By Alex Distefano
By Daniel Kohn
By Aimee Murillo
By Nick Schou
By Nate Jackson
By Nate Jackson
By Dave Lieberman
By Daniel Kohn
Kristine Thune of the Hermione Crookshanks Experience knows that right now is a pretty good time to play wizard rock.
The Hermione Crookshanks Experience is just you?
Yes. The Hermione Crookshanks Experience is a wizard-rock band. I was inspired to create my own band when I heard Harry and the Potters. They're the ones who started everything. I thought, "This is a fun idea." And there weren't any girl bands that I'd heard of, so I thought I'd start my own.
Had you wanted to play music before hearing wizard-rock bands?
In elementary school, I played the tenor saxophone and did jazz band. I picked up the guitar in high school. I always kind of played around, but I never did anything seriously until I started the wizard-rock thing.
What is wizard rock?
It is music about Harry Potter—the books or the movies. It's not necessarily rock music. It can be any kind of music—rap music, electronica, indie, disco. It's just that everyone calls it wizard rock.
Is it a scene that's scattered around the world, or is there a local component?
It's pretty scattered. One of the things that ties everyone together is MySpace. All of these bands talk to one another, support one another and collaborate over the Internet. It's a pretty neat thing. There are many bands that tour. They've inspired kids to start doing their own music. The whole wizard-rock thing is about varying musicianship. It's a really positive influence on children, supporting the arts in schools and things like that.
Are wizard-rock shows primarily attended by huge Harry Potter fans?
A lot of times, they are. Maybe they'll see that a band called Harry and the Potters is going to play at a library, and they're big Harry Potter fans, so they'll go. But there's also a good amount of people that just really like the music. Usually, if you know something about Harry Potter, it makes listening that much more fun because there are inside jokes and things that are more amusing when you understand them.
How did you like the newest Harry Potter movie?
I enjoyed it. I like seeing the movies because they're done really well, but I am a book person. So I was sad with the things they left out. I went to the theater, and while I was waiting, I played some songs for my friends. The people in line got it. They're sort of my target audience. It went over well. I got some people adding my MySpace, and I passed out some stickers.
When you play live, is it tough being a one-person band?
My music is in between acoustic and things I've done on my MacBook, where I've composed some electronic things. For shows, I like to play the guitar, and I set up my iPod and have it play the electronic stuff.
Are you worried that the new Harry Potter book is the last one?
It's pretty scary. We're really anticipating it, but [it's] also depressing because it's the end. Then again, it's not really the end because, for at least the wizard-rock people, having another book means more stuff to write about. There are so many things . . . like Star Wars—technically George Lucas' story ends, but so many other people have taken what he created and have kept it going. We still have the movies to look forward to and the Harry Potter theme park. It's really not the end.
Do you see your wizard-rock band continuing as your primary musical outlet?
Right now, this is my primary music thing, but I do write regular songs that aren't Harry Potter-related. I haven't stopped doing that. Probably once the Harry Potter excitement dies down in the next two years, I'll try to do more of my own stuff in addition to the Hermione Crookshanks Experience.
Do you play non-Harry Potter related shows?
A lot of times, they are Harry Potter-related. I played at a wizard-rock concert that had a lot of bands. We played outside of a library. I've played while waiting in line for the book releases. But I have also played at cafés and regular venues.
Have any local favorites?
I like going to downtown Fullerton and walking around, sometimes going to the Alley. They have good shows.
Do you have to defend being a fan of a kids' book?
Yeah, I sometimes do. Mostly, people I talk to are pretty supportive. Rather than just reading the books and absorbing the material, you're going out and being creative on your own.
VISIT WWW.MYSPACE.COM/HERMIONECROOKSHANKS FOR MORE INFORMATION.