By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
When Okilly Dokilly formed in 2015 as a Ned Flanders tribute band, “The Simpsons”-inspired musicians thought maybe they had something.
“When we released our press photos and demos, we got considerably more attention than we ever thought we would,” says aptly named singer Head Ned.
“We started out just playing regular bar shows and whatnot. We were this goofy novelty thing. Then it went viral. We had 20,000 Facebook likes, we were published everywhere.”
Now, Phoenix’s Okilly Dokilly is on a U.S. tour with Mac Sabbath, a McDonald’s themed metal band, on the “American Cheese Tour.” Earlier this year, the “Nedal” band released its second full-length album, “Howdilly Twodilly.” All of this is overwhelming to Head Ned.
“The original intent was to create one of those death metal band logos that are illegible and just be one of the seven bands on a Tuesday night bill at Club Red (in Mesa) and infuse ourselves into the metal scene in Phoenix,” he says with a laugh.
“We never thought it would catch on and have any attention.”
The Okilly Dokilly ball kept rolling when “The Simpsons” aired an extended clip of the band’s “White Wine Spritzer” music video during the closing credits of the April 7 episode, “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say D’oh.”
“We saw the video and knew they had to be on the show,” says Al Jean, executive producer of “The Simpsons.” “We do not endorse their message of indiscriminate drinking of white wine spritzers.”
Okilly Dokilly was in Chicago on stage when “The Simpsons” was on.
“We just happened to have a sold-out show that night,” he says. “We announced to the crowd in Chicago we had just appeared on ‘The Simpsons.’ It was nice to play a show and celebrate.”
Head Ned—who would not reveal his real name—grew up listening to “The Simpsons.” Since Okilly Dokilly was founded, Head Ned has witnessed some serious fanboy/girling.
“It’s an understatement calling myself a big ‘Simpsons’ fan,” he says. “Fans have shown me ‘Simpsons’ tattoos. They get 100% on ‘Simpsons’ trivia. They know the episodes up and down.”
Okilly Dokilly’s first album, “Howdilly Doodilly,” was based on popular Flanders’ quotes. As for “Howdilly Twodilly,” the band dug deep and watched the first 10 seasons of “The Simpsons” in a month to get Flanders down pat. The new album includes songs like “Reneducation,” “Murder House,” “Claw My Eyes Out” and “Purple Drapes.”
“We sat down with a notebook and wrote down quotes that would sound good in a song—or awful, whatever fit better,” Head Ned says.
Head Ned is still coming to grips with the fame, something that will continue as the band tours.
“Each thing that happens is way beyond our expectations,” he says. “We want to tour around and share the fun stuff with as many people as we can.”