It’s a good thing that The Simpsons was able to get Harry Shearer back, because the voice actor’s characters on the show are so iconic that at least one has inspired a band. A Phoenix-based metal band, perfectly named Okilly Dokilly, was formed in honor of Ned Flanders, Homer Simpson’s pious neighbor who consistently gets on his nerves.
The band describes itself on its Facebook page as “the world’s only Nedal band,” which isn’t really a shock considering that Ned is probably the character least likely to inspire metal music. Somehow, that just makes it all the more fantastic, though. Unlike typical metal musicians, the members of Okilly Dokilly wear Ned’s signature sweater-collared shirt combo, round glasses, and exceptionally groomed mustaches.
The band’s sound isn’t very Ned-like, but the character’s influence is there nonetheless. “Most of our songs are direct Ned quotes,” says the group’s Facebook page. Demos on Okilly Dokilly’s Bandcamp page currently include “They Warned Me,” “Nothing at All,” “Press Destruct Button,” and “All That Is Left.”
The band’s lead singer, who goes by Head Ned, told Rip It Up that the idea for the band came while he and drummer Bled Ned were joking around at the grocery store “with really cutesy names for really hardcore, brutal bands.” When they came up with Okilly Dokilly, they had their winner. “We ran with it,” he said.
It sounds as if Okilly Dokilly isn’t necessarily serious about pursuing music full time, but they still have an honorable goal. “In reality, this is all just an over-the-top attempt at getting Matt Groening’s autograph, even if it comes on a cease-and-desist letter,” said Head Ned.
It’s definitely an elaborate scheme, but it’s also a promising one. Okilly Dokilly’s first gig is on the calendar, set for 8 p.m. on Sept. 5 at Phoenix’s Trunk Space, according to the band’s Facebook page, and 331 guests had RSVP’d yes to the event at the time of publishing. If that many people actually show up, it would be a pretty dang-diddly-good turnout.