What are the hidden talents of our favourite music stars?

Scott Ian from Anthrax at Nova Rock 2014

When it comes to music, you can’t beat a banging bass line or an electrifying drum solo. Musicians pride themselves on honing their craft, and many have spent years doing so. However, in addition to making incredible music, did you know that some of our favourite musicians and singers also have some secret (and not-so-secret) skills that you might not necessarily know about? Fear not—here is our roundup of the many hidden talents of our favourite musicians.

In addition to flying high on the music charts, Iron Maiden’s own Bruce Dickinson also flies high in the skies, as he is a qualified pilot. He learned how to fly in the early 1990s and caught the ‘flying bug’ after undertaking a trial lesson in Florida. He has historically flown as a commercial pilot but now favours the private jet. Who knows? Pilot Dickinson may have been the captain on your flight!

Think that’s impressive? There are many strings to Mr. Dickinson’s bow, as he is also a talented fencer and was once ranked the seventh best swordsman in Great Britain.

Whilst rock stars are sometimes better known for indulging in alcohol, did you know that American rock band Train has developed their own brand of wine?! Train has developed the ‘Save Me’ range in conjunction with the San Francisco Wine company, and the brand includes a delightful Californian red wine named after their award-winning song ‘Drops of Jupiter’. Not wanting to be outdone, Tool’s Maynard James Keenan is also a winemaker. You might not know this, but Decanter even shortlisted his label ‘Winey Wine’ as one of the ‘Best Chardonnays’.

Would you have ever been able to imagine cheeky Blur bassist Alex James swapping his wellies from the likes of the Reading Rock Festival to… a cheese farm? It’s true—and he makes a darn good cheese, too. In fact, you might be surprised to know that Alex’s cheese is, in fact, an award-winning product; his goat cheese was voted ‘Best Goat Cheese’ at the 2008 Cheese Awards.

In addition to culinary achievements, many of our favourite musicians are also showcasing their talents elsewhere. Singer, songwriter, and musician Imani Coppola is also a talented artist and has exhibited her work throughout New York. She is joined by the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Tony Bennett, who are also fantastic painters. The late, great David Bowie was also a highly-talented painter and sculptor.

Poker remains an incredibly popular pastime on many of our favourite musicians’ tour buses, and many of them often put their skills into practice at the casino. Did you know that metal band Anthrax’s Scott Ian is a talented poker player?  In fact, he is so good that he competed at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and won VH1’s Rock and Roll Celebrity tournament back in 2008! He says that he still finds time to work on his skills online; we wonder if he does it whilst listening to poker-inspired songs like ‘Ace of Spades‘ by Motorhead or ‘Tumblin’ Dice’ by the Rolling Stones?!

On a slightly more sedate note, can you guess which famous musicians knit as a hobby? If you guessed The Breeders’ Kelley Deal and Weezer singer and guitarist River Cuomo, then you would be absolutely right!

These musical legends show us that it is never too late to try and learn a new skill or improve an existing skill. It also demonstrates that life should never just be about work, even if your job is being a musician in some of the world’s most beloved and legendary rock bands. If you had the chance, what new skills or talents would you like to learn?


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