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It’s hard to imagine what sort of life our favorite musicians live outside of the stage and the recording studio. Yet some of the most famous metal musicians of all time also have interesting hobbies that you might like to learn about.

David Mustaine is a horse breeder

The legendary guitarist is best known for co-founding Megadeth in 1983 and leading them through a hugely successful and at times controversial career spanning nearly four decades that has helped define the genre. Prior to that, he was the lead guitarist for Metallica for a time.

Far from the world of music, Mustaine opts for the gentler pursuit of breeding horses. A few years ago he posted on a fan forum how his first foal died during childbirth and then bought a new horse called Matsje which quickly gave birth. He now lives on a large ranch where he has a collection of animals including a miniature horse called Rocky.

Scott Ian is snowboarding and playing poker

Another iconic figure on the metal scene in recent decades, Scott Ian co-founded Anthrax in 1981 and is the only original member still in the band. Among his hobbies he is known to be a huge fan of snowboarding.

Ian is also an avid poker player and plays in professional tournaments as well as celebrity games. The growing popularity of online casinos like means that more people can play games like casino hold’em, as well as blackjack and roulette. This greater accessibility opens up the games to everyone and allows for shared experiences between the fans and the musician.

Bruce Dickinson flies an airplane and enjoys fencing

The lead singer of Iron Maiden is one of the most interesting characters in metal, as he has combined incredible musical success with a variety of hobbies. Best known is his love of airplanes, which led him to work as a professional pilot and fly the Iron Maiden plane on tour. This story from recalls some of the difficult situations he found himself in flight.

The singer was once ranked number eight in the UK in the sport of fencing and faced Olympic silver medalist Bartosz Piasecki a few years ago. Dickinson also wrote books and film scripts, which led to him being described as a polymath due to his knowledge of many different subjects.

Flea likes to play chess

The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist has become one of the most popular characters in the industry thanks to his unique style and personality. Considered the second best bassist of all time by readers of Rolling Stone, he has performed numerous times with other artists and supergroups like Atoms for Peace and Pigface.

In his spare time, Flea started playing chess. He said he played this strategy game to pass the time while he was on tour. More famous still, he would have faced a Norwegian chess champion and given a good performance.

Understanding a little bit about the hobbies and interests of our favorite metal musicians allows us to better understand them and see them as more complex and complete personalities.