Hidilly-ho, neighbourinos! Last week we raised a left-handed devil horn to Okilly Dokilly, the Ned Flanders-themed metal band from Phoenix, Arizona, who went viral on announcing their existence to the internet. They call their genre of music ‘Nedal’ and claim to be its first practitioners, and the band’s five members as Head Ned, Red Ned, Bled Ned, Thread Ned and Stead Ned will play their first gig in Phoenix next month. As anticipation mounts, we shot the bree-diddly-eeze with frontman Head Ned.
When did Okilly Dokily form?
“It loosely assembled over the past year. We all finally found some time recently to get the photos and demos done. We had no idea they would reach as far as they did.”
What was the original idea behind the band?
“It’s always been Nedal. It was such a difficult concept to explain, or have anyone believe you, even if you told them. We kept it mostly secret until last Monday, when we released the photos and demos.”
Can you define ‘Nedal’ to a non-nedal fan?
“It’s heavy and gritty with a friendly Ned coating on it. Like biting into a candy apple that is actually full of bees.”
What was it about Ned Flanders that inspired you to start the band?
“He’s such a friendly guy. This idea of having such and cheery dude go out and scream this abrasive music is ironic and very funny to us. It still is, and we’re excited to play shows.”
Will you ever write Flanders-themed songs?
“We had some in the works. ‘All That is Left’ is an ode to the Leftorium [Ned’s store in the Springfield Mall]. Most of our songs are direct quotes of his, but it’s not a strict formula. We also use quotes from related characters or scenes.”
What is the band’s favourite Ned Flanders moment from Simpsons history?
“I’m not sure about the band, but the entire ‘Hurricane Neddy’ episode is one of my favorites. We’ve got upcoming songs that pull from that one.”
What are the challenges of being in a Ned Flanders themed metal band?
“Well, part of the band attire is a sweater, and Phoenix just hit a record high of 117 degrees [47 celsius] yesterday. So, the biggest challenge we’ve faced is not bursting into flames, as metal as that would be. Other than that, we face a lot of the same challenges every other band does.”
Your first gig is on September 5. What can people expect?
“We got a lot of internet attention, but it’s still our first show. We’re gonna give them a straightforward Okilly Dokily show. We’ll be in full attire, playing our songs with all the energy we have. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Which other Simpsons characters do you think have scope for theme bands?
“I think Groundskeeper Willy would make a good basis for a punk band. Milhouse has a pretty hardcore middle name [Mussolini] and you know the kid has some inner darkness to work with. It’s a long running show with a lot of material; I’m sure there’s potential in lots of the characters.”
Do any band members share characteristics with Flanders?
“Two of us are lefties, myself and Red Ned. The others aren’t responding well to the conversion therapy. We try to be friendly, like our dear muse Ned, but can’t claim to be as amicable as he is. Who can?”