Chuck Billy (vocalist)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2010)|
With Testament at Skogsröjet festival, Rejmyre, Sweden, 2012
|Birth name||Charles Billy|
|Born||June 23, 1962|
|Genres||Thrash metal, Death metal, Heavy metal|
|Associated acts||Testament, Dublin Death Patrol|
Chuck Billy replaced Steve "Zetro" Souza, future Exodus vocalist, in the mid-1980s when the band was still called Legacy. Following his arrival, Testament released their first album entitled The Legacy in 1987. The only song written by Chuck Billy on The Legacy was "Do or Die". Although the lineup of the band has changed over the years, Billy has remained constant as the vocalist alongside guitarist Eric Peterson who also was an all time permanent member. However, his vocal style has changed considerably over the years from a clear, high pitch thrash style to a deeper low register approaching a death grunt. Since the Low album, he has mixed both styles and sometimes performs both on the same song.
Prior to Legacy and Testament, Billy was the guitarist of a local metal band called Guilt. No records by the band exist, but they recorded one demo in 1984.
Chuck has also appeared on the solo projects of James Murphy, playing on both albums as a guest musician. He also has sung lead vocals for Exodus during at least one concert recently (October 28, 2004 at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, opening for Megadeth).
In 2006 Chuck Billy provided vocals on the Sadus song "Crazy" and, along with several other musicians from other bands, did a cover of Iron Maiden's "Fear of the Dark" for their Numbers from the Beast tribute album. On Light This City's 2008 release, Stormchaser, Chuck Billy provides vocals on the song "Firehaven."
In 2008 Chuck Billy did the vocals for Silent Night on the album of Christmas carols We Wish You a Metal Christmas and Headbanging New Year with the likes of Scott Ian, Jon Donais, Chris Wyse and John Tempesta.
For the live presentation of the album Ziltoid the Omniscient by Devin Townsend, he provided the voice of the Planet Smasher on the track of the same name. This happened at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2010 in Helsinki.
Chuck Billy is of the Pomo Native Americans, an indigenous people of Northern California. He is proud of his Native American heritage, sometimes giving a shoutout to his "Native brothers and sisters" in the audience. The song "Trail of Tears" is a tribute to his heritage, as are "Allegiance" and "Native Blood". In 2010, Chuck Billy was among those recognized in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian exhibit Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture, which was on display through January 2, 2011.
In 2001, Chuck Billy was diagnosed with germ cell seminoma; a rare kind of cancer in his case because it is usually in the testicular region of a man's body, but he had it in the chest region near his heart. However, following chemotherapy, he has since been given a clean bill of health and continued his work with Testament. In August 2001, friends organized the Thrash of the Titans benefit concert, held to raise money for Chuck's medical expenses.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Biography: Testament". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- Atkinson, Peter (February 13, 2007). "Testament Frontman Is Hoping To Record 'Really Brutal' New Album". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- "Testament Frontman Featured In Smithsonian's National Museum Of The American Indian Exhibition". Blabbermouth. August 20, 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- "Testament Singer Talks About Beating Cancer". Blabbermouth. May 2, 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2010.