Parties. Crazy lifestyle. These are perhaps the first few things that come to mind when we think about musicians’ hobbies. But what you think you know about your favorite heavy metal stars and what they actually like to do in their spare time may shock you. And though there is no way to sufficiently cover this topic in a short article, we have picked out some memorable examples.
Dave Mustaine from Megadeth, for instance, is truly a man of many talents. His interests include numerous stimulating endeavors such as skydiving, martial arts training, and horse breeding. The same is also true of Metallica’s own James Hetfield. He loves to hunt as well as various sports activities; although he’s banned from skateboarding while on tour because of the scare of an injury. He’s also passionate about restoring old automobiles and customizing them. But, perhaps, his most interesting is his newly developed hobby of beekeeping. And yes, he has been stung more than once. Also a sports fan, Iron Maiden’s bassist (among other things) Steve Harris, who has been a huge fan of soccer from the early age and even had a shot at being a professional for West Ham United, now plays for fun.
Kerry King of Slayer collects snakes (finally something metal!) while fellow snake lover Alice Cooper, who incidentally has been often seen posing for photos accompanied by snakes, simply plays golf. And Tool’s vocalist, Maynard James Keenan, turned his passion for wine into a prospecting business and his own wine label (“Winey Wine”).
Another interesting tendency among metal and rock musicians is their attraction to the thrilling world of poker, which sometimes reflects in their artistic works (Ace of Spades anyone?). Case in point Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains and Ian Scott of Anthrax, who do not mind participating in large poker events. The latter actually took part in the World Series of Poker. He came in 637th place and earned over $20,000 dollars. Some other poker enthusiasts include Kirk Hammett (Metallica, Exodus), who also surfs and collects horror movies, and Slash from Guns n’ Roses, who collects pinball machines.
David Navarro, who is perhaps associated more with hard rock and alternative rock genres, but clearly combines heavy metal elements with his playing style, was even a guest on a limited-run TV series called Celebrity Poker Showdown, which lasted for five seasons. As the name suggested, famous actors, athletes, and musicians competed in the game of poker for charity. It was the most popular variant of No limit Texas Hold’em where you can put any amount on the table, which created the possibility to bust out in a single hand, even the first one. That actually happened once on the show.
Heavy metal musicians, however wild and crazy they may appear at times, prove to be as normal as everyone else — as if anybody would dare to think differently. More often than not though, they turn out to have typical ways of spending their free time, although sometimes their hobbies are a little unusual. But that only makes them more interesting as people and artist to the rest of us.