White Wizzard

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White Wizzard
Jake Dreyer.jpg
Background information
Genres Heavy metal
Years active 2007 (2007)–2018 (2018)
Labels Earache, White Wizzard Records
Associated acts Witherfall, Holy Grail, Overloaded, Cellador, Midnight Reign, Gypsyhawk, Monument
Members Jon Leon
James J LaRue
Devin Lebsack
Wyatt "Screamin' Demon" Anderson
Past members Lewis Stephens
Joseph Michael
Will Wallner
Jake Dreyer
Giovanni Durst
James-Paul Luna
Tyler Meahl
Jesse Applehans
Peter Ellis
Erik Kluiber
Chad Bryan[1]
Michael Gremio

White Wizzard was an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2007. The band 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.


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]


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.

http://www.metalsucks.net/2013/10/09/earache-records-drops-white-wizzard-guitarist-explains-truth-behind-bag-stealing-incident/ On October 9, 2013, White Wizzard was dropped by Earache Records [26] and the next day, Giovanni Durst, Will Wallner and Jake Dreyer made statements announcing their departure from White Wizzard.[27][28][29]

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.


Musical style[edit]

White Wizzard is notable among many heavy metal bands for drawing influence from older, traditional heavy metal bands[30] such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Dio.[7] These influences include melodic guitar riffs combined with aggressive drumming and wailing or singing vocals.


Studio albums
  • Over the Top (2010)
  • Shooting Star (2010)
  • Marathon of Dreams (2014)
  • Break Out (2016)


  1. ^ "Cory Nagatoshi - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  2. ^ White Wizzard - Flying Tigers
  3. ^ a b "White Wizzard Prepare To Go "Over The Top" With New Album and Tour In 2010". Hot Indie News. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  4. ^ "White Wizzard on MySpace Music". White Wizzard. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b "EARACHE NEWS: WHITE WIZZARD "OVER THE TOP" OUT NOW IN EUROPE". Earache News. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Biography—White Wizzard". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  7. ^ a b "YouTube - White Wizzard Interview". YouTube. 2009-11-23.
  8. ^ a b "White Wizzard Putting Finishing Touches On New Album". Blabbermouth.net. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  9. ^ "Action On Film International Film Festival - 2008 Results". Action On Film. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  10. ^ a b c "White Wizzard". Earache Records. 2009-11-23.
  11. ^ Bennet, J. "Holy Grail: L.A. shred lords bring back NWOBHM like it never left", Decibel, No. 065 (March 2010), p. 30.
  12. ^ "White Wizzard". Encyclopaedia Metallum. 2009-11-28.
  13. ^ "WHITE WIZZARD – Over The Top". Metal Excess. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  14. ^ a b "White Wizzard Unveils New Lineup". Blabbermouth.net. June 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  15. ^ "White Wizzard 'Shooting Star' [NEW TRACK]". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  16. ^ "Century Media Records". Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  17. ^ a b Rosenberg, Axl. "marathon of dreams". Metalsucks. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  18. ^ "White Wizzard". White Wizzard. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Holy Grail". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  20. ^ "Pete Ellis Leaves The More I See To Join White Wizzard". Rocksins.com. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  21. ^ "White Wizzard Announces Return Of Vocalist Wyatt Anderson - Blabbermouth.net". Roadrunnerrecords.com. 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  22. ^ "WHITE WIZZARD Parts Ways With Singer WYATT ANDERSON". Blabbermouth. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  23. ^ "Guitarist Jake Dreyer Comments on Joining White Wizzard". Metal Insider. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  24. ^ "Joseph Michael". Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  25. ^ Metal Hammer Magazine June 2013.
  26. ^ Neilstein, Vince. "Earache Records Drops White Wizzard, Guitarist Explains the Truth Behind the Bag Stealing Incident". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  27. ^ [1][dead link]
  28. ^ [2][dead link]
  29. ^ "A new page". Giovannidurst.com. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  30. ^ "White Wizzard High Speed GTO Review - Review of High Speed GTO by White Wizzard". Jay H. Gorania. 2009-11-28.
  31. ^ "White Wizzard - Release New Album Details". metalstorm.net. October 19, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.

External links[edit]