Their band started out where many others have before them: in their parent’s house. In 2003, brothers Paul and Joe DeGeorge sat down at the kitchen table and wrote eight songs about Harry Potter.
They wrote as if Harry was a real boy, in a real band, and he had just quit the quidditch team and started playing punk rock with his own band — one called Harry and the Potters. It seemed like a goofy project for the two, then 23- and 15-year-old “casual Harry Potter fans.”
But little did they know the power of nerds. “We just kinda thought this would be a weird little side project, and maybe we could get a show or two at local libraries on weekends or something,” Paul DeGeorge says. “We didn’t understand how very dedicated and enthusiastic the Harry Potter fandom was.”
Today, nine years later, the Bostonarea brothers are still singing about Harry Potter as a full-time job. Their three-piece band has produced three full-length albums, toured internationally and started a new genre of music called “wizard rock.” The genre, which started with the DeGeorge brothers’ band, has expanded to include several other Potter-inspired concept bands: the Moaning Myrtles, the Whomping Willows and the anti-Harry band, Draco and the Malfoys.
YouTube them: You’ll find 12-year-olds with guitars singing emo songs about how much Draco hates Harry Potter and thirty-somethings playing metal and growling into a microphone about Gwarp (Hagrid’s half-brother).
Bands, of course, have sung about literature before:
Led Zeppelin sang about Lord of the Rings, Rush’s 2112 nodded to Ayn Rand novels and the Metal Shakespeare Company devotes its shtick to Shakespeare, but it seems no other fictional cultural phenomenon has cultivated such a strong musical following as Harry Potter has.
“I think literature always inspires music and I think vice versa,” DeGeorge says. “But I think wizard rock is the predominate example. I don’t think that there’s anything on this order of magnitude or anything that is solely dedicated in the conceptual sense.”
Both musically and physically, Harry and the Potters embody the literature.
Onstage the band performs punk songs like “Voldemort Can’t Stop the Rock” and “I Am a Wizard” about the triumph of good versus evil and the pains of being pure-hearted.
The trio (keyboard, drums and guitar) is decked out in gray vests, Gryffindor-colored ties and white button-up dress shirts.
The brothers strive to provide fans with a theatrical performance with stage banter from the books, terribly lame jokes, butt-rock scissor kicks and fists pumping for wizard solidarity.
“A lot of bands tend to trivialize their stage presences, but we emphasize it,” DeGeorge says. “Our sort of hero is Bruce Springsteen in the way that he can demand and maintain an audience. … We want our show to be that sort of triumph of rock ’n’ roll but also have elements of humor, drama and epicness.”
Harry and the Potters play with Eliza Rickman • Mon, June 27 at 6 pm • A Club • $10 • All-ages • aclubspokane.com • 624-3629