White Wizzard

Last updated
White Wizzard
Jake Dreyer.jpg
Background information
GenresHeavy metal
Years active2007 (2007)–2018 (2018) 2019 (2019)–present (present)
Labels Earache, White Wizzard Records
Associated acts Witherfall, Holy Grail, Overloaded, Cellador, Midnight Reign, Gypsyhawk, Monument
MembersJon Leon
James J LaRue
Devin Lebsack
Will Wallner
Mikey Dean Gremio
Past membersWyatt "Screamin' Demon" Anderson
Lewis Stephens
Joseph Michael
Jake Dreyer
Giovanni Durst
James-Paul Luna
Tyler Meahl
Jesse Applehans
Peter Ellis
Erik Kluiber
Chad Bryan [1]

White Wizzard is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2007. The band has released one demo, one EP and four albums, Over the Top released in 2010, Flying Tigers released in 2011, The Devil's Cut released in 2013 and Infernal Overdrive released 2018. [2] [3] [4] [5] The end of the band was announced on Facebook by Jon Leon on April 24, 2018. Jon Leon announced he was reassembling the band on Facebook on March 26, 2019.



White Wizzard was formed in Los Angeles in the summer of 2007, [6] as Jon Leon's response to the "angsty" and "screamo" music [7] that dominated the heavy metal scene at the time:

I saw so many old school metalheads at these summer festivals, but what else is out there? Who else can they look forward to seeing after they leave the show that can really give them the same thrill? They're all still here, but there's nothing in today's scene that moves them any more - nothing that inspires them. I think we can change that.

In late 2007, White Wizzard recorded its self-titled demo, White Wizzard , which would be released in mid-2008. [6] The band also filmed a music video for the demo's opening track "High Speed GTO", [8] which won the award for Best Music Video in the 2008 Action On Film Festival. [9] [10] Although the band was doing relatively well, artistic tensions within the group led to the 3 other members quitting, who went on to form a similarly styled band, Holy Grail. [11]

During mid-2008, Leon was contacted by Earache Records and asked to put the song "High Speed GTO" on Earache's compilation album Heavy Metal Killers. [8] [12] Motivated by this opportunity, Leon doubled his search efforts and eventually formed the second line-up of White Wizzard. They released their EP at this time.

White Wizzard has worked exclusively with Producer/Engineer Ralph Patlan since 2008. [13]

On March 9, 2010, the band released its first full-length album, Over the Top .

The band toured North America with Korpiklaani, Týr, and Swashbuckle in January 2010. [3] The North American tour was followed by a short UK tour with Edguy in March 2010, which began at Hammerfest II. [5] White Wizzard had its live debut with its third line-up - featuring Michael Gremio and Lewis Stephens - at the famous Download Festival in June of that same year, opening the Ronnie James Dio stage on Sunday. [14]

In March 2010, White Wizzard was nominated for Best New Artist in the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2010.

On October 5, 2010, Earache Records presented the band's new single, Shooting Star, on YouTube. [15] It was also released as a 7" Vinyl Single. This is the only White Wizzard release with vocalist Peter Ellis.

On September 19, 2011, the band released its second full-length album, Flying Tigers . This album was with vocalist Wyatt Anderson.

In April 2013 Earache Records announced White Wizzard would release a third album titled "The Devil's Cut". The album featured the stable line-up of Jon Leon, Giovanni Durst, Will Wallner, Jake Dreyer and Joseph Michael. [16]

On the 18th of March 2014 the band released the single "Marathon Of Dreams" via their new label White Wizzard Records; it featured Jon Leon on lead vocals and Devin Lebsack on drums. [17]

On April 1, 2016 White Wizzard released its new single "Break Out".

On April 24, 2018 Jon Leon announced the immediate end of the band on Facebook; "So unfortunately I have to announce that White Wizzard is over. There will be no more albums or live shows." [18]

On March 26, 2019 Jon Leon announced on the White Wizard Facebook page that he was reassembling the band with past member with plans to do a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new album.


The first incarnation of White Wizzard was hastily assembled and featured bassist Jon Leon, vocalist James-Paul Luna, guitarist James J LaRue and drummer Tyler Meahl. [6] After releasing the EP, Leon and the rest of the band disagreed on what musical direction to take and split apart. [10] Jon reformed the band with a second incarnation featuring vocalist Wyatt Anderson, guitarist Erik Kluiber, guitarist Chad Bryan and drummer Jesse Applehans, though he was succeeded by Giovanni Durst after a short while. [6] [10]

James-Paul Luna, James J LaRue and Tyler Meahl formed Holy Grail in 2008. [19]

In April 2010, it was announced that guitarist Erik Kluiber had been replaced. At the same time vocalist Wyatt Anderson also left the band. The new line-up was revealed on June 8, 2010, with Michael Gremio, formerly of Nebraskan power metal band Cellador on vocals and Welsh guitarist Lewis Stephens replacing Kluiber. [14] Michael Gremio is the only White Wizzard vocalist not featured on any of their releases.

By September 2010 the lead vocals had been taken over by Peter Ellis. [20]

On February 2, 2011, second vocalist Wyatt Anderson returned to the band, replacing a departing Peter Ellis. [21]

On June 27, 2011, the band announced that it had parted ways with Wyatt Anderson once again. [22]

On September 8, 2011, Jake Dreyer was selected to become the band's new guitarist. [23]

On May 1, 2012 British guitarist Will Wallner joined the band just days before a show in Tokyo, Japan.

On August 1, 2012, the band released the song "Torpedo of Truth" with a new vocalist Joseph Michael (Midnight Reign, Peppermint Creeps), [24] cousin of the late Ronnie James Dio. [25]

In October 2013 while on tour in the UK Jon Leon fired Joseph Michael after he and the other bandmates called him out on theft of band funds.

[26] On October 9, 2013, White Wizzard was dropped by Earache Records [27] and the next day, Giovanni Durst, Will Wallner and Jake Dreyer made statements announcing their departure from White Wizzard. [28] [29] [30]

On March 18, 2014 the band released the song "Marathon of Dreams" with Jon Leon as new lead vocalist and Devin Lebsack on drums. [17]

On December 1, 2015 White Wizzard announced the return of High Speed GTO guitarist James J LaRue.

On or around July 25, 2016 the band welcomed back singer Wyatt "Screamin' Demon" Anderson and announced a new album to be released in 2017 called Infernal Overdrive. The album was released on January 12, 2018.

On April 23, 2019 Jon Leon released an official press statement regarding the band and the new lineup, which features former members Mikey Dean Gremio on vocals, James J. LaRue on guitar, Will Wallner on guitar, and Devin Lebsack on drums. [31]


White Wizzard

Musical style

White Wizzard is notable among many heavy metal bands for drawing influence from older, traditional heavy metal bands [32] such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Dio [7] , and is often considered part of the new wave of traditional heavy metal. These influences include melodic guitar riffs combined with aggressive drumming and wailing or singing vocals.


Studio albums

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<i>Over the Top</i> (White Wizzard album) 2010 studio album by White Wizzard

Over the Top is the debut album by the American heavy metal band White Wizzard released on February 8, 2010 in Europe and March 9, 2010 in North America, through Earache Records. The limited edition was available for pre-order on the Earache Records US webstore until February 8, 2010.

<i>White Wizzard</i> (EP) 2008 demo album by White Wizzard

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<i>Flying Tigers</i> (album) 2011 studio album by White Wizzard

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