like chimney sweeps.’”
The band ditches the capes and top hats to double as the King Dapper Combo, which is what they started as in 1991. With the name change comes a little different material — more novelty and rockabilly-type songs.
Back in their Halloween garb, they play at Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends each weekend, while Devine DJs there throughout the week.
They've spent the last few years playing different library gigs throughout Northeast Ohio. (Carmen himself works in one — the Ellet Branch of the Akron-Summit County Library.)
You know we had to ask: How does a band even play in a library, anyway?
“It’s kind of weird at first, but they usually put us in a meeting room somewhere,” he said.
“The thing about public libraries is there’s that old stereotype of libraries being dead quiet, and public libraries just aren’t like that.”