Editor’s Note: This was one of the most fun interviews Madness To Creation has ever conducted. Head Ned of Okilly Dokilly sat down with Madness To Creation to discuss “Bonus Neds”, being a good neighborino, The Simpsons, the success of their latest record entitled “Howdilly Twodilly” wherever music is sold. Okilly Dokilly will be touring the United Kingdom and Europe for the remainder of 2018 before venturing off to Australia and New Zealand in 2020. Fans can find Okilly Dokilly at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: What’s going on today Head Ned?
Head Ned: Just got done touring with Mac Sabbath on one leg and MC Lars on another leg, then heading to the U.K. for a couple of shows and a few more shows in mainland Europe, and early next year, playing in Australia and New Zealand.
Madness To Creation: You guys made it out alive from the Mac Sabbath tour, what was the craziest memory that you have of that tour?
Head Ned: Well we’ve had a couple of tours since our first big tour, and we’ve never had a lot of vehicle issues, which is common with bands, but with three shows in in Phoenix, we started to have radiator issues with the van, the radiator went down, we got stuck in Albuquerque for two days, and we were trying to drive to Columbus for a show, our transmission broke down in St. Louis, we had to scramble to find a new van and we ended up cancelling three shows, but yeah that was all pretty wild.
Madness To Creation: That certainly sounds crazy. What do you like to do on your day off Head Ned?
Head Ned: Usually on a day off, it’s pretty relaxing, just hang out, usually listen to some tunes, and mostly doing the background stuff for the band with the socials, just figuring out and plotting our next tour.
Madness To Creation: How has the response been for “Howdilly Twokilly” been so far? Sorry I can’t pronounce it! *laughs*
Head Ned: *laughs* The response has been good so far. To make it worse for people, we were going to call the album “Murdillyurdeler”, but that would’ve torture for our fans to say. A lot of people like the first track off of there called “Reneducation”, we’ve been using that to open up shows, it got people into “Howdilly Twokilly”!
Madness To Creation: I assume Ned Flanders played an influence on “Reneducation”, take us into the story behind the song and you guys were on The Simpsons recently?!?!
Head Ned: Yeah that happened! The “Reneducation” music video is based off of a “Treehouse of Horror” episode where Homer is flying to different universes where Ned is the lord and master of the universe and everybody is sent to “Reneducation”, so we were kind of playing off of that, doing Okilly Dokilly’s version of “Reneducation”, we set up the classroom thing, we had a bunch of Ned references and at the end of it, everyone destroys our trademarked inflatable donut, which we always get out at shows for people to tear and bounce around or tear into pieces.
As far as The Simpsons episode goes, we woke up to that email in February of this year, we got an email from the people of The Simpsons, it was mid tour when we got it, I was just kind of in disbelief, I never thought we would have happened, it was pretty wild, and about two months went by, we were kind of going back and forth with the email conversation and they said they were going to put us in the end credits in an episode, they didn’t know which one yet, and we kind of looked around, and we found out a week before, one week before it aired, they were like, “hey, it’s going to be this Sunday”, and we were taking off on another tour, we were in Chicago, the night that it aired, that was pretty wild, we kind of scrambled out of our trailer, and we went up into the green room with my laptop and I saw it happen, it was really really wild, we never expected anything like that to happen.
Madness To Creation: You’ve checked off being on The Simpsons, which I know that wasn’t something you sought after, what’s the next goal for Okilly Dokilly?
Head Ned: Our next goal always revolves around touring. When we first started the band, our goal was just to play maybe two shows with a couple of people, we didn’t think that we would have much of an audience, and we never really started the band for it to be this big thing, we were just going to get one of those embossed logos and just jump on a show with six or seven bands just to be a humorous part of the night, but when we posted some photos and some songs on the Internet, the Internet kind of did its thing and we ended up with 20,000 Facebook fans and a million plays on our Bandcamp, so that kind of overshot our goal by a little bit, so just ending up on The Simpsons was just an incredible surprise, so as far as band goals, we kind of hit a lot of the checkmarks that we set out to do, so the next one is to just travel and play shows, and to go meet and talk to all of these people who are fans of the band and who are fans of the show to kind of share in that experience, and to share in the mutual love for that show and everything, meeting the fans and playing the shows is kind of the main draw for us, and it’s really awesome.
Madness To Creation: What is the craziest and most weird fan experience that you have had?
Head Ned: It’s kind of both cool and weird at the same time, we usually have a couple of people that come out as “Bonus Neds”, who are people who dress like Ned Flanders who come to the show, it’s usually two or three people per show, there’s a couple of other people who have these really cool costume things. But, we went to play a show in London last October(2018), and we had 23 “Bonus Neds”, and there were 23 people all dressed as Ned Flanders, that was just wild getting everyone together to get a big picture of it, and most of the time the security guards at the shows know who we are because we’re the guys dressed as Ned Flanders, but there were so many, there were people who were having trouble on who was in the band or not, we wandered through the audience, and I see somebody else who stops and says, “hey, can I get a picture, or can I get your autograph and stuff”, and it was just one of the “Bonus Neds”, and we were just watching that chaos unfold, there were so many Ned Flanders who had a really great experience.
Madness To Creation: What is the weirdest item that you have autographed?
Head Ned: Some of the common things is that we’ll throw out the inflatable donut at the show and people will often tear it to pieces, I mean these people tear it to shreds and bring me a shred of the donut, to sign a shred of the inflatable donut, I’ve done that a couple of times. I’ve signed a couple of very cool Simpsons postcards, we have brought those out, we also have some glowsticks that we usually bring out to the show, some of that is from our roadie extra crew, it’s kind of similar to the suit that Homer wears in the intro, so there’s a lot of glowsticks floating around, a couple of times people have brought those up to me after a show. I guess all the weird stuff that we sign is just the stuff that we provide to the fans. Otherwise, we haven’t really had anything crazy, no body parts or sweaty bras.
Madness To Creation: Do you find it different when fans feel overwhelmed when they meet you and they fawn over you?
Head Ned: There are definitely some people who are like big fans and who get very excited to meet us when we chat with them after the show or whatnot, it’s also definitely a lot of people who are just huge Simpsons fans and that just kind of translates over and the conversation isn’t about like coming up to us and saying “oh, you’re so great”, they come up to us and say, “thank you, your Simpsons references were so great”, so that’s kind of cool to me, our live show is a celebration of The Simpsons with all of the references and people coming up and not fawning over us, but being able to come up and share that with fans rather than them saying, “oh, I’ll dedicate my life to you, I’m such a huge fan”, but it just kind of shows those dynamics.
Madness To Creation: Fun question for you, let’s say you’re hired to manage another band that wants to pay homage to The Simpsons, what would the name of the band be and would the title of the first album be?
Head Ned: *laughs*, oh geez! We’ve thought about this for a little bit, we kind of had an idea that if there was another band, it would be a Krusty band called Krusty Punk, the album would be along the lines of the “Itchy & Scratchy” album, maybe a rock opera, just a cat and mouse trying to destroy each other, or just a hardcore band of just Bart’s catchphrases of things, like “Eat My Shorts”, but just played very aggressively, maybe a Moe’s Tavern band about prank phonecalls, oddly enough, we’ve kind of thought a lot of this through, and maybe try to branch out to different shows like a “King of the Hill” band called “Propane & Discomfort”.
Madness To Creation: I hope one of those ideas come to fruition. Madness To Creation is geared towards mental health awareness. Do you have a quick message for those that suffer from mental health issues?
Head Ned: The only message that I would kind of say is that music and humor are two big things to kind of help release stress and anxiety and things like that, I kind of have combined them in a very strange way, from what I know, there’s definitely some remedy to pick up a guitar and to just play some music, even if it’s not out in front of people, there’s kind of some healing properties there, for my fans, don’t be afraid to ask your “neighbor-ino” for some help, we can try to offer some advice or whatnot, and if you try to face everything alone, it might backfire against you, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your “neighbor-ino”.
Madness To Creation: Let’s say Ned Flanders himself was sitting in on this interview, what would you say to him?
Head Ned: I don’t know if I would have anything directly to say, I just hope that everything we do is Okilly Dokilly with him.
Madness To Creation: I’ve always thought that Ned Flanders had this secret side to him that no one knows about. What would you like to add in regards to Okilly Dokilly?
Head Ned: There was an episode where “Hurricane Neddy” happened and he went insane and went into the dark side a little bit. We’re trying to play as many shows as possible, and don’t be afraid to exchange a little jibberish with us, feel free to come to a show and we’ll give you a special shoutout if you come as a “Bonus Ned”, make sure that you hydrate cause it does get a little warm in a sweater.
Okilly Dokilly tour dates:
Sat. 11/2- Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Sun. 11/3- Corporation in Sheffield, United Kingdom
Tue. 11/5- Manchester Academy in Manchester, United Kingdom
Wed. 11/6- Hangar 18 Music Venue in Swansea, United Kingdom
Thu. 11/7- Eleven in Stoke-on-trent, United Kingdom
Fri. 11/8- The Polar Bear in Hull, United Kingdom
Sat. 11/9- The Cobblestones in Bridgwater, United Kingdom
Sun. 11/10- The Parish in Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Sat. 11/30- Winter Days of Metal in Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia
Sun. 12/1- Explosiv Graz in Graz, Austria
Mon. 12/2- Arena Wien in Wien, Austria
Tue. 12/3- Logo in Hamburg, Germany
Wed. 12/4- Stengade in Kobenhavn, Denmark
Thu. 12/5- Atlas in Aarhus, Denmark
Fri. 12/6- Pop & Cultuurpodium P3 in Purmerend, Netherlands
Sat. 12/7- Ruhrpott Metal Meeting in Oberhausen, Germany
Mon. 12/9- Nachtleben in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Tue. 12/10- Backstage in Munchen, Germany
Fri. 12/13- The shoemaker- City of Music in Romans Sur Isere, France
Mon. 12/16- Salamandra in L’hospitalet De Llobregat, Spain
Tue. 12/17- Sala Caracol in Madrid, Spain
Tue. 2/11- The Zoo in Fortitude Valley, Australia
Wed. 2/12-The Basement Canberra in Belconnen, Australia
Thu. 2/13- Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle, Australia
Fri. 2/14- Crowbar Sydney in Leichardt, Australia
Sat. 2/15- The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Australia
Mon. 2/17- Whammy Bar in Auckland, New Zealand
Tue. 2/18- San Fran in Te Aro, New Zealand
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.