|Long before British metal legends Iron Maiden picked up on the concept, a pack of hungry Huntington Beach, CA-based teenagers, collectively known as Leatherwolf, pioneered and perfected the heavy metal Triple Axe Attack - documented via a trifecta of critically acclaimed and much worshipped '80's scorchers. The eponymous debut EP, expanded to a full-length LP, entitled "Endangered Species" for international release, and a pair of stunning albums for Island Records, "Leatherwolf" and "Street Ready" (yielding the MTV videos "The Calling" and "Hideaway," respectively), saw the band flying the flag of decidedly European-styled metal amidst a sea of formulaic L.A. and Orange County contemporaries.
After a lengthy self-imposed break, the band's classic line-up resurfaced in 1999 with a storming live album, "Wide Open," which went on to sell well over 10,000 copies without the support of a label or extensive touring, underscoring Leatherwolf's enduring appeal among metal enthusiasts. The band also made a triumphant return to Europe by special invitation with a one-off gig at the prestigious Wacken Festival in Germany.
Regrouping in 2006, the nucleus of guitarist Geoff Gayer and drummer Dean Roberts emerged with a new line-up, including former Crimson Glory vocalist Wade Black, to once again turn the metal world on its ear with "World Asylum," the band's heaviest effort to date. Fusing familiar lupine trademarks with a modern-day edge, commanding vocals, and ten-ton hammer sonics, courtesy of Danish studio whiz Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Rob Rock, Destruction) who was brought in for the mix, "World Asylum" impacts with the force of a head-on crash and exhibit the group's superior knack for powerful, anthemic songwriting that's always separated these SoCal men from the boys. "World Asylum" earned top marks in major publications such as Rock Hard, Aardschok and Heavy!, and Leatherwolf played a much celebrated gig at the Bang Your Head!!! Festival alongside In Flames, Foreigner, Helloween and others (documented on the BYH 2006 double DVD). Closer to home, the band also helped kick off the festivities with a blistering set at ProgPower VII in Atlanta, North America's premier indie heavy metal event.
Coming full circle in 2007, Leatherwolf were once again kicking out the jams in classic formation, with a returning Michael Olivieri leading the charge and Carey Howe completing the vaunted Triple Attack Attack. The band completed a whirlwind fall tour of Europe, which included a headline appearance at the 9th edition of Germany's Keep It True Festival, and issued a re-worked version of their acclaimed 2006 comeback disc, titled "New World Asylum," with Olivieri on vocals.
Going from strength to strength, Leatherwolf brought in new lead guitarist Greg Erba in the spring of 2008 who joins founding members Olivieri, Howe and Roberts alongside long-time band friend Patrick Guyton on bass. "We are all excited about this new line-up and the possibilities it holds," enthuses Olivieri. "More than anything, we're looking forward to hitting the road and really kicking some ass on stage. I think live is where it's always been at for us and this group of guys can definitely deliver the goods! We'll see you out there."