Band members and half-brothers Brian Ross and Bradley Mehlenbacher admit that their band was originally conceived to parody Harry and the Potters, who were performing at a local house party. But their Slytherin-themed costumes (green-striped ties), and anti-Potter lyrics -- "You may have freed our house elf, and brought doubt to our family name/ but your parents still got toasted by a big, green, glowing flame" -- caught on, and another Harry Potter-themed garage band was born.
Their love for the Harry Potter book series is no less than that of the DeGeorge brothers, but Brian and Bradley seem to better recognize the absurdity of the bands, even mocking the idea that Paul and Joe represent two differently aged versions of the popular wizard.
"We look like nothing like Draco Malfoy, and are clearly too old to be going to Hogwarts," said Brian, 32, of he and his brother Bradley, soon to be 27. "So we say that we're Draco from years 19 and 15 at Hogwarts."
All those Potter fans out there know that Hogwarts is only a seven-year school.
Ross contends that the rivalry between the two bands is all for show. In fact, the Potters and the Malfoys are touring together for a month this summer and often collaborate on albums. It's a catchy concept, two bands portraying the most beloved and hated characters in the Harry Potter series, both celebrating their passion for the fictional wizard world with catchy tunes and kid-friendly rock concerts.
Both bands usually charge $5 to $10 for tickets to their shows, though some performances are free. Like so many other indie bands hoping to make it big, both have put their songs on Apple's iTunes for download and have created MySpace pages.
To say that J.K. Rowling is their hero is an understatement. Paul DeGeorge would love the opportunity to meet the famed author because, he explains, "it would be like meeting God in a way, she's the creator of it all."
A creator, in a sense, she is. Rowling's books have turned the Harry Potter franchise into an empire, spawning feature films, video games, toys and even wizard-themed snack food. Kids, teens and adults are packing into theaters and bookstores, for screenings of the fifth movie and to anxiously await the release of the seventh, and final, book of the series. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before Potter-themed bands emerged.