Wrock ‘n Roll

October 11, 2017

Put down the fanfiction and pick up the headphones, the Harry Potter universe has expanded right off the page and into your music. It was in the early 2000’s when Wizard Rock was born. Wizard rock, commonly referred to as Wrock, is a Harry Potter themed rock genre, where bands write from the perspective of a character, such as Luna Lovegood, the Weasleys or even Dobby.

The groundbreaking American rock band, “Harry and the Potters”, are known for forging the genre in 2002. Paul DeGeorge and his younger brother, Joe DeGeorge, formed the backyard band in Norwood, Massachusetts after reading the Harry Potter books for the first time. Paul DeGeorge thought up the idea of Harry Potter characters as musicians, according to en.wikipedia.org. He pictured Harry Potter as the frontman, Ron Weasley on the guitar, Hermione Granger on bass and of course, Hagrid on the drums.

Photo provided by Kristyn Hippe

Since their start in 2002, they have played nearly 800 shows in venues such as libraries, rock clubs, art spaces, bookstores, basements and pizza places across the globe, according to harryandthepotter.com. In the past 15 years they have released three albums with songs such as “I Am a Wizard”, “Save Ginny Weasley”, “Stick it to Dolores” and “Hermione Screws up the Polyjuice Potion”.

Bands such as “Harry and the Potters”, “Whomping Willows” and “Draco and the Malfoys” have inspired many artists to try out this genre of music. Singer-Songwriter Kirstyn Hippe is one such musician.  

“The first wrock band I ever saw in person was Tonks & the Aurors,” Hippe said. “Her songs are awesome and she’s an amazing musician. She was definitely an early inspiration. We also lived in the same area in Ohio, so when I was preparing for the LeakyStars contest for LeakyCon 2012 she reached out and offered to help me, which was incredible. And then she asked me to join her summer tour the next year and I ended up touring with her for 3 years. She’s really smart, savvy, talented and I’m super grateful to her.”
Hippe’s parents read her the first Harry Potter book and she was hooked. However, it was not until 2010 when she read Melissa Anelli’s book “Harry, a History”, a book that explores the fan world of Harry Potter and discovered the world of conventions, fanfiction and most importantly- Wizard Rock.

Cozart and Hippe preforming together. Photo provided by Kristyn Hippe

She soon began writing her own Wrock music. Her first song was “a Way of Turning up”, which is about friendship from the perspective of Luna Lovegood. As the years progress, she has continued writing for the wrock world and has achieved major accomplishments, such as releasing an album called “You had to be there” and writing for a web series “I ship it” which featured songs popular songs “horcruxes” and “honeydukes”. The latter she recorded with Jon Cozart otherwise known as “Paint” for her album. Soon after starting to wizard rock music Hippe performed her songs on stage. Her popularity started to skyrocket from there and she performed major conventions that featured numerous Wrockstars.

“Performing in the concerts at LeakyCon and GeekyCon was a totally surreal experience for me since I’d been fans of the other wizard rock bands and guests for years and I was suddenly sharing a stage with them,” Hippe said. “Same goes for touring with Steph [Tonks and the Aurors]. They really welcomed me with open arms which was so wonderful, especially since I was this scrappy 17-year-old kid totally new to the scene. In terms of popularity [of my music], it was bananas to me that anyone liked or cared about my music or me personally. It continues to be bizarre, but it’s also a ton of fun and I never take it for granted.”

An important aspect of Wrock music is the community that surrounds it. The world of Harry Potter has touched so many generations and brought people together to share the love and laughter that is in between every page of this book.

“I love wizard rock so much because it stems from a mutual love and passion,” Hippe said. “Harry Potter is a story based on friendship and goodness, so the community tends to value those same things. Also, a bunch of nerds in a room singing and dancing together is just a super fun thing to be part of. I would not be where I am as a songwriter or as a person without wizard rock and the community surrounding it, so I’m forever grateful.”

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