Children of a certain age were banned from watching the iconic animated Fox sitcom The Simpsons. Head Ned, leader of the world’s first and only Ned Flanders-themed band Okilly Dokilly, had a radically different upbringing than the members of his generation.
“My childhood was quite opposite to that Rod and Todd [Flanders] style of being raised,” the vocalist describes over e-mail. “I was allowed to watch plenty of the show, along with cartoons like Ren and Stimpy, Beavis and Butthead, KaBlam!, and a bunch of Celebrity Deathmatch from a very young age. There might be an insight there into the twisted psychology of the band, but I wouldn't know. I'm no Dr. Foster.”
In case you missed it, Okilly Dokilly went viral last year by releasing on Bandcamp four demos based in the genre of Nedal, their name for hardcore Simpsons-themed metal. The Phoenix-based quintet started off as a joke, but the group took off like Bart Simpson on a skateboard. Show writer Al Jean even tweeted with his approval.
“We were in quite a tizzy,” says Head Ned. “We're still very honored and glad that so many neighborinos enjoyed what we were doing. Last year, we hit the stage quite a bit to develop our live show and then spent a lot of time getting ready for the studio.”
Not ones to trim their mustaches, pray to Jesus, and call it a day, Okilly Dokilly are releasing their first full-length album, Howdilly Doodilly. The record, which the band claims consists of 75 percent of direct quotes from Homer Simpson’s optimistic green sweater-clad Christian nemesis, was recorded at Mesa's Audioconfusion in May. Howdilly Doodilly will be independently released this Friday, November 11, with an album release show at Crescent Ballroom.
“We put the pedal to the Nedal, but made sure to have fun with it,” says Head Ned, “We recorded in costume and drank white wine spritzers in the studio, to really capture the meaning of Nedal.”
Speaking of mixed drinks, Howdilly Doodilly's first single, “White Wine Spritzer,” is hardcore at its finest. It features Head Ned howling about the animated Flanders’ titular alcoholic beverage over powerful headbanging guitars and explosive percussion.
The accompanying video, which ends with a reference to the couch gags that start every Simpsons episode, documents the Okilly Dokilly's decline into murderous fiends after guzzling cocktails with abandon. Imagine Rob Zombie directing a live-action episode of the popular animated sitcom, and you have the idea. The band, who include Red Ned on keytar, bassist Thread Ned, guitarist Stead Ned, and Bled Ned on drums, brainstormed with Phoenix-based creative team Plastic Monsters to bring the insanity to life. The video has already started trending, which will help Okilly Dokilly when they tour with Mac Sabbath and Metalachi early next year. Fans can expect “doodlies and diddlies galore,” according to Head Ned, including a big doughnut and a purple TV.
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There are those folks who criticize the band in the style of Jeff the Comic Book Guy; Okilly Dokilly remain undeterred. For those unconverted to Nedal, Head Ned’s response to the negativity epitomizes the positive attitude of the character they are parodying:
“A group of Flanders wouldn't be a group of Flanders at all without a group of Homers to criticize them.”
Full disclosure: When not hungover on white wine spritzers, Head Ned works in the accounting department at New Times.