Pete Greenfield’s Ad Hoc guardianship has been given his music career a timely boost and provided him with the extra money and time to pursue a more fulfilling creative path. Living and practicing in a former retirement home, Pete and other members of Jimmy Ringus have been busy preparing for the launch of the spectacular project. Here, Pete tells us all about light shows, day jobs and living in a ‘tribe’.
Hi Pete, tell us about the music of Jimmy Ringus.
It’s, broadly speaking, rock / metal music, along the lines of Alice Cooper and Rammstein (ballsy but with melody as well), but with elements of prog, funk and even tango chucked in.
All the songs in our current set are about the picturesque residents of a Gothic Asylum and the music’s complemented with a full lightshow, video screens and the band’s styling, which borrows heavily from the film ‘A Clockwork Orange’.
We play to a high standard (Rammstein / German precision you could say), not least because the entire light show is programmed to a click. It’s taken about nine months to create the show, although we’ve done some gigs to test the water.
How did you guys meet?
I met Chris, the singer and my Ad Hoc flatmate, at a band workshop nearly four years ago. After 35 years playing drums I’d swapped to bass and wanted some band experience, as did he as a singer songwriter.
We decided to start a band and that the only way to do that was to live under the same roof. He was already with Ad Hoc and when our present place came up, I jumped in and we’ve been working on things here ever since.
What are your ambitions for the band?
To create and perform a great show in decent venues to an ever-growing crowd, to tour the small towns of Sweden with it one summer and to establish it as a small business that covers our costs and ideally our monthly bar bills as well.
Anything else is a bonus and is beyond my immediate goals.
What’s been the highlight of the band’s story so far?
Our launch gig on April 28th (with the full lighting rig and hopefully a busy club) will be one. Other than that, it’s been things like designing and programming the light show (a massive learning curve), playing the first test gigs to an interested crowd and completing our first studio sessions.
How has living as an Ad Hoc guardian being conducive to your lifestyle and work in Jimmy Ringus?
The space is amazing. We have room for a studio set up and quiet rehearsals, which has helped us nail all the songs in detail, ready for the rehearsal room and studio, and I’ve been able to have the lights set up as I’ve designed the show.
Beyond that, having such low overheads has meant I’ve been able to ease off on my established day job (I’m a freelance copywriter) and put hours into the band, as well as the new events business I’m building off the back of it.
I’ve come across quite a few people doing similar things, thanks to the low overheads, whether to start a business, save for a wedding or pay off their student loans early.
Tell us about your living arrangements with Ad Hoc: location, building, house share etc.?
We occupy the day centre of a disused old folks’ home. There are four of us in here, all musicians. We have good-sized rooms, our own kitchen and wet room, and a really nice garden with a terrace, as well as plenty of storage.
Chris and I were the first in and Ad Hoc has always happy to accept our referrals when people moved out, so we all get along here. It’s like a big family.
Regarding the lifestyle, I’ve always thought humans are designed to live in tribes, not ones or twos in small boxes they spend their whole lives trying to pay for, Here I have my on space when I want it, but some amazing company as well!
It’s especially great for someone like me: in my middle years, divorcee and really not thrilled by the idea of having to repay a mortgage in the maximum term available of about 20 years. I’d rather have time to spend than a pile of bricks to pay for,.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians out there?
I’m an aspiring musician myself, but I can share the things I’ve already found to be useful so far:
-Read The Six Figure Musician for a reality check on chasing the ‘getting signed’ dream and more importantly for tips on how to build your band.
-Work hard on your instrument, your music and your band.
-Don’t imagine any venue, manager or promoter out there is going to do all the work of marketing your music until you’ve put in the work yourself.
-Social media won’t get people to your gigs: flyers, talking to people and marketing in general will, which means time pounding the streets in the rain.
-Bands are like a marriage. Treat them that way. Talking is good.
-Promote your own gigs and try to make them an event.
Find out more about Jimmy Ringus over on their Facebook page.
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