He was the true star of The Simpsons, the backbone of every episode and the one character who was actually a better person than any of us. Now, Phoenix-based outfit Okilly Dokilly have brought Ned Flanders to life. What started off – surely – as a joke, has blown into an international sensation given that the band is actually really good.
Recently, the band announced a full-length, Flan-diddily-anders inspired album Howdilly Doodilly, sharing (with their left hand, of course) the first track White Wine Spritzer…and it’s a surprisingly dark music video.
To get to the bottom of it all we spoke to the head Ned, Head Ned. And while we tried to keep it about the music…Well…
We couldn’t help ourselves…
The Neversphere: Guys, thanks for taking the time to chat! I guess, first and foremost…Why stupid, sexy Flanders?
Head Ned: No problem! Why *not* stupid sexy Flanders? We had this image in our head of the most brutal, fearsome band in history coming onto the stage with lots of fire and thunder and destruction and introducing themselves with a really friendly, adorable band name. We came up with Okilly Dokilly and the idea of becoming ‘Neds’. There were too many good puns to simply leave be.
The Neversphere: Having heard White Wine Spritzer, it’s clear the band has a lot of talent within. Were you ever tempted to go forth without the devotion to Flanders?
Head Ned: Thank you! Prior to Okilly Dokilly all of us had played in bands for years in various genres of non-Flanders bands, though none as heavy sounding as this. Okilly Dokilly was a reprieve from our main projects and something we just really wanted to get a good laugh out of. We got a lot more than that.
The Neversphere: Tell us about White Wine Spritzers, what are some of the topics that you approach on this track?
Head Ned: A majority of our songs are direct Ned quotes. The only two lyrics are ‘You only live once’ and ‘Ah Hell, give me a white wine spritzer’. We’re hoping it encourages people to realise that life is fleeting and one should let go, have a drink or two and maybe marry a stranger in Las Vegas.
The Neversphere: The video was a fairly dark affair. It appears one Ned Flanders is buried in a shallow grave…can there be only one? If so, what do your band mates think about this?
Head Ned: As long as the Neds continue in their Nedly duties, like never turning down a white wine spritzer, continuing the left-handed conversion therapy, and always donating power tools to needy neighbourinos, they have nothing to fear.
The Neversphere: Howdilly Doodilly will be the debut full-length offering from the group. It would be interesting to know, did a Flanders also produce the record?
Head Ned: Howdilly Doodilly was self-produced by the band. But in all reality, this record was produced by a collection of cartoon filled childhoods and a few bottles of the ‘ol spritzer.
The Neversphere: Let’s talk about the album. What other Flanderisms did you feel the need to address in other songs?
Head Ned: ‘Nothing At All’ is probably the most recognisable Flanderism. That song was one from our demo that we re-recorded for the album. Our song You’re A Jerk includes one of my favourites, which is ‘Ah Hell diddly-ding-dong crap’.
The Neversphere: How are the beatniks going to feel about the album?
Head Ned: Eh, who cares? Lousy beatniks.
The Neversphere: At any stage throughout the album process, did anyone think of the children?
Head Ned: Much to the dismay of Mrs Lovejoy, no.
The Neversphere: Can we expect any of the other Springfieldians to appear on the album?
Head Ned: The album is 75% Ned quotes. The rest are original lyrics or quotes from other characters, including Homer, Todd and even Grandpa.
The Neversphere: When will you be bringing the show to Australia??
Head Ned: As soon as we can. There’s an Australian band called Dr. Colossus that we desperately need to tour with….
…They’re our Aussie neighbourinos in the Simpscene.