Episode

Episode 39: Kwikspell

Hello magical friends, especially Bradley, the newest member of the WZRD Radio Patreon, who’s joined just in time to help me do this episode!

Speaking of my magical Patreon friends, I had so much fun talking to this month’s guest, that I couldn’t bear to cut it all, so patrons are getting a special extended version of our conversation. But don’t worry if you’re not a patron; this version is still excellent.

Let’s dive into it, with out first music break.

Here’s “Arabella’s Squad.”

~*~

That was “Arabella’s Squad” by Totally Knuts, Candle Wix, Aguamenti, and Ludo Bagman and the Trash [lyrics], “Scabbers” by Ronald Weasley and the Ukulele of Doom, and “No Hero’s Journey” by Harry and the Potters [lyrics].

Without further ado, here’s Kosmo of Kwikspell!

Welcome to the show, Kosmo. I’m so happy you could be here today.

Kosmo: Yeah, it’s really nice to be here. Thank you for inviting me. Yeah.

For newer listeners who might not be familiar with you, can you tell us a little bit about your history with wizard rock?

Kosmo: Yeah. I started my wizard rock band… I want to say in 2007, 2008. So it was kind of like in the height of all of these bands popping up all over the country, all over the world. It was a really exciting time for the fandom. The last book had just released, there was still movies coming out, all of this, like, really very exciting time for just, like, the Harry Potter fandom. And I was looking in the like little local newspaper or like the little…you know, the little free newspaper that you like have, that just kind of exist in towns. And so I was looking in there just to see, like, what to get into and I saw this band, it was like called Harry and the Potters. Well in Austin at the time, there was a,–or no in Houston at the time there was a band that was called Molly and the Ringwalds, but they didn’t do anything about, like, eighties teen movies. They were just a band called Molly and the Ringwalds. So I thought that Harry and the Potters was, like, of the same ilk, you know?

And so I went there and it was a show with Math the Band and Harry and the Potters and Uncle Monsterface. And it was the most intense and exciting thing that I had experienced as, like, an avid show attendee type of person. And, like, I went home that night and I was like “I can do this.” And I was like “wait, I can’t. I don’t know how to play the guitar. I’ve never written a song. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know I want to do this.” And so that sprung up Kwikspell and I just fumbled my way through learning how to write songs and how to play guitar and how to perform and record and all these things just because I really, really liked the series. And I really wanted to participate in fandom, but I wasn’t doing, like, fan fiction, which was, like, really big at the time. And so I was like “I want to be a part of this, like, really cool, awesome community of this very intense special interest that I have.” And… boom! Kwikspell.

Where did the name Kwikspell come from?

Kosmo: Okay. So like I mentioned, like, everyone with making their bands at the time we had like the Whomping Willows, the Moaning Myrtles, we had Gred and Forge…we had Draco and the Malfoys, it was—everything was, everything seemed taken. And so what I did, like any person who’s completely out of ideas, I went to the, like, HP Wiki and I hit random and I was like “whatever page it lands on, that is my band. I’ve got to make something about that. I can’t keep stressing this. I need to get my MySpace page up now.” And so—“I need to reserve the MySpace page.” And so um, I hit random and it pulled up Kwikspell and I was like “oh my gosh, that like one or two page something, something with Filch.” And so I was like “this doesn’t even track.” You know, like, such a weird little obscure, um, thing that never came to be—I really, really wanted Filch to have some sort of correspondence course that backfired and then, like, the trio caught him or, like, something, but it was just, like, this innocuous thing. Anyway, I was like “you know what? This works. I have no idea what I’m doing. Obviously Kwikspell has no idea what it’s doing as an establishment. This works for me.” So I started my correspondence course in how to make music in parallel with the correspondence course of like how to do magic for these squibs. And so, yeah, I, uh, it was r—it was literally random.

I love that. Now, when I was prepping for this interview, I asked Grace Kendall of Snidget—

Kosmo: Mhm.

—what I should. ask about any interesting memories… And they suggested the Tour De Firenze.

Kosmo: Wow. That was… that was… that was a thing that happened. So this was possibly the best experience that I had as a musician. Like, performing… I was just feeling really, really good and really, really excited. However, every single aspect of that tour was like we were building the plane as we were in the air. It was so chaotic. So like… just a litany of things went off. Like, we had a performer coming in from Canada and she was flying into Texas and we were all going to tour there. So it was going to be me and my friend Caster, they were in their solo band, it was going to be Sweetwater All-Stars, uh, with Kelly and she was going to be in, like, her bandand it was like a four or five band, like, tour but we were all like one-man show type of situation.

And so our plan was like “we’re going to rent this van. We’re going to, like, tour across the country. We’ve got all these shows lined up. It’s going to be so great.” We’re so excited; all of our, like, friends are hyping us up. All of our fans are, like, hyping us up. We are living the dream as, like, these relatively unknown kind of like, flying under the radar. You know, like just trying to be a part of the experience, you know. And day one, Jackie flies in from Canada, pick her up from the airport and the next thing was, like, we’re going to make sure everyone has our bags. We’ve got IDs, we’ve got everything. We’re going to load everything into my partner’s car at the time and go to pick up the rental van, drive into Dallas where we’re going to meet the rest of the folks and then we’re all going to like pile into the van and travel together.

I get to Avis and they’re like “Hey, we need a credit card.” And we’re like “hi, we’re, like, children. Um, we don’t have that.” Um, and then we’re like “well, you told us on the phone that we can rent it with a debit card.” And they’re like “no, you need a credit card.” And so we’re like “we’re, we’re boned. Crap. Um, I don’t know what to do.” So what I did was I took all the money that we were supposed to be using to, like, get us around, um, and, like, feed us and, like, get hotels and things along those lines. Um, and I had to buy a van on Craigslist. I bought a van randomly from some strange dude. It was like this 1993, like, Astro van. It had an oil leak, but it just so happened that my friend from Canada was like “oh, my job is to, like, monitor oil and things along those lines so I can keep an eye.” I was like “wow, the serendipity.”

And so I was like “this is great.” So we pile in this van and it’s rickety as all hell and we’re driving across the country and there was a time where we were traveling through the mountains, like, near Pittsburgh and we got completely lost and ended up in abandoned doll factory at like four in the morning. It was terrifying. Terrifying! We just kept having hiccup after hiccup after hiccup that by the time that we got to New York… we, like, pulled into New York and we were going to, like, crash with…I think that was when we, like, synced up with Grace. And so they were like “yeah, you can, like, hang out with us and we’re just going to, like, play this show together. It’ll be fun. You just, like, crash at our place.”

And tensions were like getting really high. Everybody broke—like our tour split. And so it was just like half the bands went in, like, one direction and half of the bands went in the other direction, but we still all had to, like, hit these stops together. So it was just, like, weird tension. We were like…Show up at the place and we’re just like “you just left in the middle of the night.” It was wild. You know, it’s water under the bridge now. But it was, like, at the time where we’re just like “come on, man. We’ve been like on the road for like 9, 10 days. I’m tired. What’s going on? Like, why don’t you want to talk about—” Like, it was a hot mess.

But other than that, I had an amazing time making all these, like, memories, meeting all of these librarians, meeting all these, like, bartenders and all these other bands and all their friends and family… from house shows to basement shows to shows and, like, weird abandoned apartment situations ,I don’t know what was going on in the Shire, but that was really exciting. Um, and that’s where I got, um, my first tattoo. It was great. It was just a hot mess. It was a hot mess and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world.

Before we started recording you mentioned you performed at Wrockstock as well.

Kosmo: Yeah, that was so much fun. I want to say I went to… the second Wrockstock. It was my first experience of wizard rock that wasn’t that one Harry and the Potters, Math the Band,Uncle Monsterface show that I had went to. And so me and my partner at the time loaded up the car, we drove up to Wrockstock and there was, like, an amateur stage. And I was like “oh, I’m going to like sign up for that.” I had a really good time performing in it.

And it was just so exciting to see all these bands performing and the community—It was just really, really exciting from all the, like, crafts that they were doing and the workshops that were going on and, like, the connections that I made, it was just summer camp in the best way possible. And it was, like, this really exciting all ages, really ex—except for after lights out, then it got a little rowdy. Y’all put the kids to bed and we’re going to go down to the lake and be loud and obnoxious young adults, you know? And so, so a lot of the folks that came there with their families were definitely tucked away, but those of us in, like, our early to mid twenties, it was just this, like, Bonnaroo type weekend type of thing where we were just like [excited noise]. It was really, really great.

And leaving there I was just so distressed and sad and I was like “wow, I want to come back again next year, but I want to perform next year. Like not on the side stage, like I want to perform.” And so Wrockstock came around again and I didn’t get a chance to perform that’s okay. I still performed in, like, the little, I think it was called like the Whomping Willow which was, like, the amateur, like, side stage. And it was really, really exciting. And then like the next, and I think maybe, possibly the final Wrockstock, were I actually got to perform on the main stage. I was super excited. Everything about that set was just amazing. Like hearing people singing along with me, everyone’s clapping and dancing. It was super exciting to play with a full band and not just me and my guitar. I was like “oh, I have, like, a drummer, wow.”

You know, I was like really excited. Um, that one, a lot of the, like, instrumental weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and I could just be like “okay, this is your drum part. This is your, like, keys part. Here’s your backup part.” Like,you know “make it work,” you know, like make it work. Instead of me sitting in front of, like, a aged iMac, trying to make Garage Band work with like tutorials up on my phone while I’m, like, clicking away at stuff. It was super exciting.

It happened at a really bad time in my life. And so it was a really exciting victory for me. A lot of things in my life were not going well. I was drifting in and out of, like, homelessness. My mental health was, like, not doing well, having some difficulties with just trying to, like, stay stable. I had gotten out of this really abusive relationship that kind of, like, left me with not a lot. And so I was just trying to… just kind of recover and, like, this opportunity came and I was like “oh, I’m in, like, the middle of recovery.” And so I just took as much of my assets as I could, liquidated what I could. And I was like “this is my chance to, like, to fill this one little dream that I have; my tiny little Harry Potter dream.” And so I went and I performed Wrockstock. It was amazing. I cried. It was great. When I came back from that episode at the last Wrockstock, I was, like, really, really excited and, like, super jazzed about… just everything wizard rock related. But like I said, like I was just going through such a really rough time financially. My housing was very unstable, my, like, financial situation was very unstable.

And so I had to just kind of, like, dive into, like, the adult world of like “I’ve got to get a full-time job.” And so like, whereas like a lot of my peers were like “oh, I just graduated college. And now like, I’ve been doing my Harry Potter thing for awhile. I’m going to like take some time off after college, do some like Harry Potter type of stuff. And then like, see where that goes. And if all else fails, I’ll become an accountant” or like whatever they got their degree in. Um, I never got, like, an opportunity, like, to go to, like, college or anything along those lines so it was just straight workforce for me. So I would get invited like “oh, do you want to come perform here” or “Can you come here?” And I was like “I just can’t take the time off.” Like “I can’t go.”

And so it really, really hurt my feelings. I had to sell, like, my instruments and my recording equipment just so that I could, like, pay bills and things along those lines. And so it was—like, this guitar isn’t even mine. Like, it’s my roommate’s guitar. This microphone is, like, all I use for like streaming and things like that. But I had to sell all of my guitars, my recording equipment. Pretty much like all of the everything that I had from that time has gone. The computer that I use to, like, record all the music—like what is on Band Camp is what exists. That computer just bought the farm one day and everything was gone. And I was like “I can’t replace this.” You know, I’m barely squeaking by.

It’s just one of those, like, bittersweet…not ends, but definitely like a bittersweet, like, conclusion to this really exciting, really thrilling part of like my young adulthood that was just filled with so much happiness and joy that being forcefully pulled away from it was just very hurtful and it was very isolating and very lonely. And as someone who just like grew up, I struggled with like making friends and finding connections with people, and then to find a whole group of people who had a very similar interest in Harry Potter that I did. Like, it’s a special interest. like I can’t get out of my brain, you know? It was just very exciting that I could go up to pretty much anyone and I could just start talking about Harry Potter and that’s perfectly fine and acceptable and no one was going to think I was weird. Or like “why are you talking about this thing? Isn’t that for kids?” And I’m like “well, you know, actually it’s for…” You know? It was very hard to feel like I couldn’t participate in the community like I wanted to. So I still listen to, like, all my favorite pans and like support my friends and their musical careers, whether it’s staying with Harry Potter, venturing out and doing some like muggle music or what have you, or just like lending their musical talents to other fandoms or other causes and things along those lines.

It was just all just very, very exciting, but it was always kind of like on the outside looking in where I’m just like “dang, like I wanna… I want to come to the thing,” but is always something that would just like get into the way where it’s like “oh, I don’t have a guitar, I can’t come perform.” Or “I don’t have the means to like fly to Boston. I would love to play, but I can’t.” I’m like “I’ve got to pay rent, you know? I can’t just take off for a week.” And so, yeah, it’s been kind of bittersweet, but it’s still something that brings me, um, intense amounts of joy. Like I love Harry Potter, it’s great. Wizard rock is amazing in every way.

It’s time for a music break! Here’s Draco and the Malfoys with “NHNA.”

~*~

That was “NHNA” by Draco and the Malfoys, MC Gryf and “We’re Brave,” and “To My Death Eaters” by Muggle Death Camp.

“NHNA” goes out to Ann from Geoff, who adds “You are the very model of a modern Major General! Snakes rule!”

Now back to the interview.

You are also a visual artist.

Kosmo: I am.

I heard this really came through in your merch, like when you were drawing album covers on the fly.

Kosmo: Yeah, absolutely. So all of my album covers have been drawn by me, except for “Pretending for Real,” that’s actually a picture of Bootsy Collins, which I was like “that’s just an awesome photograph of this just guy in a wizard outfit with this star guitar.” It’s really dynamic. But it was like a little stand-in photo where I was just like “I just want to like put these songs out before anymore of my equipment dissolves.” But yeah, I really enjoy doing the visual aspect of it because the HP community, especially in the earlier days was just so DIY, everyone was making their own CDs at home, like, burning them on their computers and, like, packaging them up in, like, little like jewel cases that they got from Best Buy, you know? Like nothing was like mass produced.

I really wish I still had some Tour de Firenze merch, which was really great because the trio was like on the back of a centaur that was, like, flying through the air. It was amazing. I don’t even have photographs of that.

And so like I enjoyed making and screen printing my own shirts and, like, making my own album covers. At one point in time, I—it was a separate tour that I was on with Grace and Matt. I think Lauren was there, but I don’t think Lauren was there at the same time. Like, it was a blur and we were like in two different vehicles. And I was, like, at like the mercy of, like, hand-drawing album covers. So some people in this world, they may have lost it by now, but have hand-drawn album covers that I was making at the show, like, as people were like “oh, I would like one.” And I’d be like, “ahhhh…and this is for you!” and so, like “here you go. I could not afford printing. So you get a drawing from me.”

It was always super fun in that capacity. And so just being a part of the fandom, just kind of allowed me to kind of explore these different ways of creating things like from creating like my BandCamp page and, like, figuring out how I want that to look, for my MySpace page before all of that got wiped away, it‘s gone forever now… all sorts of stuff. And it was always just very exciting to see the new and fun and different ways… Like I had patches, like handmade patches. I’ve had buttons, hand-drawn album art. I’ve had, like, hand screenprinted, like shirts and things along those lines, making my own posters and things along those lines, just going to Kinko’s and be like “can you print me like 50 of these?” And they’re like “what is this?” I’m like “don’t ask questions, man. Just don’t ask why there’s like children flying on this like centaur man, or like, why I’m asking you to po—like make these like weird, like deer head boys just print them, you know?” And it was a very exciting time to kind of like create merch and things along those lines. And yes, I really do enjoy the visual aspects, um, of like creating extra fun, little things that you can just take home and enjoy outside of the music, you know?

All right, magical friends. If you have any Tour de Firenze or Kwikspell merch, we want to see it. Share pictures, let us know. Cause that sounds incredible.

Kosmo: Yeah, if any of it still exists I definitely would love to see it. I wish I still had some of that. I think that the very first one I made was like, a black shirt that just said “Firenze and I are friends” and it was just like, it was just a black shirt that said that. And so I was like, that one was super fun. I was definitely like screen printing those up and to the point where I was, like, putting my luggage in the car to, like, go on the road. And I was like “we gotta leave these on top. Cause they’re drying.” You know, we just gotta get ‘em in the car.

So you have a little bit of experience being a creative and being a creative in public.

Kosmo: Yeah.

What kind of advice would you have for new wizard rockers?

Kosmo: Don’t be afraid to break that kayfabe sometimes. So I’ve mentioned it a little bit before about not feeling like you’ve been pigeonholed into creating certain types of musical content because you named your band after a character or after a place or something along those lines. You can still be whatever your band is named and create things that are not necessarily from the point of view from that character or from people observing that character. If you want to write love songs, write love songs. If you want to write songs that are about social commentary, write songs about social commentary, you want to write some, you know, Ministry of Magic-esque, like, pop-y, like dance club themes, make those. Don’t feel like you have to construct or build your band around a certain idea just because that was the blueprint for how it was 15 years ago.

It’s a brand new day. It’s a new dawn…

And on that same coin there, not feeling any fear in letting your best be what it is. And by that, I mean like… for someone like myself, like I don’t have a lot of resources. So it’s like I don’t have soundproof recording studio or, like, a really fancy condenser mic or, you know, the latest model of something-something that can plug into the computer and it’ll just suck up all that audio for me. Sometimes all you have is like your phone and your like headbuds with a microphone. And sometimes that’s what you have and that’s your best. And it is just as worthy of being showcased and listened to and celebrated as someone who was able to put forth resources that you didn’t have access to into their craft. I don’t see the wizard rock community as a place where those kinds of DIY, hands-on types of individuals are disallowed from showing their art and sharing their art with others and getting feedback from others.

Yeah, some bands might sound better vocally or some people might have like better guitar chops or like someone’s piano riffs are way better than yours. Like, that’s always going to be the case. Like, it’s always going to be the case.But at the same time, there’s always going to be someone who turned your music on and is like “I‘m going to do this one day. I can’t wait for this.” Like “Oh my gosh, the way that you sing that note just, it resonates with me.” So no matter how crackly or croaky your voice might sound, no matter how sloppy your guitar might be because you’re learning or, you know, whatever fun instrument you might be—you might be a flutist. And you know, you’re like “I’m going to put together a little arrangement here and I’m on my flute.” You know? Like, don’t feel like “oh, I don’t know guitar therefore I can’t do wizard rock” or “oh no, I can’t sing, therefore I can’t do wizard rock.”

There has been so many bands across the, just the inception of this, that there is a place for you. If you want to make instrumentals, if you want to do spoken word, if you want to rap, if you want to do R and B, if you want to do grunge rock, if you want to do punk, if you want to do some like ukulele singer-songwriter indie uwu stuff, you can do it all. Like there is a place for your music, there in this space. Just don’t let yourself be too discouraged by these bands who have been around for a decade plus that have lots of followings and lots of listens on Spotify or like little checks next to their Twitter accounts and things along those lines. Your music is still valued. Your music is still good. People still want to like celebrate you and hear your things. So dust off the guitar, pull out those hammers for your dulcimer. Like, let’s go, just make it work in the best way that you can because that’s just the spirit of this community. And I feel like that can sometimes get lost in the shiny newness of the ways in which social media works now, where everything has to be super polished and super professional, like influencer-level types of content. You workin in Medibang trying to like make your album cover with like some free software that you downloaded is just as good as someone who’s paying like $60 a month to use Photoshop. It’s perfectly fine if that’s what you have. So that’s my advice. Just do. Just do it! Get in where you fit in. And it’s good. It’s fun.

And since you mentioned, you’ve made all kinds of merch—

Kosmo: Mhm!

—any suggestions there?

Kosmo: Absolutely. Okay. So a part of my young adult life and still in my not so young adult life, I really love the DIY community. So in a lot of like punk shows, basement shows, things along those lines, people were using what they had access to. So if you’ve got some ratty jeans that you haven’t worn since eighth grade, cut them up, get some fabric, markers, write your band name on it—you got some like cool patches. Go get some fun rocks from your garden and paint them with your band logo or like your band name, put some googly eyes on there and a wizard hat, now you’ve got wizard rocks. Like you got, you got it all. You don’t have to feel like you have to run a Kickstarter so you can get shiny enamel pins or dip into your tuition funds so that you can like front the screen printing for your t-shirts or something along those lines.

Don’t put yourself in a position to where you’re making this huge sacrifice for your like physical, emotional, financial, spiritual wellbeing, just so that you can have like shiny, fancy merch. Put that energy into your lyricism, put that energy into learning a new guitar riff, put that energy into practicing your scales, put that energy somewhere else, but hit up Goodwill, grab some plain t-shirts, that can absolutely work. You can take felt squares and cut out fun, little like shapes and things along those lines. If you are a s—someone who can sew, you can sew them onto said shirts. Um, if you can’t sew, there’s a wonderful thing called Liquid Stitch and you can just have a little disclaimer with your shirts that are like “please flip this inside out, wash it on delicate. These are like handmade, special shirts.” Like don’t eff it up, you know, like, you’ve spent money on this, I’ve spent time on this.

And I feel like those sorts of merch at a table stand out a lot more and are a lot more exciting and feel more exclusive than when you’re walking up to a merch table and you have these like shiny, like plasticine looking posters and these download cards that are all branded and like all of these things. And you’re just like “well, none of this was really unique. I love this band so I guess I’ll just buy it.” But like when you come up to a merch table and we’ve got homemade patches and you’ve taken… what me and my friends used to do, we would, whenever we were like kicking back or whatever. you have like a soda or beer or something along those lines, save those bottle caps, add some like fun paint to them and like put like some stickers and things along those lines, shellac them with some clear nail polish and put a magnet on the back. And now you’ve got cool little fridge magnets that you can sell for a couple of bucks. And all it costs you was getting some Izzes at the grocery store when you went and just saving up those bottle caps.

Going in and taking a mundane something… like go to the dollar store and be like, look at these wacky shoe laces, I’m going to get seven pairs of these dollar store shoelaces, and I’m going to take them home and I’m going to make my own, like, flare to them. Like I’m going to like take some pompoms and glue them on—like something to kind of like zuzh it up and, like, make it more exciting, like “oh wow, I’m going to get one gray lace and one green lace. And these are going to be like, my Slytherin like ones that I’m going to like sell these out.”

You don’t have to go and spend a whole bunch of money. Just taking the things that you have and thinking about them creatively in the ways in which you can turn these things that you may have laying around your home or have easy access to it, like a dollar store or a local craft store or in your storage closet in the upstairs part of your grandma’s house that you haven’t looked in since you were 16, those sorts of things all matter and can be like really, really exciting to receive instead of like a very polished, very shiny professionally screenprinted something. But if you are specifically into screenprinting, I would research on the YouTubes. beginner-friendly ways to screenprint. When I’m teaching screenprinting to local folks, I will use things that people have access to. So that’s a big part of like my arts education practice is like making sure people who want to be creative, have access to tools to be creative.

If you do want to try something on your own with like screenprinting, you will probably need like some capital up front to like do some, some investing on it. But with some sheer hosiery, like pantyhose, some Elmer’s glue or Mod Podge, and some time, some patience, you can make a, like a, an embroidery hoop, like string the hose through there, making sure it’s like nice and tight as if you were going to do some cross stitching on it, um, or some needle point. You will take your design and print it out on a piece of copy paper or what have you place your embroidery hoop on it and wherever your design does not exist—so if you have something that says Kwikpell in like black letters, or what have you—I’m going to paint everything with the Mod Podge, except for those black letters.

And I’m going to let it dry and I’m going to make sure I’m holding it up to the light to make sure there are no holes that are coming through the no light once it’s nice and dry, you can use pretty much any fabric paint you want. You don’t have to go and buy screenprinting ink or anything along those lines. Get yourself a fancy little sponge, alil sponge brushes, you know? Those awful sponge brushes?Put them on the shirt and then just dab that paint on, pull off your screen, put that shirt to dry, put your other shirt on it. Dab that paint on again. It’s going to look very DIY, it’s going to look very homemade, but that just going to depend on how much time and effort you put into making that screen. So if you want something that looks really polished and things along those lines, put some time and effort into that. But you don’t have to go and have like six- or seven-hundred dollars upfront with your art separated into all these different layers and you have to send it off to the printer and they have to approve it and then they pay in $30 per screen—no. No.

Save $30 from your paycheck. Go get yourself some embroidery hoops and some hose and some—a couple of shirts from the Goodwill to like do some practice or some old shirts that you might have laying around, grab some friends of different sizes and be like “can everyone donate me two blank shirts? I would greatly appreciate it.”

What are you working on, now, these days?

Kosmo: Oh, what am I not working on? A lot of my focus recently has been into my arts career… art type of things. Currently I am scripting out—and I’m not even scripting because, you know, I got ADHD, I’m never gonna write a script, but I am working through the story beats and things along those lines that getting a story planned out for a fiction comic, finally, that I’m working on that is going to be a kind of coming of age tale of three young adventurers branching out on their own in their like kind of like late teens, we got kind of like a YA, you know, like situation going there. But it’s just going to be a kind of like focus on like the adolescent growth that happens in that, like, 14 to 19 range, um, of life. And just growing up, following your dreams, defying your parents and just kind of living your life. But also we’re going to be looting dungeons and we are going to be, you know, slaying some dragons, maybe in a very pacifistic way, because I very much love dragons. We will compromise with the dragons and then they can stop doing, um, harm to, you know, the area. So we’re working on that… Got my art in a couple of museums, got some published stuff out, mostly in like anthologies and things along those lines. But a lot of my comics deal with themes of gender euphoria, gender inquisition, like kind of like navigating the world at these various different intersections of like marginalization, whether it’s like the intersection of blackness and transness, or like living as like an ace person in like a very hypersexual world within a hyper-sexualized community. And so just kind of like exploring these different thoughts and feelings and things along those lines that I have floating around in my brain meat and getting those out and about.

Musically, I haven’t had access to musical instruments, but I have some song type things like written on my phone, but since I can’t play them, it’s hard for me to be like “I’m going to put music to this.” And like I was saying, they kind of come at the same time. And so when I have one or the other, it’s kind of hard to like, make them fit. Or I’m like “No, I don’t know enough music theory to make this work.”

Don’t worry, the interview will continue after this music break! This is “Tom Marvolo Riddle” by Sam and Sam.

~*~

That was “Tom Marvolo Riddle” by Sam and Sam [lyrics], “Through the Looking Glass” by Malfoy Manor [lyrics], and “Amortentia” by Let’s Lumos! Featuring Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls [lyrics].

Here’s the last bit of the interview with Kosmo of Kwikspell.

Thank you so much for chatting with me today. This has been awesome.

Kosmo: Of course, of course!

Where can WZRD Radio listeners find you and all of your projects online?

Kosmo: Oh, absolutely. I’m online. I’m on all the things that you get online to do, because that’s just, that’s just the way the world works. But you can find me on pretty much any social media platform at underscore Space Bones with an S Space Bones, like there’s multiple bones in space. You can, uh, do a Google search for Kosmo Parker, I think I’m the only one in the world or something. I don’t know. I think that my BandCamp is KwikSpell atBandCamp.com, but I’m mostly on Twitter now so underscore space bones, you can hit me up there. I’m not very good at DMS, but if you like at me, I will definitely respond. Yeah, give a follow, say hi. You know, I would love to reconnect with people that I’ve lost touch with over the years. Yeah, if you want to be my friend, be my friend.

I love talking to people, I love reminiscing. I love helping people out, whether it’s, you know, musically or artistically, um, or just getting some advice or feedback. Those were things that I always really appreciated when I was more actively, like, making music and like creating content around like wizard rock. It was always really nice to like, have some feedback and get some like support and like encouragement, especially when it’s just like, it feels like “I’m screaming into the void.” And you’re just like “you know, don’t, don’t, don’t feel that.” I mean, I can’t tell you how to feel, but you don’t need to feel that way. Like you’re not alone out there grinding in your apartment, trying to like, make your merch and, like, make your music and stuff like that.

If you enjoyed this interview and want to keep ‘em coming, consider joining the WZRD Radio Patreon at Patreon.com/WZRDRadioPod. It’s two muggle dollars a month, and not only does it support WZRD, but it also supports the Yes All Witches grant in giving microgrants to queer and BIPOC wizard rockers.

The holidays are coming up! You know what makes a great gift? Wizard rock. Go to the transcript at WZRDRadioPod.com and pick a song to send to your mom. Without our wizard rockers, we wouldn’t be here.

Now, no one’s guessed Episode 38’s theme, so that Cruciatus Curse download code is still up for grabs. You can tell me your guess on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, or leave a comment on the transcript or email me at WZRDRadioPod@gmail.com.

And now, here’s Kwikspell!

Kosmo: The song is called “Where I Belong” and it’s a song about found family and connecting to a community greater than yourself in the light of overcoming and moving through tremendous adversity.

“Where I Belong” plays.

Intro and outro music are from Higher Up, by Shane Ivers.
Art is by graphic_co on fiverr.

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