Hostwitch’s note: I’m so sorry for mispronouncing your name twice, Chloe!
Hello magical friends, and welcome to episode 54 of WZRD Radio. I’m your hostwitch Bess, and today I’m making a new friend!
Before we get started though, don’t forget that Slytherspouse and I will be at LeakyCon, with buttons and ribbons for any magical friend who finds us. We’ll be masked and vaxxed and can’t wait to see you.
Now here’s ‘Magic is Here to Stay” by The House of Black.
Here’s my conversation with Patrick and Chloe Ament!
Welcome to the show, Chloe and Patrick Ament, the brain trust behind the incredible literary music that Chloe’s been putting out.
Chloe: Thank you.
Patrick: Hello! Good to be here.
Chloe: Oh yeah.
It’s good to meet you all. I’ve watched so many of Chloe’s videos. it’s exciting to finally get a chance to talk.
Chloe: Oh yeah. There’s definitely way too much of me out there on the internet now. <laugh>
Not at all. I’ve seen the request for Jegulus and Wolfstar. I don’t think you’re anywhere near done.
Chloe: <laugh> Oh boy.
So what got you started making music?
Chloe: Yeah, so Patrick and I grew up in a very musical family. We’ve been writing songs and just playing around together since we were super young. Like my mom has videos of like—on her Facebook of me sitting down at the piano, like, writing songs or making my little sister sing the songs cause I was just too embarrassed to share them. But yeah, I think Patrick and I got started like actually writing like seriously, like music together at the end of my senior year in high school. It was the end of his freshman year in college.
Patrick: So about a year ago.
Chloe: And I showed him a song that I had written. It was “Alternate Ending,” which is the first single we have, I showed it to him and I had like made a really rough demo of it on some app on my phone and he listened to it and he was like “wow, this isn’t, this isn’t bad.” And he was just getting into like production and stuff like that. So he was like “we, we should just record this for fun.” And I was like “okay. I mean, why not?” And he did. And we recorded it together and we realized, you know, it turned in out to be something. And between, you know, me having like a small following on TikTok and both of us just realizing like, you know, we always kind of knew our lives were headed in this direction of us doing music together, cuz that’s just always how it’s been. We decided to put it out as a single and when I advertised it on TikTok as like “oh, it was written about Shadow and Bone” or like this book or whatever, it got a lot more attention than we definitely thought it would. And we just kind of gone from there. I guess it’s… the rest is history.
I don’t think I see a lot of Patrick on the TikTok and Instagram videos that you create.
Patrick, do you do any literary music on your own or are you have to be part of the, the Chloe Ament team?
Patrick: Well, I don’t tend to write a lot… I always leave the lyrics to Chloe cuz she’s always been way better at that than me. I do more of the production side. Sometimes I’ll sit down and like help her write stuff cuz we both are, are pretty good at putting words together, but she’s way better. And she also just kind of knows the audience more. She knows the stories better than I do. She’s way better at the writing stuff, but I help out sometimes I’ll take a little bit of credit for certain parts.
How about the Marauders EP, “Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts?”
Chloe: Mm-hmm <affirmative>
Was that fully 50-50?
Patrick: Oh that was… so it was on like a song by song basis—
Patrick: —probably was different. Like um, so “Destiny” started out fully by Chloe. I didn’t really have much to do with that. Um, “Running to the Edge” was largely Chloe. But the, I would say some of the bigger ones—so, um, like “Until the End” was something that I had an idea, I had the idea for the story. I was like ”what if we did a song? And it sounded like this—“
Chloe: Yeah, that was Patrick’s brainchild.
Patrick: “—And we did it about James and Lily” and Chloe was like took a few days, thought about it was like “okay. Yeah, I think that’d be fun.” So we sat down, I came up with a really rough guitar instrumental and then we wrote it part by part. Chloe did most of the work and how it usually goes is, we’ll sit down and I’ll play it and she’ll be like “okay, now stop talking, stop talking.”
Patrick: And then she will write something out on her phone and then she’ll sing it back and it’ll be like the whole verse or like the whole chorus all worked out.
Chloe: <laugh> Yeah.
Patrick: But yeah, that was… “Until the End” specifically was actually really collaborative, which was really fun. I think that’s part of what made it really fun.
Chloe: I have, yeah, I have like a video on my phone. I like recorded us writing some of the songs just because I thought it would be funny to watch it back later because our writing process for “Until the End” was so funny. We were both sitting in our basement, which also is like Patrick’s room slash our studio. And Patrick was playing this like for the bridge of “Until the End” which is like, you know, the money maker. Patrick just kept playing that little, like riff on the piano over and over again. And I was sitting there in silence with my phone and then I’d just say like “stop, stop, stop.” And I’d like shush him. And then I’d write out a few lines and I’d say them to Patrick and he’d be like “nope” and then scratch it and then we’d start again. But yeah, it’s pretty collaborative, but it can get messy sometimes too. So…
That sounds like a fun experience though.
Chloe: Oh yeah.
I don’t get the impression that you’re particularly familiar with wizard rock as a genre. So I was curious, what inspired you to create an entire EP about the Marauders?
Chloe: So I… ever since like I got my TikTok account, which I started in like, ooh, I think like February of 2021, um, I had been like deep on like Harry Potter TikTok, Dracotok, and then eventually like Marauders TikTok, where I ended up reading the like famous fan fiction “All the Young Dudes” and I was obsessed with it just because like, I don’t know. I loved reading more about the Marauder. I loved the Marauders before I even knew that, you know, there was a whole other fan created world to them. Um, so like I had read “All the Young Dudes” and that fan fiction and then I had gotten into reading other fan fictions and over time I just like… usually I’ll just end up writing songs, I think about like whatever it is that I’m interested in. And for the longest time it was the Marauders.
Like I posting videos about the Marauder, all I was seeing on my For You page and on my like social media feeds was just Marauders content, all my friends and I would talk about it. Like it was, it was my personality for months. And after Patrick and I released our first EP Daisies, we started working on new music and I realized that a lot of the songs that I was bringing to Patrick were inspired by the Marauders. And I think it was actually Patrick who had the idea. He was just like, cuz like he always asks me like “okay, what is this song about” when we would start to work on something together? And so I told him that “Destiny” was about Remus and Sirius and then I brought him “Antidote.” That was the second one. And I told him that one was about Peter Pettigrew and then he just was like “well, why don’t we just make a Marauders EP?” Like “why don’t we just make a project about them?” Because Patrick also grew up with Harry Potter and he loved it too. So I think it was just this idea that like we both knew, like it was kind of inevitable… that like I had been in my Marauders brain rot for so long, and that was another like fictional kind of universe, instead of characters, that Patrick was super familiar with. So I think it was more like we did it to kind of like see if we could and it worked.
I think it very much did work.
And I think I noticed, uh, what you did on TikTok that the Marauders era is very big over there.
Why do you think, you know, a bunch of mid-war, 1970s, British teenagers resonates so strongly with some people?
Chloe: Yeah. So… I mean that’s a really good question cuz when you look at it that way it’s super abstract and definitely like out of left field. I think it just has to do with how much of it is created by the fans. Like when you just look at it from the context of, like, the books and when they’re mentioned in the books, there’s not much there. But because, you know, a lot of the fans have had so much to do with how it’s created, um, and like their backstory and a lot of like the lore around them. We see like a lot of the fans of Harry Potter and especially, like, ones around the younger ones in their like teen years and whatever are able to see a lot of themselves in those characters. Especially because just the kind of like premise of the Marauders is just that it’s just a found family, these a bunch of kids who are able to just enjoy their lives and run around school and have fun and pull pranks and fall in love. And I think that’s just something that a lot of people have romanticized. Um, the war part? You know, that, that gets a little messed up, but I think people also like to have their hearts broken and the Marauders story does that so well.
That’s a very poignant line. “People like to have their hearts broken.”
Chloe: <laugh> yeah. I mean, I don’t know. There’s a reason we always listen to sad songs and people love books with sad endings. And I don’t know, there’s a pattern.
I am strictly a fluff reader, but—
—I have heard that there are people out there.
Chloe: Oh yeah. I’m one of them hands down.
I, I think your, uh, just your EP title alone suggests that you’re more interested in the full breadth of the emotional experience of a human.
Chloe: That’s a pretty good point. Yeah. <laugh>
Normally I start these interviews asking people about their history with wizard rock.
But uh, as we’ve said, you come more from a, a literary tradition.
Do you have any familiarity with wizard rock?
Chloe: Honestly, no. Like my brother… I don’t think Patrick and I really knew that that was, like, a genre of music up until when we released the EP we got so many DMS that like flooded us of people being like “oh my gosh, like I can’t believe wizard rock is still a thing.” Or like “thank you for bringing back wizard rock.” And we didn’t really know what it was, but we were still like “you’re welcome.” Like “thank you!” And—
Chloe: yeah, I think we were a little bit confused, but then like on Spotify, like we have a lot of our like recommended artists and stuff. Like for people who listen to my music, a lot of them were like wizard rock. So like I think the one is like The Whomping Willows?
Chloe: And then we kinda like did a little bit of research and figured out what wizard rock was, but yeah, we were pretty clueless for a while.
Well, how do you feel about it now? Any interest in dabbling further?
Chloe: Um, a little bit. I think we’re definitely interested in, I think, figuring it out and maybe continuing… Like I think in terms of like, will we continue to write about Harry Potter and that kind of aspect? We’re not sure. Just because we don’t wanna tie ourselves down to one fandom to early in our—very small careers at the moment—but I think we we’ve already been talking about other songs that we could write for Harry Potter characters and what we would do with them and continuing to like expand a little bit on the Marauders EP, but at the moment we don’t have any concrete plans to do so.
Let’s pause here for some music. This is “Don’t Believe It” by Harry and the Potters.
So as you’ve mentioned, you give a lot of credit to Patrick for being a team in your music production.
Chloe: <laugh> yeah.
Do you find it easier to collaborate or are there parts that you prefer to do alone?
Chloe: It really honestly depends on what we’re writing about because Patrick… production wise, in terms of like the music that you hear behind my voice that is almost 100% Patrick’s ideas. I can send him the worst, most horrid voice memo of a song that I wrote and he can hear something in it and turn it into like this incredible song, which I honestly don’t understand how he does, but that part of collaboration of me sending him something or saying I have lyric ideas and then him saying “okay, I know how it should sound” That part has always flowed, I think, pretty smoothly for us. Lyrics have been a lot more, I think, a lot more difficult to collaborate on just because we’ve had two very distinct styles. Patrick wrote music before we started working together. And you always tended towards like story songs, right?
Chloe: Yeah. So he always write like, like, um, we have this one song out called “The Water is Fine” and he wrote those lyrics and they’re really good, but like that is his, his style. But I write much more emotional kinds of lyrics. Yeah. So, I mean, like when we were writing like the Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts EP, he took a lot of the lead on “Until the End” because he knew how to write a song that tells a story. Whereas I wrote something like “Destiny” and “Antidote” because those are what I’m more familiar with with like exploring an emotion around a story instead. And you know, we’ve been writing since then and there have been so many songs that we have just gotten into arguments over because—over like one line in the verse or “should this line say ‘the’ or should it say ‘a’” it’s just like a lot of really specific stuff, but we’re both writers. We both are also extremely opinionated. So I think, I don’t know. What do you think?
Patrick: I think in terms of collaboration, there are some things that we collaborate on really well, and there are some things that we work better on alone, which is probably true of most creators and most artists. Um, it’s definitely a different dynamic for me and Chloe because we’re siblings. And so sometimes we are… a lot more blunt with each other than we would be if we were just a regular producer and songwriter, like sometimes like Chloe was talking earlier, I’ll just be like “I don’t think that’s a very good line” and Chloe will say the same thing. She’ll be like “I just think you need to do better at this.” Which sounds really harsh. But because we’re brother and sister, we’re so used to that and I’ll just take it and be like “yeah, you’re probably right, I do.” And she’ll be like “okay, yeah, I’ll, I’ll see if I can do something about that line” and we’ll talk about it and we’ll sit down and we’ll collaborate together. And it’s only ever because we’re trying to make the best possible song together. And I think it’s worked pretty well. I think we’re both really proud of Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts and all the songs on it.
You mentioned that your sister was the original voice of your music. Does she or anyone else in the family become part of the process these days?
Chloe: I think that’s what we’ve been like, um, talking to a lot of our family about because ever since Broken Bodies took off, a lot of our family became just a lot more invested and just kind of like curious about it. But like for example, um, we released “Stay Right Here” featuring one of our friends, Charlie Bennett. He’s an incredible artist. And he collabed on a song with us and we were doing—we were just like recording backing vocals for it and our younger brother walked in the room and we were doing it. And we just like gave him a mic and had him record some stuff for us. But like, he’s not like, you know, a front man or anything. All of our family is musical. So we do try to take advantage of that. We’ll share demos with our parents and ask them for opinions and our dad, we’ve kind of, he’s helped us a lot with like the management aspect of what we’re doing and the businessy side that Patrick and I were not prepared for at all. And like we have aunts and uncles too, who will give us feedback on our music. It’s just overall, we go to a lot of them for advice because they know us and they know our style and they also know what we’re capable of. So just like Patrick and I don’t really hold back with each other, our family doesn’t either. And that’s the kind of advice that we definitely look for. Cuz like Patrick said, we try to create the best possible music we can at the moment.
That’s pretty amazing that you have such a convenient and, and tight knit support group for this career you’re embarking on.
Chloe: Oh yeah. We lucked out.
For people who maybe are even earlier in the process or are inspired by what you’re creating: What advice would you have for them if they want to make literary or Harry Potter particular music?
Chloe: So I’ve gotten a lot of DMS like that too. Just people asking me like “hey, like, where do you start songwriting” and stuff like that. Um, my one suggestion that I consistently give is just: even if you know what you’re writing is bad or you look at it and you’re like “this is embarrassing” or “I never wanna show this to anyone,” just keep writing because it took me probably years and years of songwriting and filling up notebooks and writing songs that I will never share with anyone for me to get to the point where I feel comfortable enough in my writing process and I know what that looks like for me. Like I think when I first started songwriting, I was really hard on myself, but Patrick gave me this analogy. It was like about installing a new sink. He was basically like “when you install a new sink, you have to kind of, um, let it run for a little bit to get all of like the muddy and dirty water out and then you’ll eventually have the clean water start running.”
So it’s just kind of this idea of like, you gotta get all the bad ideas out before you can really strike gold. And especially when you’re writing about like fictional characters, you just have to find that one part that really resonates with you. Like with James and Lily, especially I loved the story and the part of them that’s just James pining over Lily, of him like being in love with her for years and just waiting, because the amount of times that I’ve had crushes on people for years and have been so adamant… like I love that part. So like Patrick and I knew like we were definitely going to work this into “Until the End.” And with “Destiny,” the heartbreak that Remus felt when he had to, you know, watch someone, he cared about go down a wrong path in his mind, but he still loved them. You know, I’ve experienced that with friends and family. And so it’s just kind of finding ways to connect with fictional characters and really tapping into that energy and just ultimately writing what you know.
That makes sense, putting a little bit of yourself into the thing you’re trying to create.
Chloe: Yes, exactly.
I also like to get really practical advice because, you know, the encouragement is always wonderful and really helpful, but then there’s like “make sure you always hit play” or, you know, “do this particular breathing exercise” that I find, you know, concrete advice really helpful as well. Do either of you have anything like that?
Chloe: Ooh, this is a good question.
Patrick: I think I’ll give Chloe a little bit of time to think.
Patrick: Um, my advice is it’s so easy to really obsess over “is this perfect?” “Is it good enough?” “Am I perfectly in key?” “Is the instrument sounding amazing?” “Could I make this any better?” And while that’s good, while it’s really good to work your absolute hardest, you will always have something that you can see is not perfect. And if you hold onto something and you obsess over making it perfect, you’ll never put it out and then you’ll never move on to the next thing, which is often the best way to grow is to put out multiple things rather than just obsess over one. So my advice is “acccept that not everything’s always gonna be perfect.” Like for example, me and Chloe, we can listen to early music we released before Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts and be like “oh, that doesn’t sound as good as we thought it did.” But we had to do that so that we could in the future release something like Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts or a song like “Until the End.” So my suggestion, and I don’t know if Chloe has any after this, but mine, mine is to just not be as much of a perfectionist as you think.
I’ve seen a note that says anything you make will always look like it was made by you.
So you’ll always see the imperfections, but people who aren’t you will just see the incredible art that you’ve made. I think that’s, that’s what you were just—
Chloe: Oh yeah.
Patrick: That’s so true. That’s totally true.
Patrick: You’re always able to see the flaws in your own work, but if those same flaws were in somebody else’s work, you’d never notice.
Chloe: It’s really crazy, cuz Patrick and I will, we have a couple songs out that I’ll just listen to them and I will just… all that I can hear is how bad I think my voice sounds. And I will just be so embarrassed by how my voice sounds and that, but then later that day I’ll get a comment or a message or just someone will be like “oh my gosh, like I love that song.” And it’ll be the exact song that I was just hating on earlier. And it’s just so crazy that like different perspectives. Like I don’t know if it’s just because like I’m a perfectionist or because I can’t help it, but I always listen for the flaws and the mistakes in my voice. And so yeah, I agree with Patrick, definitely the, the idea of perfectionism. It’s just even when like we released Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts, thought that was the best thing we could ever create. And like, we still love it. Like that is our, we adore Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts, but like we’ll listen to it now and realize like “Hmm, this could have been better” or “I could have recorded this better,” stuff like that, just because we can’t help it.
Patrick: And just because something could be better doesn’t mean that it’s bad.
Patrick: That’s probably what I’d add. Just because it could be improved on doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth putting out or that you shouldn’t still be proud of it.
The wise older sibling.
Chloe: Oh yeah. Definitely could not be me. Definitely not.
Chloe, did you have any specifics, uh, favorite breathing exercise or warm up or recording program?
Chloe: Oh, honestly… Okay, so warmups usually, um… do them. That’s my advice, is just straight up do warmups. So when we were recording Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts, I had COVID and was recovering from COVID. So my voice was shot for like “Running to the Edge” entirely, that was so many different takes because I had COVID and then a respiratory infection and my voice was all over the place. But like, definitely just do warmups. A lot of people are just like—even with like exercise, just like physical exercises, people skip them because they’re boring. Because you’re not actually doing anything, you’re just getting ready to do something. But warmups are so important. It just… it makes the whole recording process so much easier because that way, when you’re actually recording, you’re not wasting any time. You’re not working the kinks outta your voice, you can just get right into it. So honestly, whatever warmups would look like for you, vocally, do them. It’s worth your time. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
In between warmups and obsessing over past music, what are you working on now?
Chloe: So Patrick and I have… ever since we got out of school in, like, May and even a little bit before then we have been writing for this new project. We can’t exactly tell you what it is yet, but it has consumed our summer and will continue to consume the rest of our summer and a couple weeks or months afterwards. But let’s just say is going to be probably one of the most… I don’t know, grand…iose? things we’ve ever—
Chloe: Grand—that’s a word? Maybe?
Patrick: Yeah! Yeah.
Chloe: It’s a word now, if it’s not. It’s gonna be pretty epic. Definitely a lot more literary songs to come.
Patrick: I would say that anybody who enjoyed maybe the style of Broken Bodies, Broken Hearts would enjoy the style of this project that we’re putting together now.
Chloe: Mm-hmm. We’re entering our 1989-Taylor Swift era.
I thought we were gonna get a hint there.
Chloe: We’re trying to, we, all we wanna do is talk about this project, cuz we’ve been keeping it secret for months and it’s literally killing us. But we’re holding ourselves back. I’ve been known to—a lot of like when I like livestream or just like talk to any of my like followers on TikTok or Instagram, a lot of them have started calling me the Tom Holland of my own music because I will leak everything way too soon. I can’t help it. I’m so bad at keeping secrets, but my lips are sealed for now.
I have a similar problem, so I respect your silence.
Chloe: Thank you.
So if you just felt the urge to throw any more wizard rock together…
Chloe: Yeah. Who knows?
You know, just saying. There’s time.
Chloe: <laugh> Definitely keep that in mind. Just a little project on the side there.
Patrick: We, yeah, we’re always writing songs just like for fun. So that might be fun to try.
It’s time for our final music break. This is “We Are Wizards” by MC Kreacher.
Thank you so much for talking with me today. This has been fun. And the surprise Patrick!
Patrick: It was a pleasure to be here. I’m glad I got to join you guys. This was lots of fun.
Chloe: Oh yeah we are so—this is our first podcast ever. So this is definitely gonna go down in the history books for us.
I’m honored! Where can WZRD listeners find you online?
And if they wanted to buy or listen to your music, where would they go?
Chloe: We’re in the works of launching a website, but at the moment it’s just a Linktree that we have, which should be in the bios of both of those. Yeah. We’re a little bit behind there, but… Oh, we also have our Spotify. Um, and we’re on every streaming service under Chloe Ament too. So if you wanna take a listen, highly recommend you head over there, we’re releasing a new song, um, this Friday, July 15th.
Which is the day this episode comes out. That’s perfect.
Chloe: Oh, that’s so cool.
f you heard a song today and you thought “I could listen to that again” then go to the transcript at WZRDRadioPod.com, follow the link and buy a copy of your very own. It’s the best way to support your favorite musician, and without our wizard rockers, we wouldn’t be here.
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If you want to keep up with WZRD between episodes, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok at WZRDRadioPod. If you don’t believe in social media, you can also comment on the transcript or email me at WZRDRadioPod@gmail.com.
And now, here’s Chloe Ament.
Chloe: So we chose “Until the End,” which is our song about James Potter and Lily Evan’s story; how they fell in love up until their tragic ending. We wrote it just because we wanted to kind of give them their moment. They’re an epic love story and we wanted to give them an epic song to go along with that. So we really hope you guys enjoy.