Neville’s Diary

Band: Neville’s Diary
Website: Myspace

Today’s band is one that I first discovered in the early summer of 2008. The reason I know this is due to my first attempt at sharing a Neville’s Diary song. I had a friend who went to all the Harry Potter midnight movies with me, would discuss HP at length with me, and proclaimed to be a fan of Wizard Rock (what I had shared with her up to that point, at least). Because of this, I thought it would be brilliant to share a couple of beautifully written Wrock songs with her that truly touch the heart. One of these songs was ‘The Family Name’ by Neville’s Diary. I’ll never forget the feeling as she turned to me nonchalantly and simply said, “It’s kind of flat.”

I was in a state of shock. Had she even bothered to listen to anything other than the recording quality? The lyrics? The vocals of Bryce Cone, the man behind Neville’s Diary? I mean, Bryce only had a couple songs up at the time and the recording quality wasn’t exactly studio, but that means nothing in Wizard Rock. This Community is more about supporting each other and encouraging creativity than nitpicking over the quality produced by the equipment some of the Wrockers have or can afford. What does it matter what a recording sounds like if the musician’s heart is in the work? Besides… Bryce’s work sounds amazing. Just saying.

As for ‘The Family Name’ as a song (not just a conversation piece with a friend who didn’t bother to listen to the song itself), there’s a good reason why I felt a strong desire to share it with anyone and everyone. Much like Bryce himself, I have always felt a connection with Neville. He feels a great deal of fear and doubt, assuring himself that he doesn’t fit in and will never live up to the memory of his parents. That’s exactly what this song is about – his fear of his family being ashamed of him and his lack of talent. But it ends on a positive note in which Neville comes to the conclusion that through his hard work and determination he would go on and make his family proud. Neville is clear proof that our choices determine who we are, because how else could he possibly have ended up as a Gryffindor as opposed to a Hufflepuff? We ‘Puffs embody hard work and determination. In any case, it is this message, that we can accomplish so much more than we realize when we but set our minds to the task, that brings this song close to my heart. It was the first Neville’s Diary song I ever heard and it is still my absolute favorite.

Just this past weekend, I went to the live Neville’s Diary performance in the Wampum Willow (the second stage) at Wrockstock. I got to hear a song of his for the first time during that performance, ‘Pick Up Your Wands’. The greatest thing about this portion of his performance was the audience participation. Bryce had us practice singing “Dumbledore’s Arm-aaaaaaay!” so that when we got to the right part in the song, we could not just sing it, but the volume could rise with the urgency and passion we were all feeling. Our goal was to be heard all the way at the Room of Wrockquirement (the main stage that was not in use at the time, but same difference, yeah?). For those unfamiliar with Trout Lodge, this is not only a significant distance, but the two locations are separated by many trees and hills. But did the reality of the situation prevent us from yelling as loudly as our already hoarse voices could handle? Not in the slightest!

I love Wizard Rock fans.

There is almost nothing we wouldn’t do to attend a show and have the best time possible. Seriously. If you’ve never attended a real Wizard Rock show before, I highly recommend it. I did and it changed my life. Every band I have ever seen perform live has had a major effect on me, not the least Neville’s Diary for his candid approach to the heart of so many tough situations and complicated emotions confronted by Neville (and so many of us in the real world). The way I figure it, we all have felt like Neville at some point in our lives. Wizard Rock to me is like Dumbledore’s Army was to Neville – we both learned to trust in who we are and to believe in ourselves through our experiences within these groups. I hold the firm belief that Bryce’s work as Neville’s Diary has shown and perpetuated this better than almost any other band in Wizard Rock.

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11 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day.

5 Comments

  1. Patrick replied:

    Great start. I think Bryce really eptiomizes the potential of wizard as entertainment, and as a teaching example.

  2. Ariel replied:

    Last year at Wrockstock I missed seeing Neville’s Diary. I’d been kicking myself every day since. This year I made it my job to be there in the front row. It was a truly magical experience… singing along with songs I knew, and songs I was just discovering. Sharing it with the rest of the wrockstockers was amazing. Bryce’s students are very lucky to have such a dedicated and talented musician and person as their teacher. And we’re lucky to have him as Neville’s Diary.

  3. Laura! replied:

    I love Neville’s Diary! His set in the Willow this weekend was great, and I count myself lucky to have been there. I consider myself even luckier to share a career with him!

  4. Zivlok replied:

    One of my favorite wizard rock bands. “Pansy Looks Like A Dude” was of my top 3 favorite wizrock songs of last year – SO GOOD. “Trevor the Toad” (funny side-note – I have three different wrock songs by different bands with that exact same title) is good too, as well as “Oh, Pomona”.

  5. Shannon replied:

    Bryce’s set in the Willow at Wrockstock was amazing. And Bryce himself is an amazing person! 😀

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