Houses Of The Unholy: Chuck Billy

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WHAT CALLED YOU TO A LIFE OF BOATING? THE CAPTIVATING ALLURE OF THE WIDE OPEN SEA? THE TRANSCENDENT COMMUNION WITH NATURE?

“Hah! No, I rode motorcycles since I was 14. I’ve been a big Harley guy since way back, but at some point my wife and I just realised that we loved the water, so rather than putting on the leathers and going for a ride on a really hot day, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to load up the cooler with beers and go listen to some music on a boat?’ This was the first boat that we ever bought. It’s a big boat and when we first pulled away, we were like, ‘Oh no, what did we just do?’ Ha ha!”

SPEAKING OF, YOU’VE CERTAINLY PICKED AN APT NAME FOR A VESSEL OF THIS STATURE.

“Yeah, the name Holy Diver is obviously inspired by Ronnie James Dio. It’s a 28ft Rinker Fiesta Vee 242 cabin cruiser. There’s a stove, microwave, shower and a queen-sized bed underneath. So we can go away and stay on it as long as we want!”

WHERE DO YOU GO?

“Where I keep it, the water can go all the way to San Francisco or Sacramento. There’s, like, 100,000 miles of waterways that you can travel through up here. So once I get in the water I can go anywhere. I can stay out for days if I want.”

SO TELL US ABOUT A TYPICAL DAY ON CAPTAIN BILLY’S HOLY DIVER.

“The first thing we did when we bought it was put in Sirius [Satellite] Radio, so we’ve got metal playing pretty much all day long, either Ozzy’s Boneyard, Hair Nation or Octane [channels]. We’ve got an icebox full of food and drinks, we’ll pack a little bit of herb and I bring my Big Chief Vaporizer out on the water. We visit this island where all the boaters seem to gather. There’s a lot of younger kids and there’s a lot of different music played there, from metal to rap to country – all at the same time – and you’ve got girls dancing on stripper poles on the backs of the boats. It’s quite a scene!”

EVER HAVE ANY TITANIC-ESQUE MOMENTS?

“About two years ago a friend and I decided to drive the boat from here to San Francisco. My wife decided to drive and meet us there and she said, ‘Just promise me you guys won’t drink until you get up there.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, no problem.’ So after 45 minutes, we get to the part where the Bay opens up and we’re like, ‘Yeah, we made it! Gimme a beer!’ I hit the throttle, we started taking off and just as I turned to get a beer, we hit a giant wooden railroad tie floating in the water. We went right over the middle of it and came down and it hit the back of my outdrive and it broke my throttle cable. So we’re stuck and we put the call in for a tow. We had a case of beer and a bottle of Jack Daniels for the weekend and finally, we had drifted close enough, we were like, ‘Oh well, we’re here!’ so we opened the Jack and started drinking. When the tow vehicle arrived to bring us in, we had already polished off about three-quarters of the bottle. We were just hammered. It was a big mess…”

ON A SCALE OF ONE TO 10, HOW METAL IS BOATING?

“I’d give it an eight. You’re out on the water, you’re partying, you’ve got beer, herb, metal cranking on the stereo, chicks in bikinis hanging around… It doesn’t get much more metal than that!”

Chuck appears on the first ever Metal Allegiance album, out September 18 via Nuclear Blast