Harry Potter: Arguably the most famous fictional character of our generation, and I, for one, can’t argue; I’ve had my own wand hidden under my bed since I was 10 years old. Joe and Paul DeGeorge, creators of the band Harry and the Potters, seemed to share my obsession for Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the gang, but when I sat down this past Saturday night with the two brothers, they struck me as pretty normal guys. Almost –
So I heard that you guys did your first gig in a shed in your parent’s backyard. True?
Paul DeGeorge: Yeah, long before we met Brad [drummer].
Joe DeGeorge: We were there today.
Where are you guys from again?
Joe: Norwood, Mass.
So could you kind of flesh out the story of your inception?
Paul: Well – when I first read the Harry Potter books, I had this idea that just kind of stuck with me, which was like – this idea that Harry starts a band with his friends, and you know – they kind of have this punk-rock sensibility to them already – like they’re starting Dumbledore’s Army, going off on their own, really independent – and that to me is the characteristic you need to have a cool band – So this one afternoon, we were having this concert in the shed in our parents’ backyard, which we did occasionally, and a bunch of bands canceled, so we just sat down that morning at the kitchen table and wrote a half-dozen songs and played them that afternoon. We we like, “Yeah! Harry and the Potters.”
Joe: Yeah, we did it!
Paul: And then about a year later, the Order of the Phoenix book was coming out, and then we really started to get serious and started to write a bunch more songs and booked a bunch of shows around the book release and played a bunch of libraries –
Yeah, I hear you guys usually play in libraries, so now you’re playing in a college student center –
Joe: We’ll play anywhere.
Paul: Played at a donut shop –
Joe: On top of the bathroom –
How did that work out?
Joe: Uh – it was good, they had an organ up there and a PA system. Kind of cramped, couldn’t really stand up.
Paul: Yeah, the donut shop was about the size of a kitchen. But, there were like 60 kids in there. It was good.
Joe: Good sing-a-longs.
So what would you say is the age range of your fan base?
Joe: Uh – it’s the same age range that appeals to the books – it’s like little kids and old grandmas.
Paul: Some good grandmas at our shows.
So you’re both Harry Potters in the band, right? One from year four and one from year seven?
Joe, how do you feel about that? Being the younger Potter? I feel like Harry experiences very different emotional states between four and seven –
Joe: Yeah, well –
Paul: That’s portrayed on stage as well.
Joe: Yeah I feel younger, more vibrant, virile – [laughs]
What’s your deepest, most secret, Harry Potter-related desire?
Joe: Some of that candy’s pretty cool.
Paul: I would really like – I have this fantasy that J.K. Rowling will put me in charge of part of the amusement park – I want to be the curator of a museum, like a fake museum, that has all sorts of relics from wizarding history that are all crazy, magical objects. I gotta send her a resume or something.
What about you, Joe?
Paul: Quidditch. Joe loves Quidditch.
Yeah, they have it at some schools, we should start it here. So it seems like you guys are pretty big fans?
Paul: We kind of had to be. Part of the job requirement. Gotta know your stuff. Gotta study.
Joe: Deathly Hallows is good.
Paul: I like the last quarter of Goblet.
Joe: That’s when the best moment of all the series happens: Voldemort comes out of the cauldron naked, and says, “Robe me.”
Paul: They cut that out of the movie.
Oh yeah, maybe Ralph Fiennes didn’t want to go naked –
Joe: Robe me …