Back in 1995 when Supergrass burst onto the UK music scene with I Should Coco it became Parlophone’s biggest selling debut album since the Beatles’ Please Please Me.

Alright became a Britpop anthem, with sideburn-toting frontman Gaz Coombes beguiling a generation with lyrics “We are young, we run free, keep our teeth nice and clean. See our friends, see the sights, feel alright." These days the father-of-two is flying solo and says of what makes him happy: “As long as I can keep the kids fed and pay the mortgage, then I will be alright.”

His 2012 debut Here Come the Bombs charted at 54 and follow up Matador reached 18 while also gaining him a Mercury Music Prize nomination. But Gaz, who will perform a rare solo show at Roundhouse this week, says he stopped making money from music years ago.

“I have been very lucky, Supergrass did well and are still helping me make through making these record where there is no money. I’m just doing it because I love it and because it’s all I can do.”

Born in Oxford, Gaz entered the music industry at the tender age of 15 with band The Jennifers, formed with drummer Danny Goffey and then met Mick Quinn working at the local Harvester and Supergrass was born in 1993, with Gaz’s brother Rob Combes joining later.

Gaz had already grown his infamous face fuzz by then, “I was the only kid in my class that could do facial hair, it was probably the only one time in my life when I have conformed to the masculine stereotype”, and has hung on to them through all the twists and turns of his career.

He has also managed to stay grounded, despite Supergrass amassing an Ivor Novello for Alright and best new band awards from NME, Q and the BRITs within their first year, turning down offers to model for Italian Vogue and Calvin Klein and to make Monkees-style television show with Steven Spielberg.

“I always kind of kept myself to myself, “ explains Gaz, “I didn’t go for that things of being in London and being omnipresent on the scene. It wasn’t really an interest to me. I just wanted to get off touring and get back home and do more writing and meet up with friends. It wasn’t interesting to me to live the cliché.”

He has plenty of rock ‘n’ roll memories to share though, including touring with the Foo Fighters and getting called up to sing with them as part of a televised tribute to The Who after Dave Grohl’s voice went.

“I’d had a really heavy night and remember chatting with Pete Townsend in a Winnebago beforehand and then I had a crazy police escort afterwards back down Sunset to our show and made it with five minutes to spare. It’s definitely a day I will always remember.”

But he credits his food scientist dad with giving him advice about avoiding rock ‘n’ roll excesses.

“As soon as things started taking off with Supergrass and I started getting a bit of cash he gave me a little chat about how not to f**k it up with regards to blowing it all. He said to buy a little place and build it up. I always remember that because it is what I did. I didn’t buy a huge mansion I bought a little fisherman’s cottage.

“It’s good to be taught not to have everything in the same go. Life is going to be really interesting if you can progress and change and move around. Don’t restrict yourself to living beyond your means.

“I haven’t listened to my dad all along but it was cool advice.”

These days he lives back at his family home in Oxford with wife Jools and his two daughters and the only memorabilia he has from his Supergrass days is his puppet from the Pumping on Your Stereo video, which is tucked in the attic.

Not that he doesn’t appreciate the band though.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if I hadn’t had those years in Supergrass. I really wouldn’t or maybe have the confidence if I hadn’t spent all those years with the guys so it’s really valuable to me.”

The band split in 2010, abandoning their seventh studio album halfway through, and the members have been concentrating on solo projects since. But Gaz says there is every possibility they work together again, although he will be avoiding any Britpop nostalgia.

“I think we have all just got a lot to do at the moment. Danny’s solo album is brilliant and he’s worked really hard on it and he’s very talented. And Mick’s playing a lot in the States with Swervedriver and they have got themselves great bass player.

“It’s good to try other things. We have all got to see what life is like without each other for a little bit. We’ll never never close the door though.”

In the meantime the success of Matador means Gaz has been back on the rollercoaster over the last 12 months, juggling work and home life, dropping his kids off at school one minute and booking a helicopter to take him to play at Glastonbury the next.

He wrote and recorded the 11-track album at home, playing most of the instruments himself and says: “I think being back in Oxford has inevitably had an effect on my music. I have been left alone here in the countryside to explore and not feel the pressure of paying out for an expensive studio with people waiting on me and relying on me.”

His favourite lyric is from The Girl Who Fell to Earth ‘you wearing your elastic heart on your chewed up sleeve’ which was inspired by his 12-year-old autistic daughter who he describes as ‘amazing and an enigma’.

“It’s a struggle being an autistic kid, “ he adds. “There is still a complete lack of understanding of autism. I see it all the time, in the school she goes to, in how people react and think we should do things.”

It’s clear how much home life means to him. When we talk he has just finished doing the washing up and is pottering around in the kitchen.

“I can’t exist without that grounding and my family and I wouldn’t like it all one way with a life constantly in the public eye.”

So how does he measure success these days?

“Not with record sales.

“Without looking too small I felt it was a success just getting Matador done and up to the standard it was at. I really love this record. It was such a great experience to make it, nothing else really matters.

“Unless it was completely f**king slated, which thankfully it wasn’t!

“When it went top 20 that was totally unexpected. I didn’t think I’d ever have another top 20 album.”

Gaz Coombes plays at Roundhouse, Chalk Farm on Thursday, January 28 from 7pm. Details: