The Dreary Inferi

Band: The Dreary Inferi
Website: Myspace

When you hear the band name “The Dreary Inferi”, you sort of assume their music must be, well, more dreary. That is to say, the first time I heard their music and discovered it to be upbeat on the whole and just plain fun to listen to, I wasn’t entirely prepared. But I have to say, I love what they have given us.

The one opportunity I have had to see the Dreary Inferi perform live, I ended up unable to watch as I was off in search of amplification for their keyboard (which reportedly showed up 5 minutes after my search began). I made it back in time to listen to their last song, but was too winded to enjoy the performance. However, I was excited to see them called on stage during the Diagon Alley set to join them for a song. While I was already enthralled with Diagon Alley, I finally got to learn to be just as caught up in the Dreary Inferi during that performance.

It didn’t matter that they were singing about killing Muggles with Diagon Alley. What mattered was how much fun they were having, the quality of what they produced, and how much fun the audience was having – I being a member of that audience. But not all of their music has such “questionable content”, as it were. One of the first Dreary Inferi songs I ever heard was ‘Fandom Fangirl’, about being in the Harry Potter fandom. This song references other fandoms, but always brings it back to the Wizard Rock boys (*sings* doo doo doo doo doo [doo doo]). “You’re close to my age unlike Colonel Brandon / And you get pudgy unlike Edward Cullen / You don’t have a TARDIS / But that’s okay / ‘Cause you’re a Potter fanboy / And I’m a fandom fangirl”

I absolutely love this song and all the connections it makes. Not only the direct ones in the lyrics themselves (Jane Austen, Twilight, “Doctor Who”, etc.), but the connection it makes apparent by the nature of the song as a whole. Within the Wizard Rock Community and the Harry Potter fandom at large, we are all prone to like one another based on the sole fact that we know we have love of the Harry Potter books in common. It is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these groups of people that I have observed. Without knowing anything else about a person, if a member of the Wrock Community discovers another person who listens to the music, there is an instantaneous bond. Perhaps it speaks to my personal nature, but I have experienced a higher likelihood of trusting someone I hardly know upon learning they are a Wrock and/or HP fan like myself. The deeper the other person is in the Community aspect, the more I am bound to trust them.

This has not been isolated to myself alone, though I have experienced it in others quite often. I have traveled around the UK and a bit of Europe, staying in the homes of people I had only ever met over the internet because we had first started emailing as mutual Wizard Rock fans. Additionally, a friend of mine spent 2 months straight travelling the US and Canada, staying with Wizard Rock people everywhere she went. To my knowledge, she never had to stay in a hotel (unless she and other Wrock friends were attending an event) in the entire time she was travelling.

In my opinion, the Dreary Inferi hit the nail right on the head with ‘Fandom Fangirl’. “We’re basically soul mates / ‘Cause we read the same books.”

23 November 2009. Tags: , . Band of the Day. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Diagon Alley

Band: Diagon Alley
Website: Myspace | Facebook
Twitter: @diagonalleyband

In preparation for the Daily Wrocket, I started out by sending a set of interview questions to as many Wizard Rock bands as I could. Below are the responses I received from Diagon Alley.

Warning: Occasional expletives are used by the band members. All appearances of censoring were copied and pasted directly from their responses.

General Questions

How long have you been playing music?

  • Nigel: Three lifetimes, or 4,208,327 beers
  • Danno: Music?
  • Jaymo: Uh…
  • Cuki: Since I’ve been little.
  • Chris: Shit, I don’t remember

What inspired you to play in the first place?

  • Nigel: A girl
  • Danno: I needed a reason to stay in my band after they didn’t need keys anymore.
  • Jaymo: Uh…
  • Cuki: Technically, my parents
  • Chris: They made me.

What inspired you to play Wizard Rock music?
(more…)

12 November 2009. Tags: , . Extras. 6 comments.

Diagon Alley

Band: Diagon Alley
Website: Myspace

At this year’s Wrockstock, a new band played: Diagon Alley. A number of people had never heard of the band and were simply curious who they were in advance of the show. A few people had heard of the band and were intrigued by the idea of seeing them play live. Some lucky number had seen them perform locally or at events like Wrock the Boat. As for me, I had discovered Diagon Alley about 18 months ago and had been dying to see them perform live from that moment on.

Needless to say, my expectations were extremely high when I walked into the Room of Wrockquirement (the main stage at Wrockstock) preparing to see them perform. Now, this is a band with all the pieces you’d expect, but with the addition of a violin and one of the wildest live shows I’ve had the opportunity of attending. Like I mentioned, I had some seriously high expectations, but I can tell you one thing – when the set was over and I was exhausted and sweaty from wrocking out like no one’s business – I was not remotely disappointed.

I’ll be honest on this, any rock band with a violin, cello, or similar instrument has already stolen my heart. I love the feeling it adds to the music, the surprise it causes in some listeners (especially when I get to watch someone notice the instrument for the first time when listening to a band I enjoy). So the fact that Diagon Alley rocks a violin on a regular basis and bagpipes on occasion simply endears them to me to no end.

However, I can’t say that it is only as a result of the composition of their band that made the performance so dang amazing. You see, there are some bands who get up on stage, rock their music, the crowd will respond positively, and that’s that. But Diagon Alley totally owned the audience during their set. They took control of the stage and slayed us with radness. After listening to their music for so long and wanting little more than to see them live, I admit I was ready for the inevitable domination, but I can’t say the same for everyone in the audience.

So onto the music of Diagon Alley. It is very punk rock-inspired, filling any room it is being played in with glory and richness. The very first song of theirs I had listened to was the song named for their band, ‘Diagon Alley’. In fact, I had the song in my iTunes at one point before I became a huge fan. I remember sitting around, listening to music as I was doing some work or other, having a pretty solidly crappy day. Suddenly, without realizing it, I found myself smiling and rocking out a bit. That’s when I first started focusing actively on what I was listening to and discovered that Diagon Alley is so amazing. Their musical style is exactly what I love, exactly what brings me joy and perks up an otherwise lame day.

I rank Diagon Alley along with some well-known Muggle (non-Wizard Rock) bands that I have enjoyed for years. If you enjoy Muse, Cursive, Flogging Molly, or other similar bands, I suggest you pick up Pop Songs For Muggles from Diagon Alley and take some time to send me an email thanking me for telling you to do as such. Seriously.

12 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day. 13 comments.