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Interviews : “We didn’t want to be serious” – An interview with Head Ned (Okilly Dokilly)

By on February 1, 2020

Heavy metal and gimmicks have long been uncomfortable bedfellows. 

Mainstream audiences have latched onto Spın̈al Tap, with many still believing the movie was a real account of an English band’s travails. Beavis and Butthead opened the door for Morbid Angel and Death to scare the bejesus out of impressionable Nirvana fans and teeny-boppers. Then there is cable TV conceived Hollywood productions such as Wayne’s World (’92), which is hilarious in its unique way; however, the show’s lead characters give the impression that heavy metal is the domain of basement-dwelling and unemployable idiots. 

So, what do serious metal fans make of a band that appears in cosplay tribute to The Simpsons character Ned Flanders, then takes it a step much further by addressing Ned Flanders related topics in their lyrics? Well, now’s your chance to make that judgement. 

That band is Okilly Dokilly, and they are touring Australia through February. The bands’ vocalist Head Ned was available to discuss the shows and address a perception they weren’t a serious heavy metal band.

“(The band) is a chance to do something different and do something that was just purely for fun, we didn’t want to be serious,” Head Ned said. 

“We thought we’d play one or two gigs at a pub or something, but then we put our pictures and our demo on the internet, and the internet took off with it, and it evolved into a career and grew a whole lot bigger than we ever thought it would.”

That’s it in a nutshell. Some mates got together for a bit of a laugh, then the internet took over.

In a surreal episode, Head Ned said that he heard the band’s music played while at work.

“You know I heard our music playing lightly in a cubical over from mine at work, it got to a chorus and then stopped,” he said.

“Then I heard the person who was listening say ‘meh- not for me’, and then they left, I had a good laugh at that because I hadn’t told anybody at work about it.

“That fact that our music had reached so many people, even the next cubicle over from mine at work is just wild.” 

The band around Head Ned can undoubtedly play, sounding like something approaching the meeting point between ObituaryWeezer and The Bloodhound Gang. But it is a post-hardcore outfit that Head Ned said offered the band the greatest musical inspiration to get started. 

“As far as influences, one of the first bands that got me into doing the growls and screaming is Thrice,” he said.

“I got into their latter catalogue and worked backwards, and when it comes to the heavier and hardcore bands, I guess that August Burns Red have been a significant influence, a group from the UK called Black Peak as well.

“Growing up, I listened to a lot of Tool, as my dad was a big fan, and that’s where the metal started for me.”

Catch Okilly Dokilly across Australia this February with special guests
Dr. Colossus, a Simpsons themed Doom Rock from Melbourne.

11 Feb – Brisbane – http://bit.ly/AUSnedBRSBN
12 Feb – Canberra – http://bit.ly/AUSnedCNBRR
13 Feb – Newcastle – http://bit.ly/AUSnedNWCSTL
14 Feb – Sydney – http://bit.ly/AUSnedSDNY
15 Feb – Melbourne – http://bit.ly/AUSnedMLBRN

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith