|Disgusted with the current state of screamo/emo metal dominating the club circuit, bassist Jon Leon scoured musicians available ads around the country for members who shared in his vision of playing NWOBHM-inspired metal. Leon makes it clear that he's a man who knows what he likes; "There is nothing like a 2 guitar attack in standard tuning with a driving bass, smooth drums and a killer metal singer that you can sing along to." For White Wizzard, it's almost as if the '90s never happened - they have no truck with any modern-day metal trends, For White Wizzard, there is only true, heavy metal, as pure now as it was back in the days of its inception.
After securing a lineup to pursue his musical direction, one important step remained. With such an unexpected sound, the band had to choose a band name that was equally as inspired. "Out of the list of names, it just felt like the right one" says Leon. "I wanted something epic that screamed "'80s metal" without being too cheezy." When the decision was finalized, they chose a name that would immediately set the tone for what the band, the music and their image would be all about. In the summer of 2007, White Wizzard was officially born.
In the fall of 2007 White Wizzard recorded 7 songs for a self-titled EP that would be released in mid-2008. The band commissioned original artwork by Derek Riggs, long-time Iron Maiden artist and creator of the band's famed mascot, Eddie. They also filmed a video for the EP's opening track, the anthemic "High Speed GTO", featuring an array of witches, 1980s charm and one sexy, black convertible. The vintage styled video was entered into the 2008 Action on Film Festival where it took home an award for "Best Music Video".
Just as the wheels were starting to turn in White Wizzard's favor, the band suffered some unfortunate setbacks at the time before the EP's release. The band booked a number of west coast dates to celebrate the release of their self-titled EP. Unfortunately over the course of those dates, it became apparent to Leon that the band could not continue on the way that things were headed. While already explosive in a live setting, Leon wanted even more out of a White Wizzard show. He wanted each member to have the same feelings shared by those who watched Iron Maiden's early pub shows. To accomplish these, Leon needed a different mix of chemistry within the band and ultimately decided to part ways with the lineup -including original singer James Luna- that had recorded the EP.
In a short lull while looking for new members, during mid 2008 Leon was contacted by Earache Records who had begun looking for young acts who encapsulated the vintage NWOBHM spirit for a 2009 compilation called Heavy Metal Killers. Based on the strength of "High Speed GTO" and its accompanying video, Earache offered Leon a spot on it. Inspired by this newfound opportunity, Leon doubled his efforts to find new members. With a better feel on who would be the right fit for the band, the newest and current lineup of White Wizzard was assembled; Wyatt Anderson (vocals), Eric Kluiber (guitars), Chad Yasuhara (guitars), Jesse Applehans (drums) and of course, Jon Leon (bass/guitars). To test the chemistry of the new lineup, Leon gathered everyone into the studio to work on new material. That material was quickly recorded and road tested. In the end, everything clicked and the band was signed to Earache Records in February 2009.
With a great electricity now surrounding them, White Wizzard finally acquired everything they had needed to reshape the face of what metal is in 2009. By going back to the past for inspiration, White Wizzard has come up with something fresh for today's audiences. Underneath the surface of brutality that dominates the scene today, there's an underground that has clamored for the type of music and the kind of experience that only White Wizzard can provide. As Jon Leon passionately states; "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 anymore - nothing that inspires them. I think we can change that."
White Wizzard's debut High Speed GTO mini album featuring the original line-up is due for summer '09 release on Earache Records. The as-of-yet untitled debut full length album featuring the brand new line up will be released through Earache Records in late 2009.