When I spoke with Massachusetts-based wizard rock duo Harry and the Potters, they were driving a 12-passenger Jeep to Newport Beach for an afternoon of sun before a gig. My imagination went wild—I envisioned Hermione applying sunscreen to a pasty, freckled Ron, while Harry’s circular lenses transitioned from a traditional, clear hue to dark sunglasses.
I just had to ask: are those prescription glasses you two wear?
They are, according to guitarist and eldest brother Paul DeGeorge, who represents Harry Potter in his seventh year at Hogwarts, while his younger brother and drummer Joe plays the role of Harry as a fourth-year. The glasses they wore when the two first began touring are “long destroyed” though, Paul admits, “we rock pretty hard.”
True to their word, Harry and the Potters’ unique combination of wizard rock (they’ve helped spearhead the genre) and punk rock has been so well-received since the band’s 2002 inception, that the brothers are nearing 90,000 Muggle friends on Myspace, and have charmed 49 states so far—c’mon Hawaii, what are you waiting for?
Asked if he has ever wanted to be, or currently feels like a literary protagonist a la Mr. Potter, Paul says, “I don’t know if I that was ever an ambition, but any good book causes you to empathize with those protagonists. Yes, I do feel like one.”
The costumed brothers have no shortage of material, either. With three full-length albums chronicling Harry’s adventures—from “Platform 9 and 3/4,” to “Voldemort Can’t Stop the Rock!,” to “We Save Ron’s Life, Part 8”—a two-disc collection, remixes, live recordings, a couple EPs and a new LP released this month, called Live at the New York Public Library, the duo appears to have struck satirical gold.
But as deeply as their songs resonate with fans, the duo places having fun above all else. “If it’s good enough to crack each other up, we can put it into the world,” says Paul. Their quirky disposition and positive energy is perfectly encapsulated in the sincere (and humorous) opening speech to “The Weapon”—the final track on 2004’s Voldemort Can’t Stop the Rock!—offered during the aforementioned live recording: “[The weapon is the] things inside us, like the power of love and the power of rock ‘n’ roll. And ya know, when those two powers combine, Voldemort gets really afraid of it.”
It’s those passionate lyrics and the same emphasis on the power of friendship brought forth throughout the series, that have the band’s indie cult following clinging to every book reference uttered and every harsh beat of the drum.
Call it magic, or call it coincidence, but with a song called “Slug Club” in their repertoire, Paul and Joe are destined to befriend locals at The Crepe Place this weekend.
As for what attendees can expect from the live show, Paul says, “It’s like the theatricality of Bruce Springsteen, with the punk irony of the Dead Milkmen, and the banter of They Might Be Giants.”
And, just in case you were wondering—Harry would order Treacle-flavored or bacon-filled crepes, according to Paul (with affirmation from Joe), “I have hard evidence of that!”
INFO: 9 p.m. Saturday, June 18. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
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