Wrock Spotlight: The Parselmouths

This month’s Wrock Spotlight is dedicated to the first female wizard rock band, the Parselmouths! The Parselmouths is a group of everyone’s favorite singing Slytherin girls, and even though they stopped making music several years ago, the band remains one of the most popular in the Potter fandom. And one month ago at LeakyCon, much to the surprise and elation of fans (and the tiny deaths inside for those of us who couldn’t witness it), the Parselmouths played a reunion show.

 

The Parselmouths

 

parselmouths-at-leakycon

 

Discography

*This discography does not include EPs, singles, or compilations

Spattergroit (2009)

  1. Spattergroit
  2. Being a Veela Is Easy
  3. Dear Harry
  4. Please Harry
  5. I’m So Bored
  6. Luna’s Paintings
  7. Durmstrang Boy
  8. The In Between
  9. The Day I Met a Snake
  10. Ssss Sss Ssss

Pretty in Pink (and Green) (2008)

  1. We Let a Gryffindor in the Band
  2. Freaking Ask Me to the Yule Ball
  3. Heartbreaker
  4. What Kind of Name Is Hermione?
  5. Black Family Anthem
  6. We Belong Together
  7. My Obsession
  8. Voldemort Fangirl
  9. This Is Never Going to End
  10. The Parselmouths’ Fun Song

Sssss (2006)

  1. Hey Guys
  2. The Parselmouths Say Hello
  3. Being in Slytherin Is Not Half Bad
  4. Eat Slugs
  5. Kicking House-Elves
  6. Daddy’s Tattoo
  7. Life’s Unfair
  8. Two Classes
  9. Let’s Get Hagrid Fired
  10. What Kind of Name Is Hermione?
  11. Shut Down SPEW
  12. When You’re a Parselmouth
  13. I’ve Been Dead for Fifty Years
  14. Hermione (Acoustic)

But let’s rewind first. According to band member Kristina Horner, the Parselmouths started in 2004 after she and her friend Elle saw Harry and the Potters play in Seattle and thought, “Well, if there’s a boy band about a Gryffindor, there should probably be a girl band about Slytherins.” Thus, the Parselmouths was formed, singing delightfully evil songs making fun of Hermione and fangirling over Voldemort.

Twelve years later, just when we thought we’d never see a performance from the Parselmouths again, we got one (or at least YouTube videos for those of us still dead inside who couldn’t witness it). Putting together the reunion was no small task. Kristina described it as a “strange mix of feeling totally overwhelmed by the amount of work it was and remembering why we gave it up in the first place.” Despite the fact that “Wizard rock feels like another life” for her now, “The reunion show was a pretty magical step back into the past.” On her blog, she stated, “I cannot explain how it felt to be on stage again. I’d forgotten the chemistry we have when we perform. How well people know the lyrics to our songs. How much energy courses through you at a place like LeakyCon, onstage […] it just felt so real, and so right, and I’m so happy it went as well as it did.”

Kristina has now gone on to have a successful YouTube channel. She creates amazing cosplays, writes novels for NaNoWriMo every year, and even made her own storytelling card game, among many other cool accomplishments. When asked how wizard rock influenced her other work, she replied, “Harry Potter is what lead me to online roleplaying, fan fiction, wizard rock, and eventually YouTube. The crazy thing is that while Harry Potter definitely isn’t the focal point anymore, I’m still writing, I’m still making videos, and I even went on to build a community/social media-based career that I can only imagine was influenced by how much time I spent online as a teen, in various communities, learning different social sites, and really deeply understanding the concept of fandom.”

Of course, I had to ask her what she thinks of all the new wizarding world content we’ve gotten in 2016. She voiced an opinion that I think many fans can relate to. Having already said their goodbyes to Harry Potter, the new content doesn’t feel the same for a lot of people, Kristina included. For her, “This new content has a new place in my life, and I am getting reacquainted with an old friend, like in the sense that we’ve both changed, and we’re figuring out how we fit in each other’s lives again.” We are all different people than we were 12 years ago, and for many, the new content is just extra fluff, or as Kristina put it, “frosting.”

But as the Parselmouths say, “This is never gonna end. It really can’t end, ’cause we made too damn many friends.” For Kristina and many others, Harry Potter and wizard rock were the gateways to life-long friendships, passions, and even careers. Wherever we Potterheads are, we’re still wrocking out; we still know the words. As the song says, “The Boy Who Lives still lives on inside our hearts.”

Full interview

Can you give a brief description of how the Parselmouths got started?

Sure! The Parselmouths are basically dinosaurs of the wizard rock world – Brittany (Elle, now) and I started the band back in 2004 when the only other band in existence was Harry and the Potters. We saw them play their first live show in Seattle, and thought to ourselves, “well, if there’s a boy band about a Gryffindor, there should probably be a girl band about Slytherins”. We starting writing songs, put out or first album, and the rest is history.

Tell us about your LeakyCon reunion show! What was the preparation process like? How did it feel to be back on stage?

Preparing for the LeakyCon reunion show felt crazy! It was this strange mix of feeling totally overwhelmed by the amount of work it was, and remembering why we gave it up in the first place… but also, it was this strange nostalgia. Ordering new tshirts to sell at the show, creating set lists — it also felt weirdly familiar. Wizard rock feels like another life for me these days, but the reunion show was a pretty magical step back into the past. I am very glad we did it.

For a lot of people, “Harry Potter” was the gateway to other fandoms, passions, and even careers. How has wizard rock (and/or “Harry Potter” in general) been an influence on your other creative endeavors? (YouTube/cosplay/writing/etc.?)

Harry Potter was my gateway to so many of the ways in which people express themselves online! In the very early days, Harry Potter is what lead me to online roleplaying, fanfiction, wizard rock and eventually YouTube. The crazy thing is that while Harry Potter definitely isn’t the focal point anymore, I’m still writing, I’m still making videos, and I even went on to build a community/social media based career that I can only imagine was influenced by how much time I spent online as a teen, in various communities, learning different social sites, and really deeply understanding the concept of fandom.

2016 has been quite the “Potter” renaissance with the release of both “Cursed Child” and “Fantastic Beasts.” How do you feel about the new content in the Wizarding World?

I think it’s complicated! Harry Potter has a very special, very specific place in my heart, and a lot of that is wrapped in nostalgia. Harry Potter defines my childhood. It reminds me of what it’s like to be a middle-schooler struggling to find friends who like the things that I do, but finding kindred spirits in the other kids reading Harry Potter. It reminds me of staying up way past my bedtime for midnight showings, and reading late into the night and getting out of chores because my mom understood how important it was to me. It reminds me of taking my first flight by myself to go to a Harry Potter convention, and learning to write songs, and making new friends on the internet.
This new content coming out of the Harry Potter franchise is a lot of fun, and in some ways does take me back to that time in my life, but it’s not the same. I already said my goodbyes to the series in my own way, and revisit the original books when I need it. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKE getting new content, but it’s frosting for me. Nothing could feel the way the original 7 books felt, because I’m an entirely different person than the Kristina who discovered Harry Potter fandom for the first time. This new content has a new place in my life, and I am getting reacquainted with an old friend, like in the sense that we’ve both changed, and we’re figuring out how we fit in each other’s lives again. Also I really did not like the Cursed Child script book.

Have you taken the Pottermore Patronus quiz yet? If so, what did you get? (If not, what do you think you’d get?)

I did take it! I got an armadillo, which… I didn’t feel much of a connection to, to be honest. I have always imagined I’d have a giraffe, so in my head I’m still going with that one.

Emily Sniegowski

Emily is a librarian whose love of Harry Potter began in 2001 as a third grader. She loves magic and stories of all kinds, particularly the Potter and Disney kinds. She reads, dances, sings, and occasionally writes for MuggleNet.com.