GLENS FALLS Grown men getting decked out in wacky costumes bashing a pinata sounds silly — and it’s meant to be — but members of Hungry Jack take their music seriously.
“When people see pictures and hear about us, they think, ‘These guys are a bunch of fools,’ but when they come to hear us ... they say, ‘Wow, these guys are really tight, they’re really good,’ ” said Matt Smith, who performs as Smokey Toenails.
The comedy metal band, which releases its third album, “All You Can Eat,” next week, will perform at 2 p.m. Friday at a free block party outside Glens Falls Civic Center before the Five Finger Death Punch concert.
“It’s kind of like watching ‘The Muppets’ or going to bingo, it’s a little weird, bizarre, comedy, rock n roll,” Smith said. “You can listen to the CD and get the humor, but actually seeing the stage show live puts it in perspective.”
The group dubs itself “Tardcore” — short for “leotard,” as worn by professional wrestlers — and blends elements of metal, rock, punk and polka, said Marshall O’Keeffe, aka Otto Excelsior.
And Smith was, in fact, a pro wrestler, performing as Good Lord Willing.
“It’s really his twisted sense of humor, his ability to engage with an audience, that is the biggest part of the band,” O’Keeffe said.
The theatrics performed in the ring have, indeed, served Smith well onstage, where Smokey portrays a former pro wrestler who sees the light and becomes a nun.
“It’s all really, really silly,” he said.
Smith isn’t the only one with a flair for the dramatic. Two of the guys, O’Keeffe and Chuck Rummel, are Viking re-enactors.
“It made me not afraid to run around in costume in front of people,” O’Keefe said of how wearing period garb around a campfire translates to being bassist in a metal band.
Each character has an in-depth backstory: Barron O’Beef (Rick Lane), the world’s largest leprechaun, retired from his position as professor and chef, where he was known for succulent roadkill stews; Otto is a Buddhist who formed an anarchist militia as a child and serves as the band’s Zombie Control Officer; Thorkel von Rummel (Rummel) has mob links and is a part-time Viking; and Skeikh Yourbaby (Cory Williams) is a snake charmer and a magic carpet pilot.
“Some people don’t know us as regular people, they know us as our characters,” Smith laughed.
Some fans have been following the band since its original incarnation in 1997. Hungry Jack released two albums, “Don’t Give Me No Chicken” in 1999 and “Sumo Prostitute” in 2002, but then took a hiatus.
After one of the original members died in 2013, three of the guys performed a tribute show, then searched for new blood to get the band back together.
With two original members and three new ones, Hungry Jack returned to the local music scene, performing every gig they can land.
“We have played pretty much every place around here that has allowed original music,” Smith said. “Since ‘97, we’ve kind of been a mainstay.”
The group’s music is played regularly on WEQX, Pix 106 and 95.9.
“The songs are catchy, you find yourself singing along,” Smith said.