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White Wizzard is a Californian Heavy Metal band that, simply put, came 30 years too late for the party. And that's awesome.

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:

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