From Jake Bugg and his love for ping pong to Ellie Goulding’s passion for taxidermy, rock’n’roll stars are a dab hand at finding strange ways to fill their time. Here are 35 of the most unusual examples…
Jake Bugg – Ping Pong
The Bugg-man is a huge fan of ping pong, taking a table with him when he goes on tour so he can hone his ball skills. At T In The Park a few years back he apparently missed all of the bands because he was so busy playing.
Kathleen Hanna – Gardening We learn about the Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin frontwoman’s green fingers in the brilliant doc about her career, The Punk Singer. “When I started gardening and realising that you need a certain kind of soil and a certain kind of sunlight in order to grow certain things, I started applying that same thinking to my life,” says the singer.
Lemmy (Motörhead) – War memorabilia
Not the most politically correct of hobbies, but alongside his lifelong interests in Jack Daniel’s and too-tight denim, Lemmy has a fondness for collecting Nazi memorabilia. “I only collect the stuff. I didn't collect the ideas,” he has previously said in his defence.
Yolandi Visser (Die Antwoord) – Pet rats Half of South African terror-techno rap loons Visser has a thing for rats. “The white baby girl rat is called Yang. Her white big boy rat is called Spookie. And her fokken massive black boy rat is called Gommie, which means scumbag,” said the band. Um, sweet?
Ellie Goulding – Taxidermy She doesn’t quite seen the type, but it turns out pop’s golden girl is a fan of stuffed dead animals. Embracing her gothic side, the singer has a deer, a crow and a rabbit in her London flat. “But weirdly, I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat meat. I’m a walking contradiction,” she’s said.
Florence Welch – Hipster safari Trust Flo to make up her very own sport. “I like playing hipster safari,” she’s said. “I like walking around, looking at everyone's clothes. It's like, 'Yep, I used to go to college with them. Yep, there's that fashion blogger wearing a snazzy outfit'. You have a list and tick the east London cliches off as you go.”
Kelley Deal (The Breeders) - Knitting Kelley Deal has published ‘how to’ books about knitting and a few years ago at the ATP festival, she held a group crotchetting session in one of the venue’s bars, where fans could join in her knitting circle.
Lykke Li – Collecting photos “I have a lot of different hobbies,” said the Swedish singer songwriter. “I do take photos. I love writing, and I love collecting. I collect a lot of photos and poems. I like to create small worlds with feeling and sounds and smells.”
Alana Haim – Nail art Baby Haim isn’t just known for her NME Award winning Twitter account – she’s also got a thing for nail art, regularly showing off her decorated talons to fans.
Stephen Morris (Joy Division/New Order) - Military vehicles Not the most practical of hobbies, and certainly one you need a fair bit of space for, Joy Division and New Order’s keyboard player likes to collect surplus military vehicles, namely tanks.
Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) – Metal detecting Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman loves metal detecting so damn much that he’s even made his own signature line of metal detectors and has written books about his ‘treasure hunts’.
Jack White – Taxidermy Jack White’s got a number of quirky hobbies, including upholstery and collecting dead animals. His Third Man Records HQ in Nashville is filled with taxidermy, including a giant elephants head which he traded an old photo booth for on History Channel show American Pickers.
Roger Daltrey (The Who) - Trout farmer Keen fisher Roger actually owns his own trout fishery in East Sussex. He’s had it for over 30 years and it’s open to the public if you ever fancy a visit.
Keith Flint (The Prodigy) – Superbikes Superbike racer Keith Flint actually runs his own team, which entered the Motorpoint British Supersport Championships. “The feeling is like the first time that the band played at Glastonbury – it is the big time,” he said of the challenge.
Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones) – Art He trained at Ealing College of Art, so Ronnie Wood’s talent with a paintbrush should be no surprise. “When I get inspired, I get almost possessed and I just have to paint,” says the rocker. “There is no kind of therapy like the one you have from starting and seeing a picture through to the end.”
Kerry King (Slayer) – Snakes Well, of course Kerry King’s a snake breeder. His none more metal sideline is called Psychotic Exotics and he has a whole facility dedicated to makin’ snakes down in in Southern California.
Tom Delonge (Blink-182) – Art Another rock and roll artist, Tom paints pictures of Tim Burton-esque figures. “They're not very good, but it's fun,” he’s admitted.
Noel Gallagher – Guns A few years back, Noel decided to take up shooting and purchased himself some guns while he was Stateside. He then contacted Tom from Kasabian with some concerns. “He sent me a text about going shooting in America, and about how scared he was of shooting himself,” remembers Tom.
Frank Ocean – Kung Fu and Tai Chi Despite being an ancillary member of the rowdy Odd Future gang, Frank Ocean’s always seemed pretty zen. Perhaps this can be put down to his hobbies – Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
Marilyn Manson – Collects prosthetic limbs Walking into Marilyn Manson’s house sounds a bit like entering a chamber of horrors. The goth rockers got some quirky collections, including prosthetic limbs and a foetus in a jar called Ludwig, which sits on his coffee table.
Steve Aoki – Cake throwing DJ Steve Aoki is, peculiarly, known for throwing cake at his crowds. “What do we as DJs do when we are up there, when you’re not mixing from one song to the next?” he has said in his defence. “Everyone is different but for me I add in another element to my set which is my props.”
Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) - Clay pigeon shooting Unlike Kid Rock, who recently got blasted for allegedly shooting dead a mountain lion while on a hunt, Dave loves a bit of clay pigeon shooting. No real pigeons are harmed during one of Dave’s adventures.
Damon Albarn – Ping Pong Another ping pong lover, Damon actually once trained with the British Olympics youth team, but admitted he got “thrashed” by them.
David Lovering (Pixies) – Science magic Yep, you heard us right: science magic. “I entertain with scientific experiments that cannot be explained. It’s like going to school in an adult way,” says the Pixies drummer of his hobby, which sees him putting 120 volts through a pickle.
Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) - Fencing and flying planes A professional pilot – he can be found in the cockpit of the band’s customised Boeing 757 when the band are on tour – the Iron Maiden frontman is also a keen amateur fencer.
Charlie Fink (Noah And The Whale) – Filmmaker The frontman made a touching short film to accompany the band’s 2009 album ‘The First Days of Spring’, which was about his break-up with Laura Marling, and helmed another movie to coincide with the release of fourth album ‘Heart Of Nowhere’ in 2013.
Henry Rollins – Weightlifting I mean, have you seen the former Black Flag frontman’s guns? This is a man who pumps serious iron. Or at least he used to. “I train about five days a week. I don’t lift very heavy weight,” he said recently. “I am 50 and am looking to maintain my joints.”
Grandmaster Flash – Mugs Grandmaster Flash ain’t no mug – but he does collect them. The hip hop legend has over 5000 and keeps them in a special storage space. “The room temperature is correct and the place is insured," he’s said, sensibly.
Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) – Wine Sure, I can hear you thinking, don’t all rock stars love wine? Not like the Kings of Leon drummer, they don’t. This guy’s a connoisseur, filling up his hefty wine cellar with pricey bottles that he picks up when touring the world.
Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon) – Cooking The Kings of Leon frontman has co-founded a food festival in his hometown of Nashville. “I cook all of the time and I love food,” he said. “We’ve become good friends with quite a few chefs and if you get a couple of glasses of rose in me, I’m going to start nudging on them and will try to see if they’ll let me into the kitchen with them.”
Courtney Love – Dolls She might have written the Hole song ‘Doll Parts’ back in 1991, but the singer still has a fascination with dolls, reportedly being an avid collector of vintage Mattell Liddle Kiddles from the 1960s.
Lily Allen – Embroidery While pregnant Lily Allen got all earth mother on us and starting nesting away at her country pile in Gloucestershire. “I'm being taught how to knit. I'm so not rock 'n' roll anymore,” she said. “I'm embroidering too. I'm actually in the process of making cushions.”
Neil Young – Model trains The godfather of grunge is also the granddaddy of geek, with a huge model train obsession. In the early 1990s he became a part owner of a toy company called Lionel Trains. He also has a model railroad alter ego called Clyde Coil.
Ted Dwane (Mumford & Sons) – Photography Mumford & Sons’ bassist is a talented photographer, using an old school Leica Monochrome and Rolleiflex to create evocative tour photos and portraits. He hosted his first solo exhibition in London in 2013.
Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney) – Acting Sleater-Kinney’s comeback has happened at a busy time for Carrie Brownstein. Not only does she star and write in the Portlandia comedy series, but she’s also currently appearing in the award winning Transparent.