A Harry Potter-themed band featuring an OU alum recently released its latest single with lyrics based on the popular book and movie series.
Eugene “Joey” Albin, an OU library and information studies alum and current librarian at the Bizzell Memorial Library, plays bass guitar for Percy and the Prefects.
Percy and the Prefects is one of several in the “wizard rock” or “wrock” genre, a type of rock music that pays homage to J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter" characters and stories, Albin said.
Albin credits the band Harry and the Potters as the originator of the genre in 2002, performing songs centered around the Harry Potter universe. Other notable wrock bands include The Moaning Myrtles and Draco and the Malfoys, according to Mashable.
The band’s recent single “I’m Sorry Harry Potter” released on Bandcamp in November 2019 and is filled with references to the wizarding world.
The Daily sat down with Albin to talk about the story behind Percy and the Prefects:
Q: How did the band form?
A: I was looking for more stuff to do in music.
I was looking on Facebook ... and this guy, his name's Darvil, posted this video looking for a bass player in Central Oklahoma. And so when I clicked the video, I was like, “Okay, it's some band,” but they started singing this line about Voldemort. I was like, “Wait a minute, this song is about Harry Potter.”
And then I commented and was like, “Hey, I'm really into Harry Potter. I'm an accomplished bassist, I can learn music really quickly, let me know if you're interested.” So he had me come out and jam with him and the drummer James, and it turns out he had intentionally not said, “This is a Harry Potter band” because he wanted just a good bass player in general. But also just to kind of see, “Is anyone going to notice that this song is about Potter?”
So we started jamming, and I learned a few songs to show up and play, and they went really well.
Q: How did you come to the name Percy and the Prefects?
A: Percy Weasley ... He’s kind of a goody two-shoes who makes some poor decisions and then comes back into the fold ... So it's more interesting to write songs about that. The other good thing from a practical standpoint is that if you're writing a song about Harry Potter or some main character, there's a ton of details. It's good because you can write a lot of stuff, but it's also hard because there's a canon. There are facts, and you have to get them right ... (but) you can kind of flesh out the details yourself. Like, I wonder what (Percy) said at this party where we only got to hear what Harry heard.
Q: What are some of your favorite performances you’ve done?
A: Here at OU — the Oklahoma Teen Literature Convention. It was really fun to be in this atmosphere of young people and some older people who care about books.
We also recently played at a showcase for librarians. It's a big thing where librarians in the state can come and watch performers and then get their contact information to book them for gigs the next year. I think we were the only band. Everyone else were puppeteers, and there was this one group that had a lemur and a boa constrictor, a wild animals group and a magician. So it was kind of fun to just be in that circus.
Q: How was your academic musical experience different from your time in the band?
A: I don't really see a difference just because I went to school to learn how to be a good musician, and I'm bringing that to anything I do.
Our drummer has his master's degree in music education — he's a band director actually — and so for him, it's the same thing whether it's in an orchestra or teaching middle school band or whatever.
This is just another way to play good music and to play it well. So, to me, I don't really see much of a distinction.
Q: Are there any story arcs in the Harry Potter series that speak to you specifically?
A: Most of our songs fall in a certain narrative order. When we play live, we try to play them in this order. Percy is from this family, the Weasleys, and they're really poor. And he decides to leave his family because they're holding him back. And then by the end of his story, he's kind of realized that his family's important.
That's the most fruitful inspiration for us: that idea of growing up and not really knowing how to feel about your family. Maybe being a little bit rebellious in whatever form that takes for you. Then you grow up and learn more, realizing who matters and who to trust and things like that. That's the most inspirational part.