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“Wizard rock” more than just a Harry Potter fad

Throughout the ages, the literary world has been dominated by classic protagonists — from the classic teen angst-filled journey of Holden Caulfield to the brutal honesty and morality of Atticus Finch. We've even fallen in love with a mystical world full of hobbits and orcs in search of a magical ring.

Over the past decade and a half, however, the world has fallen in love with a certain unassuming teenage boy with a purpose greater than he realizes. This boy, of course, is none other than the beloved wizard Harry Potter.

The world of film has undoubtedly been changed by Harry, Hermione and Ron. The fictional characters created by author J.K. Rowling have charmed their way into the hearts of many. Events of epic proportions all across the world are organized for the release of each movie. There is nary a Halloween party that doesn't find itself filled with at least one or two Harry or Hermione look-alikes.

Yet, despite the Potter-mania that has swept across our nation, there is one aspect of Harry fandom that remains relatively unknown: the musical genre known as “wizard rock.”

Wizard rock was originally founded in Massachusetts by brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge, creators of the band Harry and the Potters. When performing, both brothers take on the persona of Harry Potter, donning scarlet-and-gold ties, scarves and wire-rimmed glasses. They even go as far as making it known that since Paul is older than Joe, Paul is the Year Seven version of Harry, while Joe is Harry from Year Four.

Originally spawned from Paul DeGeorge's desire to play live shows in unique locations, he wanted to try out playing live music in libraries. Admittedly, the DeGeorge brothers were simply casual fans of the book series when they started, but upon gaining popularity and a cult following, they boned up on their Harry Potter lore.

“We were casual fans before—we'd read the books like, once. But when we decided to really go at it, in the span of three weeks we sat down, re-read all the books, and then wrote and recorded what was our first album,” co-frontman Paul DeGeorge said of the band's inspiration.

Sparked by the success of Harry and the Potters, the wizard rock genre has grown internationally. Bands such as Draco and the Malfoys, Gred and Forge and The Remus Lupins have all gained popularity due to the attention the genre has attracted. According the Wizrocklopedia, the online blog dedicated to all things wizard rock, the genre has expanded to over 880 bands and continues to grow.

The problem with bands based heavily in fads or popular culture is that as soon as the pop culture gods decide that a specific craze is over, the groups find themselves with the short end of the stick. With the release of the final installment of the movie series looming, the DeGeorge brothers remain completely unfazed.

“I don't worry about shelf life at all,” said Paul DeGeorge. “If this all dies down, it'll be fine with me. I've got plenty of ideas to work on: maybe working as a consultant to libraries and helping them bring bands in for tours, and really use that element to get kids involved in their community.”

The demand for guitar-toting, wizard-rocking indie bands will certainly diminish in the wake of a post-Harry Potter world. However, to a group of kids that otherwise might not have the experiences of seeing a band perform music that truly speaks to them, the spell-casting rockers have already accomplished more than they ever imagined.

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