PRETTY MUCH EVERY MEMBER OF WHITE WIZZARD LEAVES THE BAND
In what must surely earn the entity known as White Wizzard some sort of record, this week has seen the departure of pretty much every band member – again – leaving (at the time of writing) only bassist and sole founding member Jon Leon and drummer Giovanni Durst in the line-up.
It would be the understatement of the century to say that it’s been a bad week for White Wizzard.
(Though a rather good one for lovers of salacious metal gossip and ooh-blimey behind-the-scenes drama.)
Vocalist Joseph Michael, the band’s fifth(!) frontman since WW formed in 2007, either quit or was fired earlier this week in the middle of their current UK tour amid accusations that he’d pilfered a fan’s backpack. A veritable peatbog’s worth of mud was flung between Jon Leon and Michael in public on Monday but, suffice to say, the upshot of the whole episode is that the singer is done with White Wizzard.
Then it was revealed on Wednesday that White Wizzard had parted company with Earache Records, the label which has released everything they’ve put out since their High Speed GTO video charmed the pants off all and sundry in 2008. Elements of the press reported that they’d been dropped but Jon Leon’s spin on things is that the band have ‘chosen’ to go independent. Who knows?
Though maybe I should’ve put the word ‘band’ in inverted commas above, because guitarists Wiill Wallner and Jake Dreyer both threw in the towel today, issuing statements through the WW Facebook page. Wallner said:
“I am sad to announce I am no longer a member of White Wizzard. I will not get into the petty argument between Jon Leon and Joseph Michael…As proud as I am of the music we created I am equally pissed at how the tour and band ended.
“I am even more pissed for support band Monument who got screwed out of a tour because of our unprofessional attitude. I am pissed for the people who donated to the bands indiegogo campaign. The money was meant to help the band tour and now that band does not exist.”
Dreyer kept things more succinct. He said:
“Hey all WW friends and enemies,
It is time for me to get off this ship. “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. “ –Edgar Allan Poe. I bought the ticket and I took the ride. Thanks for the memories!
Despite repeatedly hammering F5, there was no statement from either Leon or Giovanni Durst at the time of putting fingers to keyboard but, well, what a week, eh pop-pickers?!
Can the band bounce back from such an exodus? Yeah, probably. Alarmingly White Wizzard, which, remember, has only existed since 2007, has already worked its way through three drummers, five vocalists and six guitarists. So it’s entirely feasible that Leon will yet assemble another line-up.
To drift off topic for a moment though, if the band forges ahead but somehow doesn’t call its next album The Ship of Theseus, I’ll be rather put out.
In the meantime, White Wizzard is meant to have a show in Norwich on Monday 4 November. Ladbrokes hasn’t issued odds about whether they’ll make it or not, so feel free to speculate in the comments…
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