White Wizzard

Last updated
White Wizzard
Jake Dreyer.jpg
Background information
Genres Heavy 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.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Contents

History

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:

Metalcore is a fusion genre combining elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk, that originated in the late 1980s. Among other styles blending metal and hardcore, such as crust punk and grindcore, metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages conducive to moshing. Other defining instrumentation includes heavy guitar riffs often utilizing percussive pedal tones and double bass drumming. Vocalists in the genre typically perform screaming, more popular bands often combine this with the use of standard singing, usually during the bridge or chorus of a song. However the death growl is also a popular technique within the genre.

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.

Heavy metal subculture

Fans of heavy metal music have created their own subculture which encompasses more than just appreciation of the style of music. Fans affirm their membership in the subculture or scene by attending metal concerts – an activity seen as central to the subculture, buying albums, in some cases growing their hair long, wearing leather jackets and t-shirts with band names and logos and most recently, by contributing to metal publications.

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]

Demo (music) song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release

A demo is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format, such as cassette tape, compact disc, or digital audio files, and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, producers, or other artists.

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

White Wizzard is a demo by heavy metal band White Wizzard released on October 13, 2008. It was re-released to the public as High Speed GTO in 2009. The cover art of the album was done by Derek Riggs, who also created the famous Eddie mascot for Iron Maiden.

Holy Grail is an American heavy metal band, from Pasadena, California, formed in 2008.

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.

Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.

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.

Line-up

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]

Timeline

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] These influences include melodic guitar riffs combined with aggressive drumming and wailing or singing vocals.

Discography

Studio albums
EPs
Singles

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