Legendary Southern California band Oingo Boingo, best known for songs such as "Only A Lad," "Ain’t This the Life" and "Weird Science," stopped playing shows in 1995. Up until that point, the offbeat band fronted by Danny Elfman was an October staple, playing an annual blowout show in honor of the band’s favorite holiday.

"They were such a So Cal tradition. After five years of not having Boingo for Halloween, I realized it wasn’t really Halloween without them," says Rob Elfaizy, lead vocalist for Boingo tribute band Dead Man’s Party.

DMP was borne out of its members’ longing to return to that party atmosphere that Boingo created each year with their concerts, first at the Pacific Amphitheater in Orange County and then at Irvine Meadows. Because the band is so closely associated with the ghoulish holiday, October is DMP’s busiest month.

"This time of year gets pretty hectic for me," smiles Elfaizy. "Basically we have four Halloween shows this month."

DMP, a sizeable band just as Oingo Boingo once was, includes a full band and a horn section. To emulate the complex sonic landscape that Boingo created, they needed nine members, making even the simplest sound check a hassle.

"If I could change one thing, it would be to make our sound checks easier," laughs Elfaizy.

The band, which also features the talents of Mike Womack on lead guitar, Axel Clarke on drums, Andy Zacharias on bass, Nic Grewal on keyboard and synthesizer and Sam McMurry on rhythm guitar, has been able to follow their Boingo counterparts’ lead in terms of dress and style. They also have found that they have become So Cal mainstays much like their idols once were.

Elfaizy, who stands in for Boingo frontman Danny Elfman, dyes his hair bright red for every show to better resemble the singer.

"Well, it started out as just a Halloween thing. I didn’t know we’d have enough of a following to play all year, but I figured, ‘Hey it’s Halloween, I might as well be Danny as my costume,’" Elfaizy says with a laugh.

Completing the band is Bruce Zimmerman on sax, Darren Conway on trombone, Jake Wilson on trumpet and the backup vocals of Erin Barton, Heather Ryon and Karen Rader. Though they have a great respect for Boingo’s recorded work, the members of DMP strive to create a great live experience of their own.

"I try to get the band to play note for note what’s on the record," Elfaizy explains, "but they just have a really, really cool show."

By following the lead of Boingo, DMP is able to appeal to both the original fans of the ’80s classic band as well as snare some new fans with the band’s energy and catchy cover tunes. Retaining the layered complexity of Boingo’s music is something that DMP strives to do.

"What I always loved about Boingo was how bizarre they were, and the tricky arrangements they had," Elfaizy recalls.

After fronting Oingo Boingo, Danny Elfman went on to blow apart the world of film scoring. This was a choice that Elfaizy laments because it marked the end of the Boingo era of music and fun. Yet he applauds the singer’s innovations, admitting, "Danny has really brought a different dimension to soundtracks. Now a lot of people emulate him." Elfman’s film scores include Edward Scissorhands, A Nightmare Before Christmas, and Good Will Hunting.

Elfaizy also notes that another one of his idols, Steve Bartek (former Oingo Boingo lead guitarist), moved into the film world as well.

"Steve Bartek still does all the arrangements for Danny’s stuff, and he arranged all the stuff for Boingo, too. He just doesn’t get enough credit," Elfaizy says, adding, "I worship that guy. He’s such a cool guy and such a great musician."

For the members of Dead Man’s Party, it’s Halloween all year ’round as they strive to recapture the spirit of those long lost Boingo Halloween galas. It’s good to know that a band is still out there singing about our "Nasty Habits."

Elfaizy smiles, "We try to do what Boingo did, recreate that Halloween experience, and just get as many people into it as we can."

For more information, visit www.dmplive.com.