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In 2007, Jon Leon set out to remind the people of the Earth what Nu-metal and Metalcore genres seem to have forgotten: that heavy metal is about rocking out and having fun. Forming the original four-man lineup with himself on the bass guitar, Leon and Co. have released a self-titled and self-published EP in 2008. Soon thereafter, however, the band suffered creative disagreements incompatible with continued existence, so Leon fired everyone, who then went to form Holy Grail.
Reforming with a five-man lineup (though the drummer Jesse Applehans soon had to leave, too), White Wizzard signed in with the Earache Records label and re-released their EP under the title High Speed GTO in 2009, before recording their first studio album, Over The Top and going on tour in 2010. After finishing the tour, the guitarist Erik Kluiber and vocalist Wyatt Anderson left the band to pursue their own projects (or were simply fired). Michael Gremio (of Cellador fame) and Lewis Stephens replaced them for the upcoming Download Festival.
In case you missed the pattern, the vocalist changed again in September 2010, with Peter Ellis (previously involved with the band The More I See) replacing Gremio. Peter Ellis left the band in February 2011 because of organizational difficulties, with none other than Wyatt Anderson making a glorious comeback. And the Fandom Rejoiced... though not for long. Just a couple months later, Anderson left again, with Gremio returning as a stand-in singer on the on-going tour.
The second studio album, Flying Tigers, was released in September 2011. Recorded with just Leon (playing all the guitars), Anderson (before he left), Durst and the band's producer Ralph Patlan participating, Flying Tigers turned out to be a semi-Concept Album. Its first six tracks are unconnected songs but the second half (Starman's Child) follows an overarching plot written by Leon, which involves Ancient Astronauts, Alien Invasions, and humanity turning on its secret masters, with the Backstory additionally explained in the lyrics booklet.
The current band lineup is:
- Jon Leon (bass guitar, lyrics, composition)
- Michael Gremio (vocals)
- Giovanni Durst (drums)
Former members include:
- James-Paul Luna (vocals, the first lineup)
- James J. LaRue (lead guitar, the first lineup)
- Tyler Meahl (drums, the first lineup)
- Jesse Applehans (drums, the proto-second lineup)
- Wyatt Anderson a.k.a. Screaming Demon (vocals)
- Erik Kluiber (lead guitar, the second lineup)
- Chad Bryan (rhythm/harmony guitars)
- Peter Ellis (vocals)
- Lewis Stephens (lead guitar)
Stylistically, the band follows the formulas of the traditional heavy metal legends like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Blue Oyster Cult, Dio, etc., and doesn't take itself too seriously, marking a refreshing change from all the angsty screamo metal out there. If you are a metalhead, go buy their album. Heavy metal is not dead, no matter what they say. And as long as there are bands like this out there, metal will never die.
In case you are looking for their lyrics, see the band's Encyclopaedia Metallum page.
The band and their songs provide examples of following tropes:
- All Your Powers Combined: The band summons the White Wizzard by putting together the split parts of the W amulet in the music videos.
- Ancient Astronauts: Starman's Son explains that alien Energy Beings are responsible for transforming primitive apes into the first humans.
- The Band Minus the Face: Inverted. Leon stayed while the rest of the original lineup had to go.
- Beam-O-War: How the Witch and the White Wizzard duke it out in the "High Speed GTO" video.
- Breaking the Bonds: In the "High Speed GTO" video, James-Paul breaks his shackles after receiving a metal buff from his comrades.
- Concept Album: Flying Tigers is half-this.
- Cool Bike
- Cool Car: The topic of "40 Deuces". Also featured in "Over the Top" video.
- Cover Version: The limited edition of Over the Top included covers of Cloven Hoof's "Gates of Gehenna" and Judas Priest's "Heading Out To The Highway".
- Heavy Meta: "Out of Control".
- Hell-Bent for Leather: The band's default outfits are ripe with leather.
- A Hell of a Time
- Hot-Blooded: Most of their lyrics.
- Mascot: The eponymous White Wizzard, a horned white-bearded Cool Old Guy from their album covers. Bonus points for having been originally designed by Derek Riggs, the creator of Iron Maiden's Eddie the Head.
- Metal Scream: "Heading Out To The Highway" opens with one. Well, duh, it's a cover of a Judas Priest song...
- The Nth Doctor: The band lineup changed so often (with Leon being the only permanent member), they can be considered an example.
- Number of the Beast: Referenced in "Strike of the Viper", among other Satanist messages.
- The Plague: The "virus" that killed the original alien masters of mankind in Starman's Child back-story.
- The Power of Rock: The "Over the Top" music video provides apt illustration of what it is all about.
- Revolving Door Band: Three years of existence, one album released, and eight former members thus far.
- Rock Me, Asmodeus
- Rousing Speech: "Over The Top".
- Self-Titled Album: The first EP.
- Start My Own: The members of the original lineup went on to form a similarly-themed band, Holy Grail.
- Stylistic Suck: Their music videos.
- Ten-Minute Retirement: Kinda. Kluiber was fired from the band in January but came back two weeks later.
- Up to Eleven: Calls to "crank it up to ten" are common in their lyrics. Maybe, in the next album...
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Two zeds in "Wizzard", just for the cool of it.