White Wizzard

Thrash Metal / Rock from Los Angeles California
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White Wizzard

since circa 2007
WHITE WIZZARD takes us screaming into 2010 with OVER THE TOP, the debut full-length of the new Los Angeles-based traditional heavy metal act. Led by bassist, band founder and visionary, Jon Leon, WHITE WIZZARD consists of some of the finest young musicians that live and breathe true heavy metal. Joining Jon Leon are vocalist Wyatt "The Screaming Demon" Anderson, guitarists Erik Kluiber and Chad Yashuhara, as well as the band's newest member, drummer Giovanni Durst.

Magazines as diverse as Classic Rock and Skater bible Thrasher both concur - both equally sing the praises of this new NWOBHM-inspired HM band:

" Over The Top doesn't sound dated at all. Like all the best NWOBHM this crackles with livewire enthusiasm; it's blissfully naïve, delightfully underproduced and impregnated with a deep-rooted affection for the music.."
Classic Rock 'Album of the Month'- January 2010.

For too long, melodic, fist-pounding traditional heavy metal has been a lost art. As the world has grown darker, so has its metal. Singers have been replaced by generic growlers, backbeats were overtaken by a blur of blast-beats. Even the HM fans' wardrobe essential of denim and leather was seemingly out-fashioned by whatever clothes the trendiest band had been wearing that week. For years, traditional metal has been looked upon in reverence, while simultaneously being treated like some relic of an era gone by. However, change is afoot. The air is different and the skies are clearing up. That can only mean one thing - WHITE WIZZARD has been summoned to lead the glorious charge for traditional heavy metal once more.

WHITE WIZZARD had its beginnings in 2007 when, tired of the down-tuned, guttural metal that was becoming the norm, LA musician Jon Leon assembled a band with the stated aim to play timeless heavy metal, not glam-metal or sleaze-rock as popularised in the 80s on the LA strip scene, but proper old school Heavy Metal, influenced by the NWOBHM era classics- IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, TYGERS OF PAN TANG.

Its fair to say that the number of young bands even 2 years ago playing this style in LA numbered just one. Jon Leon wrote seven songs and recorded them as WHITE WIZZARD's demo. However the tape attracted little label interest and so the line up drifted apart. As 2007 drew to a close the band had all but disbanded due to lack of interest.

The following year, in 2008, Earache Records approached Jon Leon about using the WHITE WIZZARD song "High Speed GTO" to be used on Earache's 'HEAVY METAL KILLERS' compilation, showcasing the best in new Traditional Heavy Metal bands worldwide.

The track and accompanying video went down a storm with the growing new breed of teenaged headbangers, so Earache signed WHITE WIZZARD to the fold, despite the fact that the band was in limbo, as Leon had not yet begun the process of recruiting new band members. The original 7-song demo was released unchanged as the HIGH SPEED GTO mini-album on Earache in the Summer of 2009. The success of the release seemingly prompted the old members to regroup and form a new band themselves- Holy Grail.

Since the release of the HIGH SPEED GTO mini-album, WHITE WIZZARD have been making waves. Combining what people love about classic acts like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and DIO while playing their music in a manner that lacks parody, the band managed to gain a lot of attention as well as many important allies throughout the year.

Among them are New York City's The Village Voice, who championed the band as "leaders" of modern traditional metal, and Heavy Metal's OG and veteran DJ of the UK's Soundhouse, Neal Kay. Neal was the man who helped break IRON MAIDEN with the Soundhouse Tapes, and Kay hails WHITE WIZZARD as the best metal band he has heard in over 30 years since then. Heck, something must be up, when even the geniuses at MetalSucks.com agree - "WHITE WIZZARD take that irony and shove it up your ass".

All this however, was just a mere warning shot for what is to come in 2010. Due to hit stores on February 8th in Uk/EU and March 10 in USA, OVER THE TOP features 9 tracks of high energy traditional heavy metal anthems. Recorded by produced by Ralph Patlan (MEGADETH, UFO) at his Phoenix AZ, home studio set up, Stealth Studios.

As catchy and hook-laden as the previous effort, OVER THE TOP finds the band adding more of a street tough element to their songs (just as their NWOBHM predecessors once had). Main difference is the band is less lightweight Rock now and more unashamedly Metal. Songs like the opening salvo and title track, "Over The Top", "40 Deuces" and the anthemic "Out of Control" showcase the aggressive side of the band without sacrificing any of the sing-able, headbang-friendly ways that have become WHITE WIZZARD's trademark.

"Iron Goddess of Vengeance" is a undoubted album standout. At over 7 minutes in length, the song is a mid-paced epic and majestic call to arms. Finally, in the grand tradition of some of the most legendary acts in the world, WHITE WIZZARD has named a track after themselves. Soaring vocals, vicious guitar solos and a stunning rhythm section all accompany some of the strongest riffs on the entire album. "White Wizzard" is a perfect way to end an album with the sheer headbangability of OVER THE TOP.

It has been literally a long, strange trip for all of the recently recruited band members to join WHITE WIZZARD. For example, Detroit native, Erik Kluiber, sold everything that wouldn't fit in his truck. He simply left with his guitars, his half-stack, some clothing and toiletries. Frontman, Wyatt Anderson, a Floridian was discovered through a MySpace search which Jon Leon had conducted and in order to join the band in LA, he had to leave his family and practically everyone he had ever known behind so he can live out his dream. Each member sacrificed something, whether it be their homes, jobs, family, women or otherwise because they were fully committed to spreading the cause of WHITE WIZZARD and traditional heavy metal all over the world. "This is a dream I have been chasing since childhood," says the wailing frontman, Anderson, "to have this dream become a reality is worth all of the sacrifice in the world".

With a North American tour alongside KORPIKLAANI, TYR and SWASHBUCKLE in the horizon, as well as the band’s first UK/European festival appearances at Hammer Fest 2 and Keep It True 13, there is no telling how far the band will rise.

Traditional metal is back in 2010 and WHITE WIZZARD will undoubtedly be the band for the new generation of 'bangers and metalheads starving for true metal to hit the clubs once more. This is 100% Heavy Metal, thankfully free from symphony orchestras, all hints of "core" and "nu".

Community Events

Current Lineup

Jon Leon
2007 - present
Lewis Stephens
2008 - present
Giovanni Durst
2008 - present
Wyatt Anderson
lead vox
2011 - present

Past Members

Paul Luna
2007 - 2008
Tyler Meahl
2007 - 2008
Jesse Applehans
Wyatt Anderson
lead vox
2008 - 2010
Erik Kluiber
2008 - 2010
Peter Ellis
lead vox

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