The New England Patriots tight end best known to the world at large as “Gronk” — Super Bowl ringbearer Rob Gronkowski — swung through the Best Buy Theater in New York City for Activision’s Guitar Hero Live unveiling, getting a first look at the revival of the music rhythm game. Gronk, who’s known for his own partying like a rock star (and with porn stars) — and occasionally getting caught on camera doing just that —explains why even Super Bowl champions dream of the rock life.
Every time I turn on ESPN I’m seeing you on the “Summer of Gronk.” What’s that experience been like?
It’s been a great experience, just going out places with my friends and my family and my teammates, meeting up with them and having a blast and having some down time off. It’s not like we get many months off. We just have a couple right now and it’s just cool to be doing a lot of different things and experimenting a lot of different aspects of life, which is cool. I’m just having a lot of fun and just keeping it rolling, but also at the same time I’m making sure I’m working out, staying focused and keep grinding.
Were you a Guitar Hero player back in the day?
Before we used to go out in high school, my boys would come over and we’d play Guitar Hero before we went out to the party. And I remember we always got mad and that guitar went flying across the room as a weapon.
What is it about rock stars that makes everyone want to be one, even Super Bowl-winning NFL athletes?
Oh, no doubt. You just look at the rock star life and you just think it’s awesome playing to hundreds of thousand fans, just swinging your head back and forth like it’s the cool thing to do. You definitely look at the rock star life and think, “Wow, that’s awesome.” Rock stars always want to live the athlete life, but also we, as athletes, look at rock stars as like, “Man, that life looks super cool.” So that’s what’s cool about Guitar Hero Live. When you’re into it and you’re hitting all the notes, you actually feel like you are being a rock star in real life on that stage.
What was your first exposure to Playboy magazine?
As a little kid, [you’re] thinking it’s the coolest thing in the whole world seeing that magazine. You knew there were girls in that magazine; like, your mom catching you trying slip it into her bag to have her buy it in the gas station store.
You tried to have your mom buy you a Playboy?
Or anyone. Whoever you’re with, like, “Hey, get that,” and you think you’re so cool when you’re 14 years old saying that.
What movie scared you the most as a kid?
I Know What You Did Last Summer.
What was your first car?
It was a 2000 Ford Explorer. My parents bought it for me when I was in high school and I had a couple of great experiences with it. I took it off-roading sometimes. My mom caught me because I forgot to wash off the back of the mirror, so it was all dirty. She was like, “You were going off road.” And I was like, “No, I wasn’t.” Because I cleaned the whole thing but I missed the back of the mirror. I also put in this huge bass system with these two huge subwoofers — just trying to make it the coolest high school car because I got big huge speakers in it. Looking back at it now, it’s pretty funny.
What’s the first song that you knew all the lyrics to?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I don’t know any song I know all the lyrics to. I’m not that good at remembering songs or remembering title of songs. I just like jamming out, listening to the beat, and going with the flow.
Heaven forbid you end up on death row — what’s your last meal?
I would have to go with my mom’s chicken soufflé. It’s my favorite meal and she’s so bomb when she makes it. My family, my brothers and I, we demolish it when she makes it so I’ll definitely have to go with the chicken soufflé my mama makes.
What’s your pop culture blind spot?
Actually, I would have to go with reality TV. I don’t really watch TV that much and if I do I’m not really watching a reality show. I know there’s like a million reality shows out there, but I don’t really know what’s going on with them. I just like to go out and really live reality, and go out and do what I got to do and live life and make that the reality.
What was your favorite mistake in life?
I guess when I was in 8th grade, I got suspended from school for pantsing girls. They were doing it to me first, so I did it to them back, but I got caught. I got suspended and now looking back at it, I feel like I’m the man now because I was pantsing ladies in 8th grade — they were doing it to me first, so I got them back.