Combining the otherworldly power of literature with that of the almighty riff, Harry and the Potters represent the next generation of schoolhouse rock. Formed by muggles Paul and Joe DeGeorge, who perform as Harry at years four and seven, the Potters perform at libraries and transform the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into witty ballads a la Neutral Milk Hotel. The duo has magically self-released a string of albums, including last year's Power of Love, contributed a song to the Wizards and Muggles Rock for Social Justice compilation, which benefited the Harry Potter Alliance, and started the Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club, whose proceeds go toward First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides literature to children in low-income families. Paul DeGeorge discusses potions, time tables and the Deathly Hallows.
What separates Harry and the Potters from Draco and the Malfoys or the Remus Lupins?
We're definitely way better than Draco and the Malfoys. They're just a bunch of jerks. I mean that in the most affectionate way possible; I'm trying to stay in character.
What is about J.K. Rowling's style that gives it such a universal appeal and thus inspires so many tribute bands?
Stylistically, she writes pretty simply. I think what captivates people more are her stories. There are also a lot of really cool themes in the book that we draw inspiration from when writing. The primary theme is that the power of love will defeat evil in the end. That's why Harry didn't die when Voldemort tried to kill him. His mother was willing to sacrifice her life for him, and that sort of rubbed off on him magically.
What was your first experience with the books?
I came into the books when I was 21 years old. Joe had been given them by our aunt, and he passed them up to me after he had read them. I was more curious about why they were so popular. I wanted to find out why these books were changing kids' lives and inspiring them to read. I think that's why starting a band occurred to me. I thought that maybe we could use that to not only keep kids interested in reading but getting them to rock a little too.
What Hogwarts house do you think you would be in?
I've got to go to Gryffindor. They're courageous and bold. I think it takes a lot to put yourself out there every night onstage, and a Gryffindor does what it takes to get the job done.
What do you predict for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
We think at some point Harry Potter will get ahold of one of the time turners. They tell you that they were all destroyed at the Ministry of Magic, but there has to be one somewhere. He'll get ahold of one and go back in time and start a rock band with himself that triumphs over Voldemort.
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