If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like to hear cherished Ned Flanders quotes screamed in a devilish growl over the sounds of frenzied guitars and pounding percussion, Okilly Dokilly is here to answer your prayers. Fans of The Simpsons and metal — sorry, nedal — will find no shortage of obscure show references and chaotic riffs when the band hits San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill on Friday, Feb. 8.
Hailing from Phoenix, Okilly Dokilly’s five members are known simply as Bed Ned, Dread Ned, Shred Ned, Zed Ned, and Head Ned. During live performances, they don the requisite pink-collared shirt under a green turtleneck with glasses and impeccably trimmed mustaches to match.
As you might guess, the concept for Okilly Dokilly initially began as a lark.
“We’d all been playing in bands, and we decided to pursue this as a side project,” Head Ned explains. “We envisioned getting one of those illegible metal band logos, booking local shows as any other band would, and then revealing that the band consists of guys dressed as Ned Flanders, but the idea evolved from there.”
Okilly Dokilly’s trajectory changed when they decided to take some band photos and share them online. The images went viral, leading Head Ned and his fellow members of the Flanders clan to realize that their idea might actually have some legs. The band’s first album, Howdilly Doodilly — released in 2016 — features 13 tracks of headbanging odes to Flanderisms like “Godspeed You Little Doodle” and “White Wine Spritzer.”
Being a member of Okilly Dokilly also requires some special skills. When several of the group’s original Neds left the project — ostensibly to attend mandatory left-hand conversion therapy — Head Ned had to find replacements that could both handle their instruments and carry their own in a discussion surrounding The Simpsons. Another important aspect: mustache maintenance.
“We have to be a little bit more meticulous than other bands,” Head Ned confirms. “I do own a small assortment of mustache combs. Each time I go to shave, there is a little paranoia that sits with me that my hand’s going to slip with the electric razor and half the mustache is going to go. That alone would disappoint so many fans, so I have to deal with that pressure any time I shave.”
As far as being prepared for the legions of Simpsons fans who naturally expect the members of Okilly Dokilly to catch any and all references thrown their way, Head Ned says the band does its best to be ready.
“At one show, we had somebody shouting about ‘dignity,’ ” he recalls, “so I had to get a big poster board and draw it out for them. I know my Flanders’ references pretty well. I actually sat down and watched all of the first 10 seasons of the show over the course of a month. Still, every now and then, there is still something highly specific that will get past us.”
For the moment, Okilly Dokilly is celebrating the release of their upcoming album’s lead single, “Reneducation.” Head Ned confirms that a music video for the track — which takes as its source an early “Treehouse of Horror” Simpsons episode in which Ned has become the unquestioned lord and master of the world — will also debut this month. In March, fans can look forward to the full record, appropriately titled Howdilly Twodilly.
“It was so fun putting these tracks together,” Head Ned says. “We’ve got a new track I’m really excited about, called ‘I Can’t, It’s a Geo.’ We’ve got ‘Murdiddlyurdeler.’ We’ve got ‘The Boys Over at the Slaughterhouse’ — and, of course, the heaviest song on the record is just called ‘Purple Drapes.’ ”
For fans hoping to hear the band replicate the girlish scream that Flanders emits upon seeing said purple drapes — or in “Bart of Darkness,” when he discovers he’s killed Maude’s favorite plant — Head Ned suggests keeping expectations in check.
“I can do the death growls,” he says, “but that scream is very high-pitched. I think [Simpsons voice actor] Tress McNeil actually does the vocal on that scream.”
Fabric-indebted shrieks aside, there will be plenty of Flanders-tastic moments for all to enjoy. For a band that has already received the digital endorsement of Simpsons’ showrunner Al Jean, the spoils of their success taste as scrumptious as a plate of nachos, Flanders-style (cucumbers with cottage cheese).
“If you imagine a Venn diagram of Simpsons fans and metal fans,” Head Ned says, “there are actually quite a few people who are right in the middle. I love our fans. Some are really into metal, others are big fans of the show, but everyone is really there just to see Ned Flanders thrash.”
Okilly Dokilly, Friday, Feb. 8, 9 p.m., at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. $15; 415-626-4455 or bottomofthehill.com