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Raggy Monster Proves Imaginary Friends Are Still Awesome

We all had imaginary friends we loved when we were little. Whether or not they actually liked us, well, that's a different story. You usually leave behind these characters as you age past 4, but for two exceptions: you're cuckoo or you are in the band Raggy Monster.

Bill Schmidt of Raggy Monster met his imaginary friend during every kindergartener's favorite pastime: arts and crafts. His name was Raggy Monster and he not only protected Schmidt from bullies, he gave him the answers on tests (what does 2+2 equal?). "I still have the original drawing at my parents' house," says Schmidt of his early pal.

Alas, the monster is a bit of a loner. "Raggy has no friends," adds Schmidt. "Just the people of Earth that he protects from evil, such as his arch-nemesis Shaggy Monster." According to Schmidt, Raggy is the only real monster. Maybe he'll protect us from South Florida evils like pretentious hipsters and traffic jams?

Imaginary monsters aren't the only outrageous thing the band Raggy Monster believes in. Zombies made a guest appearance in their music video for "Cannibal." The concept for the shoot also came from Schmidt's imagination.

"Our music video for "Cannibal" is based off a dream that I had that was the inspiration for the song. In my dream, I was a cannibal attacking and eating joggers on Palm Beach Island," he says. "The final scene of the video was filmed by Noah Garbarino at Speakeasy Lounge in Lake Worth (where we're playing Saturday). We had over 50 zombies show up and devour the band on stage at the end of the song."

With the release of their self-titled debut EP about a year ago, Raggy Monster had a string of successes, such as opening for Train at West Palm's SunFest this year. Their next album will be out two discs, one with the sonic product of an acoustic side project. But until the next trippy dream or mind-monster that inspires the band, you can enjoy their ethereal indie rock around town, like at Speakeasy this Saturday night.

Raggy Mosnter, Phantomime, and Amore Delirium. 8 p.m., Saturday, August 10, at Speakeasy Lounge, 129 N Federal Hwy, Lake Worth. Call 561-540-6328, or visit Facebook.

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Natalya Jones