Leatherwolf are an American Heavy Metal band that formed in Huntington Beach, California in 1981. Over their 35 year career, the band have performed on the same bills as some of the 80’s biggest bands, including Metallica and Slayer. The band quickly became famous for being one of the first bands to feature three guitar players, with fans giving them the accurate nickname “Triple Axe Attack”. After forming in the early 80’s, a teenaged Leatherwolf began making a real name for themselves in the really exciting South Californian Metal scene, which produced bands including Metallica and Exodus. In 1984 the band signed to indie label ‘Enigma/Tropical Records’ in America and released their first EP later that year. The band then signed to German label ‘Steamhammer/SPV’ who re-released the EP as a full length album entitled ‘Leatherwolf’. The band also signed to Heavy Metal America who had their rights to the album in Britain, and issued the album under the name ‘Endangered Species’.
In 1986 guitarist Matt Hurich left the band to join the band ‘Stryper’ and was replaced by Paul Carman. However this line up change didn’t hinder their career, and they soon left their former labels to sign to major label ‘Island Records’, and confusingly released a new album also entitled ‘Leatherwolf’ in 1987. The first single, ‘The Calling’ received regular airplay on MTV and the band would go on to tour regularly across the US. After the 1989 release ‘Street Ready’ the band finally their European live debut, playing at a number of European festivals and supported Japanese Rock band and fellow former Heavy Metal Records band ‘Bow Wow’ across the UK. However the band went through a number of changes both stylistically and in terms of the line up. They would later drop their trademark style in favour of a more bluesier approach with Pat Guyton replacing Paul Carman on bass guitar. However, success under the new name proved elusive as Grunge Rock was quickly becoming increasingly popular, causing Leatherwolf and many of their contemporaries to lose popularity. Leatherwolf was one of the few bands that historically many feel never got enough credit and have been ranked as one of the most underrated Heavy Metal bands of the 80’s by fans.
It was not until 1999 that the band resurfaced, where the classic line up reformed for a reunion show at the Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana, CA, which was recorded and released as a live album entitled ‘Wide Open’. Leatherwolf would also make their return to Europe with an exclusive appearance at Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. Appearances by the band since then have been few and far between, but in between many line up changes they continued to make the odd live appearance, releasing the studio album ‘World Asylum’ which received critical acclaim. The band, with a new line up, then re-released the album the following year naming it ‘New World Asylum’. There last release was their second live album, entitled ‘Unchained Live’ which was released in 2013.