Testament's Chuck Billy
By Jay Oakley
When it comes to your new vaporizer line, how did you get into that?
That's through my friend Adam (Black), who owns Lord Vapor Pens. He's been a Bay Area friend of the band (Testament) for almost 30 years. He's a metalhead, Bay Area guy and a few years ago we ran into each other and he had started getting into more paraphernalia and started Lord Vapor Pens. He approached me and asked me if I'd be interested in doing a signature series as he wanted to get with more metal artists as opposed to raps artists who are more known to have signature pens.
I was busy touring at the time and then I had some time off so I got with Adam and that's when we started making it a reality. We started working on the design and also working with a manufacturer to make the vaporizers better. We wanted a hotter burning vaporizer so that's what we did. We worked with the manufacturer to be able to increase the temperatures on the hottest setting.
When it comes to vaporizers in general are they something that you use yourself or do you have any history with them?
Yes. I was first turned on to vaporizing when I was in Amsterdam, Denmark. I was hanging out in Amsterdam and visiting friends and it's where I first found the Volcano which is the one that has a big bag attached. That was my first adventure with vaporizing and now I just love it. So, of course, I bought the Volcano and I have it at home but that's a big contraption as apposed to smaller portable ones.
So that's what got me into it but also just watching the market grow. Everything from E-cigarettes and just a lot more smoking devises. I wanted my vape to be something that I could burn herb in without really burning it. Of course I'm a singer, vaping helps me because I'm a singer but I also like it because it gets into places like movie theaters, baseball games or anywhere I want to use it and nobody notices. That's the beauty of it.
When it comes to people that are new to vaporizing, what can you tell them about functions of The Chief?
Mose people think that vaporizers come with some kind of liquid but as far as The Chief goes it's just a straight herbal vaporizer. There's no wax and no oils, it's purely just for weed. It doesn't burn the weed it just heats it. It burns the crystals off of the hairs from the weed and that's the beauty of it.
When it comes to people acquiring your signature series what's the best way for them to do that?
They can find them at lordvaperpens.com or testamentlegions.com which is our website and they can find them there.
They're great units. They're not a novelty or anything. They actually really great units getting great reviews and we're very excited with it. We're actually going to expand the signature series to other artists out there. I'll be leading that. Finding other artists and start making vapes for them. I'll also have another line which is a disposable, slim line which will allow for wax and oils to be used coming out in about the next month.
When it comes to these type of ventures is this something you've always wanted to do? Being able to do a project that isn't exactly music related?
I've always been trying to do other things whether it be voice-over work, an acting part, I'm always trying to do something that's not music. You can't do music everyday of the year and this was something I enjoyed and my wife was a big part of it as well so it was something we could do together and have an adventure together with it.
Is this product going to be available for fans on tour or just through the websites?
We actually just had it on the Dark Roots of Thrash Tour we just did. The next stage of The Chief is we plan to start wholesaling. Our goal is to start getting it out to shops hopefully around the world.
Overall, have you been happy with the production and quality of everything?
Yeah, everything's been going great. So far, so good. We do run into some snags and occasionally get some equipment back that doesn't work but we try to check everything before we send it out to make sure that everyone gets a working unit.
I saw that you are doing an autograph and numbered unit for the first series. Talk about that.
Yeah, the first 1000 units I'm signing them and numbering them and after that we are going to go into a more mass production. We'll do a whole different packaging for those that are coming out after that first 1000. So it's been great.