Wizard rock (sometimes shortened as Wrock) is a genre of rock music that developed between 2002 and 2004 in the United States. Wizard rock bands are characterized by their performances and humorous novelty songs about the Harry Potter universe. Wizard rock initially started in Massachusetts with Harry and the Potters, though it has grown internationally.
Leading bands in this genre include Harry and the Potters and Draco and the Malfoys. Although most listeners of the genre are fans of Harry Potter, some bands have attracted listeners outside of the books' fanbase. Wizard rock songs are often written from the point of view of a particular character in the books, usually the character who features in the band's name. In contrast to mainstream bands that have some songs incorporating literary references among a wider repertoire of music (notably Led Zeppelin to The Lord of the Rings), wizard rock bands take their inspiration entirely from the Harry Potter universe. When performing live, wizard rock bands often cosplay, or dress as, characters from the novels. Some bands perform at fan conventions.
The Parselmouths, a wizard rock band consisting of Brittany Vahlberg and Kristina Horner, perform during Wrockstock
in 2007, displaying the Harry Potter
themed costumes common within the genre.
The earliest Harry Potter-themed song is conventionally traced to 2000 when the Los Angeles-based pop-punk band Switchblade Kittens released an "Ode to Harry" from the perspective of Ginny Weasley.
Harry and the Potters originated the Harry Potter-themed band which became the genesis of a fandom-centered genre of music called wizard rock. As Harry and the Potters increased in popularity, other wizard rock bands started to emerge. Brian Ross and Bradley Mehlenbacher originally conceived Draco and the Malfoys as a parody of Harry and the Potters, who were performing at a local house party. In April 2005, Matt Maggiacomo invited Harry and the Potters to play at an all-Harry Potter show at his Rhode Island home. That night, Maggiacomo made his debut as The Whomping Willows, and his friends, Mehlenbacher and his brother, Brian Ross, played for the first time as Draco and the Malfoys.
There are also festivals focused on the genre such as Wrockstock, which was first held in 2007 in the United States.
Notable wizard rock bands include: Draco and the Malfoys, Harry and the Potters, MC Kreacher, Ministry of Magic, and The Mudbloods.
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- Further reading
- Anelli, Melissa (2008). Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon. Word Dancer Press. ISBN 1-4165-5495-5.
- Beahm, George W. (2007). Muggles and Magic: An Unofficial Guide to J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Phenomenon (3rd ed.). Hampton Roads Publishing Company. ISBN 1-57174-542-4.
- Gilsdorf, Ethan (2009). Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. ISBN 1-59921-480-6.
- Gunelius, Susan (2008). Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-230-20323-X.
- Paré, Joelle (2009). "Magical Musical Manifestations: A Literacy Look at Wizard Rock". In Diana Patterson. Harry Potter's World Wide Influence. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 181–200. ISBN 1-4438-1394-X.
- Pyne, Erin A. (2007). A Fandom of Magical Proportions: An Unauthorized History of The Harry Potter Phenomenon. Nimble Books. ISBN 0-9788138-8-X.
- Turner-Vorbeck, Tammy (2008). "Pottermania: Good, Clean Fun or Cultural Hegemony?". In Elizabeth E. Heilman. Critical perspectives on Harry Potter (2nd ed.). Routledge. pp. 329–342. ISBN 0-415-96484-9.
- Koury, Josh (director) (2008). We Are Wizards (DVD). Brooklyn Underground Films.
- Rohlman, Kelli (2010). "Identity, Rhetoric and Behavior: The Contradictory Communities of Wizard Rock". Texas Tech University Department of Musicology. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- Schuyler, Megan & Schuyler, Mallory (directors) (2008). Wizard Rockumentary: A Movie About Rocking and Rowling (DVD). GryffinClaw Productions.