With the infinitely growing number of metal bands globally, it can be hard to narrow down the list to a digestible selection. Though, when the band all dress like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons, with moustaches to match – and their name is Okilly Dokilly, they can sneak into that list of yours quite easily.
Well, it’s exactly what it appears to be. We grabbed front-man Head Ned for a chat about the band and their upcoming Australian tour in February 2020. Also before we get started, you must know that we were greeted with a “howdily doodily!” by Head Ned.
So metal meets The Simpsons – an unusual match, but not for Okilly Dokilly who went down a rabbit-hole from what started to be a silly chat. “Our original drummer and I were joking around going ‘what’s the worst name in the world for a death metal band’, like a band who walks out on stage and says ‘hi we are…’ and the band is just something ridiculous and Okilly Dokilly was one of the names we came up with.”
This is where things led to where they are today. “We went onto go, ‘what if the lead singer is dressed as Ned Flanders, what if everyone is dressed as Ned Flanders; wait what if all the songs are Ned Flanders quotes’ and then we came up with the pun ‘Nedal’ and said ‘this is too good not to not go for it”. Head Ned ran the not-so-ridiculous-idea by his mates and they reaffirmed it was a good idea.
After playing a show at a bar that went well, the band chucked a song up online and “the internet went off with it, and since then it kind of turned into a whole diddly more than what I thought it would be.”
When Head Ned says the lyrics are all Ned Flanders quotes, he’s serious, and it’s a big job to write songs.
“The vast majority are direct Flanders quotes, the only time we branch out is if a different character as part of the conversation.” Okilly Dokilly actually have a methodology of how they will write songs based on the quotes.
For the first album, a lot of the content was from his favourite quotes that he knew, like ‘I’m wearing nothing at all’ in the song ‘Nothing at All’ – we all remember that visual. The second album took things up a notch. “For the second record I literally spent a month watching the first ten seasons of The Simpsons and wrote down everything that [Flanders] said.” Now that’s commitment.
When asked if Head Ned has any favourite Simpsons episodes or Flanders quotes, the vocalist was quick to respond with “The Hurricane Neddy” with excitement. “The episode is where Flanders’ house is the only house in Springfield that gets knocked down by a hurricane so the town try to rebuild his house and Springfield do a pretty awful job at it, and he ends up in an asylum.” Hed Ned gets giddy just recounting the progression of this episode.
“It just has so much Ned, and especially for someone writing dark songs about Ned, for him to check into an asylum was a gold-mine for the band.”
Recently, shit got real with Okilly Dokilly who got approached by Fox Studios asking if the band were cool if they played some of their music in the closing credits of a Simpsons episode.
“That was wild. When they approached us, I couldn’t envision how they were going to do it or what it would be like, we were in such disbelief that we hardly told anyone. We thought it might be our music video for like two seconds then a cease and deceased letter, we had no control over it.
I didn’t know what it was going to be until April came around. We were playing in Chicago and the show was sold out already.” Low and behold, the 659th Simpsons episode aired with the video for ‘White Wine Spritzer’.
“The credits rolled and our music video was a big chunk of it behind it in the background, and then we got to play to a sold out venue and tell the crowd about it.” Head Ned was so happy to see so many people get so excited about it. “For us, it was a thousand times more than what we ever expected when we started this band.”
Fast forward to today, and Okilly Dokilly have moustaches better than anyone could attempt to have for Movember. The band are heading to Australia in February for the very first time, and they’re being supported by a local Simpsons inspired doom metal band called Dr. Colossus.
“When we first announced heard about the tour over there, we reached out to the lead singer, we connected a few years ago and they were very keen on joining us.” The promoter was keen for another artist to support, but Head Ned was adamant that it had to be Dr. Colossus.
Well, there you have it.. The Simpsons metal extravaganza of 2020 is just around the corner. Get tickets now.
Interview by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Okilly Dokilly – Australian Tour
with Dr. Colossus
Tue 11 February – The Zoo, Brisbane
Wed 12 February – The Basement, Canberra
Thu 13 February – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Fri 14 February – Crowbar, Sydney
Fri 15 February – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne