Hello magical friends, and welcome to a very special bonus episode of WZRD Radio! I’m your hostwitch Bess and today I’m talking to some of the funniest witches in podcasting. What better way to celebrate WZRD’s second birthday than with some fic?
Hold onto your toast, magical friends! Here’s “Poetry in Motion” by How Airplanes Fly.
That was “Poetry in Motion” by How Airplanes Fly [lyrics], “I Found a Loophole” by the Whomping Willows, and “Pensieve Full of Unrequited Love” by the Mudbloods.
Without further ado, let’s get to the fun.
Welcome to the show Sequoia and Kim of Fanatical Fics!
Sequoia: Hello! Thanks for having us on.
I’m so excited this worked out. Magical friends don’t know, but I’ve been planning this since last year.
Because I am a huge Fanatical Fics fan. I actually binged the entire thing in a matter of weeks after a magical friend introduced me to it. For any listeners that maybe aren’t as familiar with your show, could you tell us a little about it?
Sequoia: Uh, yeah, definitely. So we have a Harry Potter fan fiction podcast where we read just like some buck-wild old fan fiction from pre 2008 and you know, just like do a deep dive. “What, what were we doing as a fandom then?” You know? “What, what was on our little minds?”
Kim: It’s kind of like a reflection and, like, acceptance of our past selves kind of thing is how I like to think about it.
Sequoia: Exactly, exactly.
And I really appreciate that when you poke fun, it feels loving. It’s not—
Kim: Oh, absolutely!
—pointing and mocking.
It is “we are all here together.”
Kim: Exactly. This is us. We did this.
Sequoia: Mhm. Yeah. I mean, I wrote a sort of a song fic around the, uh, song “Hey Ya” by Outkast—
Kim: Hey, I hate it when you reveal this stuff and I haven’t heard about it before. Like, what do you doing?
Sequoia: What? What—
Kim: you wrote WHAT?
Sequoia: I-I-I can’t okay. I can’t let it all go at once, my dude. We can’t… I gotta have these little nuggets that I can give you over time.
Kim: It’s been like 10 years, my man!
Sequoia: And I’ve still got ’em I’ve still got ’em I’m still packing ‘em away.
Kim: Keeping the surprise alive!
Keeping the relationship the fresh.
Kim: Oh yeah.
Sequoia: Yeah. Yeah, we are part of the fan fiction community. We love fan fiction. Um, and everything we do is, is in love and service to that wonderful, wonderful space.
Kim: Oh yeah.
I am not unconvinced that one day. I will tune into your show and hear one of my fics from that era.
Kim: Look, if you wanna send them to us…
I do not! But they are out there.
Now you’ve mentioned on Fanatical Fics that you’re both huge fans of wizard rock.
How did that come about? Same time as your fic writing?
Sequoia: I actually think that, for me, it came a little bit later. And I think for Kim it came a lot later, right?
Kim: I, I listened to the, like, Harry and the Potters, the Moaning Myrtles, Draco and the Malfoys those folks back in the early aughts…
Kim: When they were like first starting to be active and that scene was first starting to exist. And then not for a really long time when I kind of dropped out the fandom and then you—
Sequoia: And then I…
Kim: You came into my life and brought it all back.
Sequoia: Exactly. Yeah. Cause I was… uh, had sort of dabbled in it mid- end- high school sort of experience, like towards the end of the 2000s. And then I got—I went to college and I met Kim and that was at a time when I was like really getting deep into fandom because my first year of college, before I met Kim, I spent a lot of time online because all my friends lived at the dorms and so I was just kind of, like, trying to find a community and I already loved Harry Potter. So like that’s, that’s kind of how that came about and saw some like really great wizard rock at Harry Potter conventions that summer and got super into the Whomping Willows. And then I moved in with Kim and we… I loved the “House of Awesome” song by the Whomping Willows and we ended up calling our house The House of Awesome.
Kim: We did.
Sequoia: So that was our college house that we lived in, House of Awesome. And then on my 21st birthday, Matt and Lauren Fairweather came and played, like, a backyard show in our town. And it was like on my 21st birthday and I requested to have them do House of Awesome song, uh, because my house was named that—anyway it was just, like, really nice, they happy birthday to me. I mean, I just love the love for the community that wizard rock shows.
Sequoia: I think in a same vein of fan fiction, it’s a great way to sort of like… continue to play in the space in a loving way.
Are y’all… do you listen to a lot of the new stuff coming out?
Sequoia: No, I am not as familiar with the new stuff coming out. It’s a—it’s definitely something that, like, I would like to be more familiar with. And I think, you know, we’re gonna have you on our show a little bit to ch—to chat about like where people might do that and find those things and get into that—
Sequoia: —that new stuff.
I see the shape of your questions now.
Sequoia: Yes. And it’s, it’s sort of self-serving—
Sequoia: —and you know, trying to help people figure out where to find the new stuff, cuz there’s a lot of new stuff all the time!
Kim: There’s so many new bands and it’s all so cool. I mean the old bands are still around too. We did go… Harry and the Potters did their Lumos tour and we went to see them for that. That was super fun.
Sequoia: Yes. That was really fun.
Kim: That was my first wizard rock show ever.
Sequoia: Oh my gosh, it was!
Kim: Yeah! So we’ve kept up with some of it, but I think just at the cons and stuff, really.
It’s actually a little bit easier to catch shows now because everyone’s gone virtual.
So we’ve had OWLFest and two Yule Balls online… the Blibbering Humdingers and um, Tonks in the Aurors are doing virtual shows constantly.
Did you know—I’m sure you do, but just in case you didn’t, did you know that Fanatical Fics has inspired wizard rock?
Seqouia: I, I mean we had one person send us a song once.
Was it Voldi and the Morts?
Sequoia: It was not. Wait, what?
I put the link in the document for you. I believe it was last year, maybe 2020, Voldi and the Morts put out a Christmas album and one of the songs, they said it was by the squid was titled what’s it? “White Xmess (December is squid month).
Sequoia: Oh my God. That’s incredible.
Yes. You are inspiring subgenres in subgenres.
Kim: Oh dear.
Sequoia: That’s so great. See here’s the thing is like, you know, we’ve been talking to Bess for a while about getting this all set up. And when you brought up the concept of, like, talking about a wizard rock album that was based around fan fiction, I was like “excuse me?” So there’s just like all, there’s all sorts of stuff going on in wizard rock that is just like, wow, incredible.
Well, yeah, you, you, uh, have at least one other song out there that you didn’t know about, I guess.
It also discusses that one fic I think that Kim read during Squid Month where the squid and the castle…
Kim: Oh sure.
Sequoia: Oh yeah, yep.
Kim: Yeah, yeah, yeah. They, they, uh, yeah.
Sequoia: An absolute classic.
I’d ever heard of that one. That one was new to me. Kinda wish I never had.
Sequoia: You know, you can never go back, unfortunately—
Kim: Yeah, you really can’t.
Sequoia: —you could never go back.
And I know that there’s at least one other, that—one other song that references squid and toast.
I don’t know if that was inspired by you all or just someone else who had read the, uh, the same sentence. Ah, Muggle Snuggle’s “Care of Magical Creatures.”
Sequoia: ‘Muggle Snuggles’ is the band name!?
Kim: That’s an actual band name.
Sequoia: That’s such a good band name.
Kim: It’s a excellent band name.
Oh, they’re wonderful. They don’t play normal instruments, they’re not like a guitar and drums kind of band. They play… I don’t even know, like, accordion and a bunch of instruments I cannot pronounce and I feel badly about that. They’re so unique and their music is wonderful.
Sequoia: Wow. That’s really cool.
So despite the current geographic barrier, if you two were to start a wizard rock band, what would you call it?
Sequoia: Oh. Oh no. Oh…
Kim: It, it, it would be, uh, it would be Blaise themed, I think.
Sequoia: Uh, yeah.
Kim: And probably throw back to the old names. It would probably be “Blaise and the Zambinis.”
I think that one might have already happened.
Kim: That’s taken!?
I can’t swear to it, but I think so.
Sequoia: You know, that’s true. That’s true. Yeah. I think, I think there’s something in paying homage, um, to the OGs in the space.
Sequoia: Something around Blaise is good…
Blaise and the Icons?
Sequoia: Ooh, Ooh. Yeah. I like that.
Kim: That’s good.
Sequoia: That’s really good.
Now this is relevant because you’ve had the Whomping Willows’ “Wolfstar” as your theme for a while now.
And I thought it might be nice to give you the opportunity to create a wrock theme of your own that really, you know, embodies everything that Fanatical Fics is: Drarry and Squid Month and the ‘hot idiot hosts,’ all of it. So to that end, I’ve invited TK of Totally Knuts to come and help you write this new anthem.
TK: Hello. It’s me. TK.
Now you’re gonna have 10 minutes to do that.
But before we start—I can see Kim did not look over this before. This is all a surprise.
Kim: I…I…I glanced at it!
You all do predictions on your show.
And I thought I would give you an opportunity for some bonus points. I’ve selected the songs that will intersperse in this conversation with a particular theme: shipping.
And I’ll give you the title and the artist and you tell me what the ship is. The first one is “Us versus Them” by Tianna and the Cliffhangers. [link] [lyrics]
Sequoia: I, I feel like, uh… the, the pressure, the pressure it’s getting to me.
Kim: Uh huh.
Sequoia: Um, I’m gonna go with Dramione.
Kim: I’m gonna guess Drarry.
Okay. The second one is “Pomona” by Kathryn Hoss. [link] [lyrics]
Kim: Think I would go Sprout slash McGonagall.
Sequoia: That is exactly what I was gonna go with.
Sequoia: I’m gonna, I’m gonna also say that. I’m gonna also say that.
Kim: ‘kay. I think that’s a great ship.
Sequoia: It really is a good ship.
And the third song is “Wizard Date” by Totally Knuts.[link] [lyrics]
Sequoia: Wizard date…
Kim: Wizard date?
Sequoia: I, I feel special, especially the pressure now.
Kim: Yeah! I’m gonna say what I hope every ship is all the time: wolfstar. It’s my favorite.
Sequoia: That’s good. That’s good. That’s good. Um, I am gonna sort of go out on a limb on this one and I’m gonna say Harry slash Neville.
Kim: That’s a great ship.
Sequoia: That’s a good ship.
All right. I’ve taken note. Uh, our magical listeners will get to hear whether you got it right, right now while you and TK get busy.
Thank you so much, TK.
TK: Of course.
And I’ll pull you back at the end. So how does it feel to be wizard rockers now?
Sequoia: It’s, It is a euphoria to which I have never experienced before.
Kim: Dream come true.
Kim: Is that what you’d say?
Sequoia: I’d like to thank.
Sequoia: I’d like to thank Kim.
Sequoia: I’d like to thank, you know, my mother—
Kim: Reall? I’m top of the list?
Sequoia: Um, yeah. This is my acceptance speech.
Kim: Dumb. Silly. I like it.
Is that the new tagline?
Kim: Dumb, silly, I like it? Yeah.
Sequoia: Yeah. Nope. That’s about it.
Sequoia: Just two hot idiots.
Kim: Two hot idiots.
Ah, I figured we would step back into your territory some more.
Sequoia: All right.
I assume that you’re familiar with what might be the most famous fanfic or at least one of the most notorious My Immortal?
Kim: Mm. Mm. I’ve heard of it.
Kim: Once or twice.
Sequoia: I’ve dabbled.
Kim: Oh man. Yeah. I don’t know if ‘refusing to cover it for several years and then doing a month long over of Potterless’ is ‘dabbled’ but it’s okay.
Sequoia: Yeah. We did a five episode streak of Potterless covering this because Mike was like “let’s do like, we’ll do like three episodes” and then we could not shut up.
Kim: Would not shut up about Hot Topic mostly.
Sequoia: Would not. Um, but yeah, we have, uh… I think the fan fiction community has a lot of, you know, love for this absolute disaster of a weird, wonderful story. So…
Sequoia: So do we.
Kim: Oh yeah.
Now there might be some newer fans a saying who haven’t heard of My Immortal. Do you wanna give a less than five episode rundown?
Sequoia: Kim? I’m gonna give that to you.
Kim: Ooh. Okay. Um, so My Immortal is a kind of a… oh man. I don’t even know where to start. Oh dear. My Immortal is a story about an original character, uh, whose name is mostly, usually Ebony.
Kim: Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way specifically. And she, uh, has a lot of… dramatic relationships with the students of Hogwarts and they go to a lot of, uh, emo band shows and then they fight Voldimort and there’s some time travel in there. Uh, and they wear a lot of really cool outfits that have, um, Billy Joel’s face on them a lot of the time.
Sequoia: Yeah, yeah. Or Gerard Way. There’s a—
Kim: Or Gerard Way.
Sequoia: —a lot of mention of Gerard Way and—
Kim: A lot of leather…
Sequoia: A lot of leather…
Sequoia: There’s some lace too. There’s lace or there’s leather.
Sequoia: Um, and, and, and mostly things that you would find at Hot Topic in the mid-2000s, yes.
Kim: Yeah. Cause the characters, all of them, Harry Draco…
Sequoia: All of them.
Kim: Ebony, they’re all goffffffffs.
Sequoia: They’re either goffs or they’re preps.
Kim: Yeah. Dumbledore’s a prep.
Sequoia: Yeah. Important to note: Dumbledore’s a prep. So it’s, it’s a world in which, you know, you live in this dichotomy, are you a goff? Are you a prep?
Kim: Mhm. You could also be a poser. Could be a poser.
Sequoia: You could also be a poser.
Kim: But that means you’re a prep at heart.
Sequoia: Yeah. You sleep in coffins. You are a vampire…
Kim: And I think the, the, the… one of the biggest parts of the fan fiction is kind of the… I mean, you can’t talk about the fan fiction without talking about the author’s notes, cuz the author is as much a part of the story as the actual story is…
Kim: She’s on her own journey—
Sequoia: She is.
Kim: —with her friend and there’s… just a lot of silliness. And the kind of overarching question is, was this written seriously or is this parody? I think that’s one of the biggest questions.
Sequoia: It feels like really sort of deep parody—
Sequoia: —when you really get down into it.
Kim: Yeah. There’s a lot of well-timed misspellings that make things really funny or just like word substitutions.
Kim: It’s beautiful.
Sequoia: It is really re—it’s really wonderful. Um, it is really gross. So like…
Kim: Yeah. I mean it’s beautiful and wonderful except for the gross, problematic parts.
Kim: Like most things we cover from the early 2000s.
Sequoia: There are gross, problematic points. And like if, if listeners were interested in reading it, I would definitely look up what the triggers on it are first.
Kim: Oh yeah.
Sequoia: Before, before you go into it. That is my only note.
Kim: Yes, for sure.
I want it to be in earnest so badly.
Kim: I—we’ve covered some stuff that I think skates closer to the ‘maybe earnest’ line than My Immortal does. My Immortal is so over the top that it is obviously parody. But we’ve covered a couple, you know, like, uh… I don’t know. I can’t think of any of ’em off the top of my head. We’ve we’ve covered some that are more—that are to maybe not parody.
Sequoia: Yeah. But in the same vein.
Sequoia: There was a lot of this, like we all shop at Hot Topic, everybody in this story is a goth. That’s like, that was a thing that we were doing in fan fiction at the time. Yeah.
Kim: Oh yeah.
So I mentioned this because Tianna and the Cliffhangers dedicated a significant period of time to My Immortal. They did a reading, which you can download from their BandCamp, and they also wrote an entire album about it titled “Fangz to Raven.”
Sequoia: Yes. Honestly, you sent this link over and I was like “That is actively the greatest album title of all time.”
Kim: It’s really good.
Sequoia: And then I downloaded it and was like “excuse me about these song titles!” Incredible.
Kim: I think there’s not a part of it that’s not incredible. The cover art—
Sequoia: It’s all great.
Kim: —the songs themselves
Sequoia: The songs themselves!
I feel like they really did capture the, uh, My Immortal energy. It was wonderful.
Sequoia: Yes, yes.
Yeah. On the whole though, I don’t think there is a lot of wizard rock based on fan fiction. More on, you know, canon or the musician’s own headcanons.
Kim: They’re, they’re semi separate spheres, it seems like.
Kim: They’re related obviously. We’re all…
Kim: We’re all expanding fandom and fanon and that kind of stuff.
Yeah. Sort of sibling…
…spheres. But I was wondering since you are the fic experts— Does it strike a terror in your heart when someone calls you ‘professional’ or ‘an expert’ by the way? Cuz that gets me every time.
Kim: Yes. It does. Break out in a cold sweat.
Sequoia: Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah.
But as the fic experts—no take-backsies— do you have a fic you might recommend to spark something for a wizard rocker.
Sequoia: I mean, I think it’s, you know, it’s… there’s a lot dependent on what it is that you’re looking for. I think that like if you’re looking to write a whole album such as this “Fangz to Raven” album, which is incredible. You want something that’s probably got a lot of, uh… a lot of characters, uh, a little bit on the longer side. We, on the podcast, we read stuff that’s a little bit on the shorter side. But if I’m looking into our back catalog, we read this story called “Harry and Mione’s Horcrux Hunt.”
Sequoia: Honestly like in the, sort of that same vein of, you know, this kind of ridiculous…
Kim: Over-the-top silliness?
Sequoia: Over-the-top silliness and you, like, do like a genre album in that space, “Harry and Mione’s Horcrux Hunt” is great. And there’s, I think a lot of, uh, a lot of opportunity with the way that the characters are written in that story.
Was that the one with the chili dogs?
Kim: It was.
Sequoia: Yes. It was.
Yeah, I can see that being a uh…
rich vein of chaos to plumb for music.
Sequoia: Yeah. Write a song about the chili dogs. You can write a whole song called “Loveada Kedavra” that’s all about the explosion of love from Harry’s chest that just, like, dissolves Voldimort. You could write a song…
Kim: I had another suggestion. Instead of a fan fiction, you could listen through our back catalog and then write about our version of Blaise.
Sequoia: Which actually we have found…
Kim: —has some grounding. We found a few fics that are our Blaise.
Sequoia: Yeah. So maybe that’s something that we are piecing together…
Kim: Because it’s trendy.
Kim: What was the other one we did recently… Uh… “Those Crafty Slytherins…”
Kim: Those kinds of fics?
Sequoia: And you get kind of this very sort of like dramatic Blaise character.
Kim: I want an album from Blaise’s perspective and maybe, maybe we have to write it, Sequoia.
Sequoia: Maybe we do, for Blaise and the Icons.
Kim: It’s a shame you have me as a partner. Totally tone deaf. What’s music.
Well, that’s the nice thing about wizard rock. We have no barrier to entry.
Sequoia: Right. Yeah. You could just make stuff in the space. It’s really cool.
Kim: Yeah, it is.
My Slytherspouse frequently says he’s completely tone deaf and he released two EPS last year.
Sequoia: What? That’s awesome.
So I’m just saying, Blaise and the Icons can do anything.
Kim: Just set our minds to it.
So aside from writing your first wizard rock album, what are you all working on these days? Anything exciting coming up for the pod?
Sequoia: Um, no, we just did… So we just did a big, like, livestream extravaganza—
Sequoia:—for hitting a Patreon benchmark that we were looking to hit. And so that’s up on our YouTube channel and that was a lot of fun.
Kim: It was.
Sequoia: That’s sort of the last sort of bigger project that we did and we end up doing something…
Kim: Big and stupid.
Sequoia: Yeah. Like once a year-ish. So we might, we might not have anything cooking for a little bit as, as far as like off of our regular schedule, but we’re always reading fan fiction. Constantly reading fan fiction and trying to bring you the choices to bits.
All right. It’s time for the last music break. Which also means your last chance for bonus prediction points.
Got your shipping brain on?
Kim: Never, not even once. In my life. For anything.
The songs are “Beste Freudin” by Voldi and the Morts…
Sequoia: I’m gonna go Grindewald/Dumbledore.
Kim: That was what I was thinking too.
You all align a lot. Is it cuz you read the same fics or…?
Sequoia: Yeah. It’s cuz we’re the same person.
Kim: We got one brain cell
Sequoia: between the two of us.
“Don’t Make Me Ride That Bike” by Split Seven Ways [lyrics]
Sequoia: “Don’t make me ride that bike?”
Kim: Is there any—look we have never read the Harry Potter books. Is there a character who rides a bicycle? I literally don’t know.
Sequoia: Well there’s the motorbike.
Kim: Oh, okay.
Sequoia: Uh, there’s a oh no.
Sequoia: I’m gonna go with Bill slash Fleur.
Kim: Huh, I like that. I’m gonna go with Wolfstar.
And “No Matter How Far” (I’ll Still Love You)” by Talons and Tea Leaves [lyrics]
Sequoia: I’m gonna go Hinny.
Kim: Huh. Ronmione?
Sequoia: Yeah. I I… that felt like it had to be one of the big two to me.
Thank you so much, Kim and Sequoia, for talking with me about fandom siblings that are fic and wrock. Where can listeners find you online?
Kim: Thanks so much for having us. This was really, really fun. Um, you can find both of us on Fanatical Fics and Where to Find Them semicolon. No. Colon a Harry Potter Fan Fiction Podcast. Can’t do anything in one take.
Sequoia: Semicolon! It’s just [incomprehensible]
Kim: That would be against the rules. Where pods are cast and also on the soc. meds. at Fanatical Fics. [twitter] [instagram] [facebook]
Sequoia: And you can find just me on my podcast, But Make it Scary where we take romcoms, we rewrite them into horror movies. And that is uh, But Make it Scary on any podcast catcher and at But Make it Scary on soc. meds.
And before you go, I wanted to let you know the final results of your bonus prediction points.
You did amazing.
Kim: Zero-zero. Zero-zero. Zero-zero!
So, “Us versus Them” is Luna-Ginny.
Sequoia: That’s a good ship.
Kim: That’s a great ship.
“Pomona” is Sprout and Hooch.
Kim: So close. I like, I like, I like um…
Kim: Nope. Uh, no, the other one.
Kim: This is gonna be a great day.
Sequoia: Pa- Poppy Pomphrey?
Kim: Yeah! Poppy slash Hooch. Something about the like sporty one and the, you know, the healer. I don’t know.
Kim: It speaks to me.
“Wizard Date” was Seamus and Dean.
Sequoia: Oh! That’s a great ship.
Kim: That’s a great ship.
“Beste Freudin” is Lavender and Parvati.
Sequoia: No, that’s a great ship. Yeah. I’m sorry.
Kim: No, every ship is great. We’re just going to say that about everything because that’s another one of my faves.
“Don’t Make Me Ride That Bike” is Wolfstar.
Sequoia:You did it!
Kim: Got one!
And “No Matter How Far (I’ll still love you)” is Fleur and Bill.
Sequoia: Dang it!
Kim: You were close. No you weren’t.
Which means Sequoia got no points—
Kim: Uh huh.
—and Kim got one. So—
Kim: Hell yeah.
—Kim wins all the bonus.
Kim: Hell yeah!
Sequoia: You deserve it.
Sequoia: We both did spectacularly badly.
Kim: Do you have like a ships playlist for us somewhere that we could find?
You mean besides the one that’s going on this episode?
Sequoia: I suppose yeah.
Kim: I suppose that’s what I mean.
All right magical friends, you know the drill. If you heard a song you loved, check it out on the transcript at WZRDRadioPod.com. Consider buying it to support the artist. Without our wizard rockers, we wouldn’t be here.
And once you’ve finished binging Fanatical Fics, come tell me your favorite episode! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok or leave a comment on the transcript, or email me at WZRDRadioPod@gmail.com.
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And now, here’s the debut of Blaise and the Icons!
Sequoia: This is the Fanatical Fics theme, by Blaise and the Icons, which is just mostly TK.