Hello magical friends, and welcome to episode 65 of WZRD Radio. I’m your hostwitch Bess and we’re kicking off this year with an extra special guest: Lauren Fairweather! They are such a joy; I’m so glad they agreed to talk with me.
I can’t wait to share our conversation with you. First, however, it’s music time.
This is The Weirdos Are Out with “I Said No.”
That was “I Said No” by The Weirdos Are Out [lyrics], “It’s Not Malfoy Manor” by Draco and the Malfoys [lyrics], and Hawthorn and Holly singing the How Airplanes Fly classic “Leave You Behind” [lyrics].
Let’s get to that interview!
Welcome to the show, Lauren Fairweather! I am so excited to talk with you today.
Lauren: I’m excited to be here! Thank you so much for having me.
I am really looking forward to hearing a little bit of wizard rock history from your perspective. I’ve talked to Draco and the Malfoys recently, as well as someone who just joined this year, and I love getting everyone’s different viewpoint on the genre.
Lauren: Yeah, we’ve been through a lot of ebbs and flows over the years, <laugh>, so it’s, uh, depending on when people came in at you get a completely different picture, I imagine.
You really do. So let’s start there. Tell me a little about your history with wizard rock.
Lauren: Yeah, so I found Harry and the Potters initially on, um, do you remember on like LiveJournal where you could list a song at the bottom of every post that you made? Um, somebody that I was reading their posts had “Save Ginny” in the song that they had linked to their post. And I was like “I need to look this up immediately. Well, how do I not know what this is <laugh>?” So that was in maybe 2004. It was a real.. it was very early. 2005, maybe? Um, and so as soon as I found them, I was very, I was just very excited <laugh> about the entire thing. There weren’t a lot of other bands at that point, so I just kind of, you know, I followed them on MySpace, I believe, at the time, and just kind of… and I didn’t think anything else would come of it.
I just, like, listened to their music and enjoyed it. And then I saw that they were touring and they were gonna be near me. So I went to this show in, at, uh, the Red Lion Cafe in, at Rutgers University, and I just… I was blown away. I loved it. Um, I had always been really into music when I was younger and I had kind of the mainstream picture of what music was. I, I listened to the radio, I assumed that you had to get a record label to sign you on in order to do anything. And just finding these DIY musicians who were doing a super nerdy, super weird thing for relatively small audiences at the time was just very exciting to me. Not just the Harry Potter element, but the fact that they were these musicians who just decided to do a thing and they didn’t need anybody to tell them it was okay.
And so I started going whenever they were in the area. Um, I saw them play a couple times and one of the times I happened to bring, um, my best friend with me—Nina—and she, she played instruments and I did not. So I was just kind of silently hoping that she would wanna start a wizard rock band with me, and she did. And, uh, the Moaning Myrtles became a thing and here we are, <laugh> years and years later, still a part of the community. It looks different now, like I said. But yeah, that was how I found it all.
So whose idea was it to start the— who openly broached the idea first to start a band?
Lauren: I let Nina <laugh>. I, I, I slightly manipulated her into, into maybe possibly wanting to, and, and I mean, I, I brought her hoping that she would bring it up and she did. Um, because I didn’t wanna be that person who was like, I must find someone who could play the instruments because I couldn’t. I could only sing and write. So she— yeah, I waited until she brought it up, but I was <laugh>, I was a little bit motivated by the hope that she would want to, when I brought her to the concert with me.
How did the band name happen? It doesn’t follow the structure we think of as traditional wizard rock for the early days.
Lauren: Yeah. Um, at the time they were maybe a handful of bands already. Um, Draco and the Malfoys, obviously the Whomping Willows, um, Hermione Crookshanks Experience. So there wasn’t that much of a formula yet. It was, there was a little bit of a variety, The Parselmouths obviously. And we, I think we thought we wanted to pick a character and Hermione was already taken and you know, we were just like weird nerd kids, so we wanted something funny and just kind of not your first choice, <laugh> not most people’s first choice. And we thought that with Myrtle there would be a lot of opportunity for interesting storytelling and for comedy, um, but also a lot of drama. So it kind of worked out really well for us. Um, we did run out of ideas pretty fast and had to start getting creative about what our songs were about. But yeah, that’s kind of where it, where the conversation was headed in the beginning. That’s where why it landed on Myrtle.
Did you have alternatives? Was it possibly, you would’ve become the Argus Filches or the Fortescue Ice Creams?
Lauren: No, I mean, at the time it was just pick something and get your MySpace name and <laugh> hope that nobody else does the same thing at the same time. There was a whole drama fest because there were two Hermione and the Grangers or something like that. Everybody, it was just quick, just pick something quick. <laugh>. But yeah, we both, we both liked that idea. So I don’t, we never really entertained other possibilities.
My patrons had so many questions when I said you were coming on.
They’re very excited as, as I was. The first one was, do you have a favorite key to play or to write songs in?
Lauren: Yeah, I find that I kind of start in G most of the time, but I, I really heavily use the capo. So I, I kind of start there and usually it’s not in my range when I just start writing the songs. Um, I just go for kind of what my fingers remember the easiest. Um, and then from there, once I start getting a melody laid down, then I can start putting the capo on, which can very quickly turn it into any key I want, but I can keep playing the same chords. Eventually I end up sometimes moving the chords to some other key just so that it’s easier cuz the higher the capo gets, the harder it is to play <laugh>. Uh, but that’s kind of where, where it starts. A lot of them are either in G or C or D without the capo.
I wish I had enough music knowledge to have an intelligent follow up question on that.
But I’ve got nothing.
Lauren: Yeah? It’s cool.
So another patron wanted to know, have you ever considered, or would you ever consider writing a book about your experiences in wizard rock? Maybe you know, the early days of fandom, what it was like being a musician, a tour story?
Lauren: I don’t know. Um, I, I feel like if you took all of the YouTube videos and all of the social media posts and all of the blog posts that I’ve written over the years and put them together, you ki… I kind of already have. They’re just, it’s just scattered all over the internet in different media formats. And so I don’t really, I don’t know if there’s anything that I feel like I need to share that I haven’t already, but I guess if, I mean, if there was a demand for me to put all of that in one place, I’d probably would sooner do a YouTube video about that sort of thing. Maybe put it all in one in one place or in a playlist or something like that. Do maybe a YouTube video series. I don’t know, I… if I were to write, I think it would probably be some sort of fiction.
Um, I don’t really… Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if a book <laugh>, if a book makes sense as a medium. I prefer probably, you know what? I feel like writing a book just takes too long and I’ve gotten really used to the immediate gratification of putting things on the internet and getting a response right away. Um, I really like how interactive that can be because people can respond to it right away and you can talk to them after. And I think having to wait like a year or more to have something published would be just, just too much for me. <laugh>,
I fully get that. I love creating the podcast episode and then it’s out there and it’s done.
Lauren: It’s so nice. It’s really, we’re lucky that we have this kind of technology at our fingertips. It allows us to share things and find our people and all of that. I’ve, I’m very grateful that we have it, for sure.
Absolutely. So you might not want to write it yourself, but if your, you know, collected thoughts were gathered and someone were interested in creating, you know, a book of essays or or ghost writing something, would you be interested in that?
Lauren: Um, I dunno, I guess it would depend on who it was. Um, I’ve been in a couple of books, just like done large, longer interviews with people who have ended up publishing that. They tend to mostly be academic texts, but I don’t know if the right person wanted to do that and I, I could help, um, I feel like that would be pretty fun, be a fun project. I, I just, I feel like it would be weird if it were just centered on me though. I feel like that would be better represented by a bunch of people in the community because like you said, everybody’s got sort of a different perspective that they’ve come from and everybody has such an interesting creative artistic sense that they bring to the community and yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if it would want, if I would want it to just be me.
That’s fair. So we talked about your favorite key, my patrons were also wondering about your writing process. Is it different when you’re doing it with a full band versus you and your guitar?
Lauren: I pretty much, aside from the Moaning Myrtles which I always wrote with Nina in person, for the most part, all of my solo music starts just with me and my guitar. And then later I bring in other people for the full band stuff. And usually that’s done kind of separately where I just tell a bunch of different people “ey, do you wanna play this instrument on my album? Here’s the deadline, are you available?” Then they kind of send it to me all separately. And then… it seems like, um, most of the creative, like layering of everything I’ve been having, I’ve been paying other people to do in more, I, I would say more recent years, but it’s been probably the last decade or so I’ve been letting other people mix and master my music, which has been nice because it, I, it’s not something that I feel like I do a good job with.
And so that’s been really cool because I sent them all these individual pieces that were recorded all over the world and just separately and by different brains. I let you, know, the keyboard person, uh, Mike Stein is the person who’s been playing most of my keyboards lately. He’s amazing. Um, just like let him write his own keyboard parts. I just give him what I’ve got and then he layers something on top of it. And same thing for the drummer, for the bassist. And it’s just kind of fun to see what everybody puts together. And then whoever is mixing and mastering it decides how much to keep from each piece that gets brought in. And one really cool thing that I got to do, um, there is this amazing sound company called Rain Audio that did the sound for a lot of LeakyCons over the years. And one of their, um, people who actually worked in the back and ran the monitor, his name is Justin Abel, he had seen me perform a couple times and usually the sound folks at conventions don’t really talk to us, they just do what they’re, do, they do their job as well as they can, and then we don’t see them again.
And so after a few years of working with Justin backstage, he said “have you ever thought about doing an album with a full band?” And I said “well, yeah, I, I, I kind of do, but we all like, you know, send in our pieces separately and that’s about it.” And he said “when you play up there with your acoustic, I hear like an orchestra behind you. I can, I can hear what it would sound like.” And he said “I have a studio. If you ever wanna work together, let me know.” And I took him up on that. I ended up deciding to still record myself because I like having control over it. Just like in my home studio. I don’t get as anxious or nervous that I’m messing up because it’s just me and no one else, no one else can hear it. I I just send in what’s good.
But we raised the money so that he could take all the pieces and turn them into something and that’s what happened with “With You Whatever Happens.” That’s, that’s why that album sounds the way that it does because he took all these extra pieces that I sent him that were pretty disconnected and he turned them into art. And I, I, I still can’t believe that what I sent him turned into that because you can tell he really put a lot of thought and effort into it. He added extra things. He took some pieces of way, which is something that I don’t really think that much about. I just kind of throw everything into a document and listen to it all together and go “that sounds good.” And he, there were parts where he just took out, he took out the guitar in some places and that’s like, that’s like the whole thing when I’m writing it, it’s just me and the guitar. And, um, it’s just very cool to hear what somebody who does this all the time for a living with all kinds of different bands, hear what he was hearing when he saw me up on that stage. And I was just so grateful that I got to work with him, that we raised enough money to be able to pay him and all of that stuff. That was a really special experience for me.
What an incredibly cool thing to happen.
Lauren: I know I felt so lucky. I <laugh> I just kinda assume when I perform with a professional sound company backing me up that they’re weirded out. That’s just kind of in my default. That they’re just doing their job, they’re getting paid. I assume they don’t enjoy what they’re hearing because everybody likes different types of music and what we do is a little weird and not everybody gets it. And just to have somebody who does this all the time, who listens to all these other bands and works with so many different kinds of bands to, to hear what I was doing and to single me out and say “I wanna work with you,” that just like, it was not what I was expecting. <laugh> my bar is, is very low though, as far as if you don’t fall asleep while I’m on the stage asking for more vocals in my monitor, you’re doing a great job, <laugh>. That has happened before. But yeah, that was, it was just a great experience to get to work with him.
So it sounds like maybe the other musicians and this audio person, like, create their own sections. Like you don’t go to them and say “I want you to play this for these parts.”
Lauren: Yeah, for the most part, if I have like an idea of what I want it to sound like, I usually communicate that to them ahead of time and then they keep that in mind when they’re writing it. I send them the chords so that they know what I’m playing and then they kind of fill in what’s happening around that. In more recent years, I’ve been thinking more about how much I send to each person. So for example, it makes a lot more sense for most of the instruments to record on a track that has real drums. So I usually get the drummer in there first, and then I send the other musicians the pieces with the, with the real drums in there instead of just like a little click track, which is what I record up against. And then I redo the vocals once I’ve heard everything.
Because it’s amazing how different your performance turns out when you can hear what the song actually sounds like, not just imagining it or just playing with an acoustic guitar. So yeah, it’s, it’s a collaborative process, but it’s also a solitary process because a lot of people are adding things separately. I’ve never really played with a band where everybody is riding on the fly or helping each other in person. Pretty much the only time I play with a band is when everybody’s already practiced their stuff separately and come in together just to make sure it works. But yeah, it’s kind of cool the way that the internet has allowed us to work on that together.
And writing with Nina was significantly different from this because you were in the same space at the same time.
Right. If, if I had an idea for some lyrics or a melody, she would think of some piano parts that would go underneath it. Or if she had an idea for a piano part, she would start playing it and we would improv over that and see what stuck. And at the time we were in high school… when we were in high school together, we could, you know, really easily get together after school and write. And it got a little bit more difficult when we were in college. We would have to drive to find the other and go work on things. And then the one exception was Nevertheless I Persisted, which I wrote up in Rhode Island and sent to her in DC and we wrote that kind of over email and then practiced it right before we did our reunion tour with Harry and The Potters, um, a while back. And, uh, so that one, that one we wrote from afar, <laugh>. uh, But most of our music we wrote sitting in the same room together. And that was always really fun. That was probably why we started the band in the first place because we enjoyed working on stuff like that together.
Okay, music break time. Here’s “Parseltongue 101” by Wrackspurt!
That was “Parseltongue 101” by Wrackspurt!, “A Slytherin Point of View” by RiddleTM [lyrics], and “D Alley” by Harry Slaughter.
Back to the interview.
Now, lately you have been branching out into sharing your journaling and stationary interests. How did this happen?
Lauren: I, I mean, I’ve loved journaling since I was a little kid, and it was always just kind of a private thing that I did. And, um, over the years as I’ve discovered different online communities, one of the communities that I discovered was the journaling community. And I really loved getting to see pictures of what people were working on. And it opened up a whole world for me. And, um, I, you know, since the internet has existed, I’ve always tried to find ways to share my creative pursuits with the internet and with the people who are kind of all over the place and who like the same things that I do. And that just happened to be one thing that I liked. I guess it started for me on my YouTube channel where I was, I started out posting wizard rock songs on my YouTube channel and then started video blogging about concerts and things that I was going to.
And then I realized that that was a place where I could share pretty much anything I was working on and see what did well and what got a good response. And I made a couple of videos about journaling and those did really well. And I always am very grateful <laugh> that the people who follow me on various platforms stick with me because I do post about a lot of different kinds of things and I assume not everybody will be into everything that I’m posting. But I mean, when you have a YouTube channel for 16, 17 years, I don’t, I don’t think that you’re going to continue with any individual thing for that long. I think the reason why I have been doing it for so long is because I’ve had so many different kinds of creative pursuits that I can alternate between. I don’t, I never really get tired of of it because I can always just shift what I’m posting about.
And then this year I was having kind of a, I I’ve been pretty frustrated with the YouTube algorithm lately, just finding that I can’t really reach even the people who have signed up to reach me. Not even talking about growth, just trying to get my content out there to the people who wanna see it. People were complaining that they hadn’t seen anything from me in a while and I was still posting. so I don’t know why that is <laugh>. Um, so I just kind of, after thinking about it for a while, thought it might be interesting as least as an experiment to, to start a new YouTube channel just about journaling. What would happen if I <laugh> instead of putting everything in one place and potentially having it not be interesting to everybody, I would just have one place that I could post journaling content. And so I started a YouTube channel called Journal Sunshine earlier this year, and it’s been going really well.
It, it’s more consistent and less of a surprise to people, I think, because the videos are all basically on the same topic. So that’s been, that’s been something really fun. And one way that I’ve pulled in my music into that is when I was starting to do announcements, uh, for my latest album, Peaches and Plums, which is about The Magicians, I started handwriting little bits of lyrics that I was teasing to people before the songs came out. And so I was posting those on Instagram and that was really fun. That was like an interesting Venn diagram of my interests at the time.
Do you have any particular pen or favorite notebook for music writing?
Lauren: Ooh. Um, when I’m writing songs, I like to have a very big notebook, which is kind of the opposite of when I’m journaling. I like to journal on small pages because I think you can fill them up faster and it’s more, um, satisfying to get a notebook filled up than have to feel like you’re writing a ton and you don’t even, like, you haven’t even made a dent in it. But when I’m songwriting, the more paper the better. So I like a big maybe, hmm, 8 ½ by 11 inch or a larger giant notebook because then when I’m writing just like lyrics, I can have space for chords and I can put extra rhyming words in the margins. And yeah, I usually just write with a, just like a tiny black gel pen because it gives me lots of space to, um, to write. My favorite gel pen at the moment is the Uniball One. It’s really, really like super pigmented and very smooth and it dries like immediately. It’s really nice. <laugh>
That feels like the perfect segue for the next question, uh, which is, you’ve seen the highest highs and lowest lows and everything in between for this community, and we still have new members coming all the time. What advice would you have for new wrockers?
Lauren: Oh man, the same advice that I’ve always given them, which is just do it, just start. There are people in this community who had never done any music before and just started wizard rock Bands. And that energy and that enthusiasm is so wonderful and it’s, it can be very easy to compare yourself to others and to say “I’m not as good,” but there’s something that you bring to the table that nobody else can. And if you don’t start writing or start recording or any of that stuff you’ll, you’ll never get to the point that you wanna be. Um, you, you are always just going to be wishing that you had, and… I’ve written plenty of songs that are, you know, I don’t perform them anymore for a good reasons. <laugh>, I’ve gotten better than that. Um, I have improved a lot since then. And at the same time, there are songs that I wrote really early on that I still perform that I love. and you know, at that time it was kind of random <laugh>. Some of them, some of them are gonna be good, some of them are not.
You can also always improve a bad song. I have a really hard time with, like, the blank page where I have nothing to work off of. No ideas. That’s the hardest thing for me. But if I sit down and I write a bad song on purpose, I can always make it better. I can always say “Ooh, those lyrics are not great.” I will just start with that. Get a good melody, get some interesting chords going, and then come back to the lyrics and I’ll write them over again and I’ll come up with something better. You can always make a bad song better, but if you never start, you’ll have nothing to work with. You just gotta do it. And it’s so much fun.
And even if you don’t end up wanting to post it, because you don’t have to post everything that you write. If you do decide to post it and get out there, like I, I love that. I love that there are new people popping up all the time and everybody’s different and everybody’s got something interesting to bring. It’s just, it’s a wonderful thing, this community that we have. And there, there’s really not a lot of pressure to be a certain way. Just be who you are and do what you wanna do, and if you wanna share it, we’re here.
That’s the perfect summary for this community, I think.
Lauren: Yeah, I mean, look at the Hungarian Horntails. They’re adults now, but at the time, <laugh>, which blows my mind. Um, but at the time they were just, you know, screaming things and running around and making noises on their guitars, and it was just like that energy, that wild energy. If they can do it, anybody can do it.
Longtime listeners, which is weird to say, but we’re going on three years now. Longtime listeners will know I like to get like a practical or technical advice as well, you know, a a favorite vocal exercise or something they might not automatically think of in terms of recording or practicing.
Lauren: Hmm. I have to think about that. I would say like, use the internet as a resource as much as you can. Not just in trying to figure out like what kind of equipment to buy, but also in learning how to use that equipment. I, I’ve had, so I’m recording right now on the Blue Yeti USB microphone just because it’s easy to plug it in and, um, that’s not usually what I record my music on, but I recently was in a situation where I needed to record music on it. It was the only option that I had. I use it for voiceovers from a YouTube channel mostly, but I ended up like looking up a blog post about how to record music with it and found that there were settings I didn’t even know it had. And so I would say like, use, use the resources that you have. Take advantage of the fact that the internet is full of people who know what they’re talking about. And so when you wanna learn about something, it’s really good to just like jump into that pile of knowledge and figure out like you can, you can learn so much. And I feel like that’s a really good resource for people who maybe are just starting to record and had never done it before or whatever that might be. I don’t know if that’s super technical <laugh>, but when you don’t know how to do something, there’s gonna be a tutorial out there for you.
Perfect. Everything I know about podcasting, I learned from the internet.
Lauren: Yeah, it’s, it’s amazing what’s out there and you do sometimes have to rifle through a bunch of stuff that doesn’t apply to you, but, you know, there are a lot of people who spend a lot of time, myself included, just making resources for people and putting them out there for free. It’s, it’s amazing. You just have to find it.
What about, since you have experience with this, uh, how booking tours happens?
Lauren: Ooh! So when I, I booked my first tour in 2008, I wanna say. Um, I had been waiting for other wizard rock bands to invite me on tour and they never did. And so I just said “you know what, I know they’re doing this themselves. I feel like I can figure it out.” You know, I have this web presence and so I can always point people to that. And so initially I was waiting on, like, I, I reached out to other wizard rock bands just asking like, “hey, what are your favorite venues to play at? Where do you think I could get booked?” And um, so some of them answered and I started a list basically of places that I knew other wizard rock bands had performed in because I knew that those venues were aware of the phenomenon <laugh> at the very least. And then I basically just opened up Google Maps and I measured kind of what I thought was an okay driving distance for each day.
And I started where I live and I just kind of drew a line and picked a city that I, I knew had some sort of wizard rock fandom presence in it and figured out like, how long would it take me to get there. And then I, I wrote out a list of like potential date—potential city that like I knew I could physically reach if I were driving in a car. And then I basically looked up as many coffee shops, libraries, small music venues, existing wizard rock venues that I knew of in that city and looked on Google and tried to see if I could find any more anything that had a contact email address that I could reach out to… because I didn’t know, like if, I guess professional tour bookers probably have some sort of network, um, or way to reach out to those people and I didn’t have access to that.
So anywhere I could find that had an email address that I could reach out to. And then I just sent emails. I just said “Hey, I’m looking to be in your city on this day and we’re doing a this tour and this is what my music sounds like. Would you be able to host a show?” And I sent out probably 700 emails. It took a while because I didn’t know who would bite, and not that many of them wrote back to me, but it was enough that I had eventually had like a two week tour put together.
Um, it was called the Accio Bodyguard Tour because it was me and Lena Gabrielle and we were nervous that we would, you know, end up in unsafe situations <laugh>. So we wanted to bring a bodyguard with us. We did not, we were terrified, but it turned out really great.
It ended up being something that was so scary, that I was so nervous to do that I just put off doing for so long. But I, I was so glad that I finally did it and it was really fun. It ended up working out okay. We had, like, two disasters, one of which was a venue closing before we could actually physically reach them. So we had to cancel one show and then, um, our car battery died and we missed one because we had to wait for AAA to come and get us a new battery <laugh>, but that wasn’t so bad! Of all the things that could have happened. We made it work out and yeah, that was, that was what we did. We just emailed—I figured out the math of where, how far I could drive. I didn’t wanna drive more than like five hours in a day and I measured with Google Maps how far it would take and I, I planned it all out and I just emailed places. It gets easier after that though because then you have places that know you and they usually… you either know whether they wanna rebook you or not, depending on how well the show went. <laugh>
Wow. 2008 Google Maps.
Lauren: I know. Yeah, it’s still, still is a great way to do that. You just wanna make sure you’re not making your drives too long, because if you get in trouble somewhere and you get stuck, you don’t wanna end up missing more than one show. We only missed one the day that our car broke down <laugh>.
That sounds like a success. I—
—the venue closing.
Lauren: Yeah, that was a bummer. That happens sometimes. Um, just bad timing. When we left for the tour, it was still open and then three days before our concert, they were, they emailed us like “yeah, sorry, we can’t do it.” <laugh>
Lauren: But yeah, but it happens.
But that sounds like an amazing primer for other wizard rockers considering their first tour.
Lauren: Yeah! Yeah, it was, uh, it was something I didn’t think I could do alone and I, I ended up doing it and it was great and yeah, and I didn’t, I wasn’t, uh, alone once we got there I just, I booked it by myself. Um, and then I found, found a friend who wanted to go and that was really fun.
And we’ve talked a little bit about, uh, your varied interests in the new YouTube channel, but what are you working on now?
Lauren: Yeah, I would say that’s probably my main thing that I’m focusing on creatively at the moment. Um, I still play shows occasionally. Covid has made it so there are less of those <laugh>, but I got to play at a wedding recently, which is really fun. Some of my best friends got married and invited me to be there, and that was, that was very cool. I got to play LeakyCon over the summer, which was really nice because I had missed it so much. And, um, I’m going to be on the, uh, actually when is this airing? January?
Lauren: Um, I was on the Wikipedia Compilation Club for December. Did a Avery Marshall tribute, How Airplanes Fly. And uh, that was really cool to get to be a part of cuz I got to hang out with Avery in Orlando at LeakyCon and he’s amazing. So <laugh> I was really excited to get to be a part of that. Um, but yeah, I basically, I’m working a full-time job and I have a kid now and I, when I have time to do creative things, I basically just get to decide what I wanna, what I wanna work on, what am I most excited for, what projects do I have or deadlines that I have that I’ve set for myself and just, you know, do what I want. If I wake up and I have an idea for a song, I can work on it and that’s really, really nice. I have less time than I used to to be able to do that since I’ve started working more of a traditional day job. But yeah, I am on YouTube and Instagram a lot these days and that’s kind of where most of my creative things get put. <laugh>.
Do you have any big upcoming plans for the stationary channel or another, uh, Magicians album or another fandom entirely?
Lauren: I don’t know. I mean, I, I write songs very slowly these days. Um, usually they’re spaced out like one or two a year when I get an idea and the time to sit down and write it. But with the last Magicians album, I just, I actually had a two week break where I was going to be on vacation and then at LeakyCon and both got canceled because of Covid and so I, I could have given those days back and just worked and I decided “you know what? I’m still gonna take that time off and I’m going to just sit down and write the rest of this album.” And so sometimes that sort of thing happens very quickly. Um, I don’t usually plan it out super far in advance and so there isn’t something that I’m currently working on like that, but it could happen at any time. <laugh>
Um, I would love to write more Magicians music. That’s the fandom that I, where my heart is currently and it’s slowing down because the last season aired in 2020, so the, the fandom is getting smaller, people are moving over to other fandoms and I probably will at some point find something else that I wanna write about. I loved Our Flag Means Death and I also loved the new League of Our Own series and so I would, I mean, if something pops in my head, I would, I would write a song about any of those fandoms. I would love that.
I look forward to seeing what happens.
Lauren: Yeah. <laugh>
Tea break! You have three songs worth of time to get the kettle on, then Lauren and I will finish up our conversation. Here’s “Ravenclautistic” by Bisexual Harry.
That was “Ravenclautistic” by Bisexual Harry, Potter Ink and “Letter to Harry,” and Totally Knuts with “I Look Good” [lyrics].
“I Look Good” was a special request from my magical patron Lan, who send their congratulations to TK on queering every single character in the series.
I hope your tea is ready and you’re back in your seat, because here’s the last bit of my conversation with Lauren Fairweather.
Thank you so much for talking with me today. This has been a joy.
Lauren: Thank you!
Where can WZRD listeners find you online?
Lauren: Lots of places, so, um, I’d recommend following at LaurenFairwx on Instagram. That’s where I post most often. Um, I’m also on Twitter, but who knows <laugh> what will happen with that, um, same username. And then I have two different YouTube channels now, so my main one is Lauren Fairweather, um, youtube.com/LaurenFairweather and then the stationary and journaling channel if you’re into that sort of thing. Fountain Pens, all of that. Um, that one is called Journal Sunshine youtube.com/JournalSunshine. And I do post Journal Sunshine things on my main Instagram that kind of gets a little bit of everything so you can keep in, in touch with me about all the stuff that I’m working on. And I mean, I’m, I pop up in other places. I’m on TikTok sometimes… I, those are the ones that are the most consistent though, and if I post in other places, anything notable, I usually will let people know in those, at least on Instagram and sometimes on Twitter, what’s happening where.
And your music is on BandCamp, correct?
Lauren: Yep, it’s, uh, LaurenFairweather.BandCamp.com. It’s also all on Spotify, aAple Music, pretty much anywhere you can get music. I have music there, um, both as Lauren Fairweather and as the Moaning Myrtles.
And you, I don’t know if you still do, but you used to have an Etsy for the Fairweather Friends?
Lauren: Yeah, I haven’t been on there in a while. Um, and I don’t know what I’m gonna do with that, but I have been working on some new designs. Um, mostly I’ve just been selling them at like conventions and things like that, but if I end up with enough of an inventory to open an online store, I probably will. I don’t know if it’ll be on Etsy or if it’ll be somewhere else, but, um, I’ll let you let you know on the other, the other social media platforms, if I end up reopening that. It’s pretty fun. I like having lots of different creative outlets and sometimes certain ones go quiet for a while. I like that I have that freedom that I can, I can abandon something for a bit if I’m not super into it.
That makes a lot of sense. I am slowly learning how to do that myself.
And did you mention your website?
Lauren: Yeah, my website is, it’s more of a like kind of archive of the things that I do because I don’t, I don’t update it super often, but it’s LaurenFairweather.com. The most notable thing that you can find on there is the chords and lyrics to all of my songs. So if you wanna learn how to play them or just hear what I’m saying, uh, you can go over there and that’s, that’s a place where you can find all of that.
And I find that very helpful for my transcription purposes.
Lauren: So do I honestly, because I forget… sometimes I forget. So whenever I’m about to play something I haven’t played in a while, I look up the chords there.
If 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.
If you want discounts on WZRD merch, the inside scoop on everything that’s coming up, and bonus gifts and episodes, then you want WZRD Radio’s Patreon at Patreon.com/WZRDRadioPod. It’s just two muggle dollars a month and also supports the Yes All Witches grant as they give money and mentorship to queer and BIPoC wizard rockers.
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 Lauren Fairweather!
Lauren: So I am going to play a song that is from my Magicians album, Peaches and Plums. But the reason why I picked it is because I think it will apply to Harry Potter fans just as much as it applies to wizardrRock fans. Um, and it, it’s called “Escape” and it’s a song about how when you find the book or the series that speaks to you, it helps you kind of get out of your own head for a while. And that’s really important to have sometimes. Um, I think that’s a feeling that a lot of us fandom folks can relate to. Um, and it’s one of the reasons why I love The Magicians as a series so much. Um, it was written by an author named Lev Grossman who actually attended a bunch of LeakyCon events and I had met him ages and ages ago through that. And so his books have a lot of fandom related themes in them, and so it just seemed like a good fit for me to start writing songs <laugh> from those characters’ perspectives. And this one’s from Quentin’s perspective, if that means anything to you, <laugh>.