Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's Wizard Rock Sunday on the LC! Harry and the Potters at Lawrence Arts Center Plus an Interview with LFK's Merlin

Readers, we hope you haven't forgotten that LFK is home to at least some of the members of pioneering "wizard rock" band Harry and the Potters (remember our interview with Paul?  read it here).   Make sure to don your robes for their big show at Lawrence Arts Center tonight, where they'll be joined by Youtube sensations the Harry Potter Puppet Pals, whose "Mysterious Ticking Noise" video has 129,337,983 views.  Damn, that's more views than even the cutest of cute kitty videos!

But do you ever wonder what other examples of the "wizard rock" genre might be lurking in the murky depths of LFK?  Thanks to everyone's favorite 13-year old record company mogul, Drew, we discovered Merlin, who have a new album called The Magician's Alliance on Drew's Sarcastic Magician label and are poised to leave their underground lair this fall and play a few shows.  We spoke to Merlin's Jordan Knorr about his penchant for the waterphone and theremin, the many props essential to bringing his vision to the stage, and who would win in an epic wizard battle between Merlin and Harry and the Potters.  

Check out Merlin on FB here and stream the new album on Bandcamp here . Enjoy the interview.

 Chip:  On your FB page, you list Wizard Rock as one of your genres. Three questions:  (1) What sets you apart from other “wizard rock” bands? (2)  Do you wear robes on stage? And (3) who would win in a fight between you and Harry and the Potters?

Jordan:   What sets us apart? Lets see. Merlin is chaos based. We do whatever the hell comes to mind at the time, no matter what key or tempo we're told we should keep on. We let Darkness and flow take us over.
Yes. Our garbs contain the energy required to power Merlin.
Harry and the Potters have the happy, Rowlings wizardry thing going for them, which is awesome. We only have chaos and hell to back us up. So in terms of talent they may have us beat. But they won't ever be able to sleep again after the fight, ya hear??
Richard:  Your FB page also lists a wide array of instruments, everything from the theremin (awesome!) to the “waterphone” (awesome!) to the “closet door” (?).   Tell us how such instruments factor into the Merlin-sound.  And what’s your favorite unusual instrument?

Jordan:  Well the waterphone (Still practiced??) emits an almost ominous, horrifying sound when played doesn't it? So what's a better instrument to have some crazy ways to interpret a scary story! I think they use it for horror movies. As for the theremin...well I think it helps myself, Merlin, in making my voice INSANE when i hook it up through a Talk box, and then to a Line 7 and finally through a Guitar. Super creepy results! Also, I may like to add, this is all done at my house. DIY all the way. So we take any object we can get and make it our instrument.

Richard:  What’s the best song Merlin has written so far and why?

Jordan:  The last song on the album, "Goblin at the Gates of Mercury". It's the best, most epic piece we've ever done. It's a four part, fourteen minute epic about a goblin cast out into space, landing on Mercury, going mad, and discovering a portal to vast knowledge. Total craziness. I even included an excerpt from the original broadcast of "War of the Worlds". 

Chip:  You list your interests as “practice of dark magic.”  If I attend a Merlin show in the future, what are the chances you’ll turn me into a toadstool or something?

Jordan:  Hehe. Dark magic is a tricky thing. You may come in and witness the strangest show you've ever seen, or you may actually like it. Either way, the dark magic will be projected into you. Like a spear. Yer mind is gone, and hopefully you've gone insane or you leave happy, whatever the Magic decides... Toadstools aren't included, so at least there's that.

Richard:  What’s the coolest thing about being on Drew’s Sarcastic Magician Record label?  And tell us a little about your new album coming this fall?

Jordan:  I guess the coolest thing about being on it is that Drew is super cool to us. He's clearly not thinking straight... we aren't the most conventional band around. But it's nice he considered us.
The Magician's Alliance will be out in the fall, hopefully September, on everything that's physically tangible. But if you want to hear it, Im putting it out on August 1st. Digital only! The Magician's Alliance, is a very dark and Eclectic album. There's a song for everyone! There is a crazy story I have come up with...It'd be too long to list on here. But I'm putting it on an insert included in the vinyl, ONLY.

Chip:  Have you ever seen the insane film Stunt Rock, which combines crazy stunts and wizard-y rock?  Check out the trailer .  Perhaps you could project some clips from it during one of your future shows?

I have NOT seen that. But it's fantastic. In our upcoming live shows, we'll be utilizing the following:

A. Strobes


C. Swords

D. Lasers. Lasers and Lasers

E. Holographic Galaxies

F. Costumes

G. Books of the Dead

H. and finally, Glow in the dark stars.

So yes. We can and probably will include acts from the film!

 The Magician's Alliance cover art


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