Okilly Dokilly is a band for the Internet age; a meme brought to life and playing for a rather specific segment of fans.
On a Venn diagram you’d find the Arizona five-piece in the overlap between “The Simpson” and metal.
As a genre, you might call it “Nedal” and the band does.
“We fall into this weird category that doesn’t really exist,” says Head Ned, the band’s vocalist leader. Like the other members of the group, he takes his name, wardrobe (green sweater, pink polo and glasses) and overall aesthetic from Simpsons’ neighbor Nedward “Ned” Flanders. There’s also Red Ned, who plays the synths; Dead Ned on guitar; Cred Ned playing bass and Bled Ned on drums. The band’s catalog of music is based on Flanders’ fictional life; its lyrics content comes almost completely from the show’s dialog.
The band, which brings its Howdilly Doodilly tour to Fulton 55 Wednesday, started with the name. It was a joke, chosen because it’s goofy as hell and as far opposite as you could get from the brutally heavy hard-core metal the band wanted to play.
“We had a good laugh at that,” Head Ned says. Then, he realized the band had access to green sweaters and a pink Flying V guitar that was sitting out in the garage. Suddenly, Okilly Dokilly had to happen, at least for one performance. It’s first performance was an a DIY venue that fit 75 people and had no problem booking an obscurely weird band.
Head Ned never thought Okilly Dokilly would be actual thing. Then, the band’s press photo and four-song demo went viral. Within two weeks, Okilly Dokilly had 20,000 Facebook likes and were being featured on International news outlets. Head Ned immediately bought every season of “The Simpsons” on DVD.
Even now, the band exists as novelty, though Head Ned was surprised at how large the large group of potential fans.
He’s seen no shortage of people sporting “The Simpsons” tattoos and GWAR t-shirts at his shows.
Nor, is Okilly Dokilly the only novelty metal group to become popular of late. The band just got off a national tour with the Black Sabbath/McDonald’s parody band Mac Sabbath (Slayer MacCheeze plays guitar) and the metal + Mariachi group Metalachi. It was called the Mockstrocity tour.
Its’ current tour features direct support from the Wisconsin-based Beatles/Metalica mashup band Beatallica. The band’s debut “Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band,” was in the top 10 on Billboard’s comedy charts.
These kind of bands offer on obscure spectacle that is the evolution of the live rock concert, Head Ned says.
“We’re doing all these serious things band do,” he says.
“But we’re not doing them seriously.”