It's not that uncommon these days to see musicians branching into the business world to acquire more income streams. However one bloke out of our hometown of Melbourne is doing a lot more than just starting a business. Chris Ferre is into so many things right now, I have no idea how he does it. We caught up with him to chat about his new bizzo, his new band and his new sport.
Cee: G'day bloke. Cheers for taking the time to chat.
Cee: OK, so the regular readers of TMF.com might know you as the dude who smashes the shit out of drum kits at our shows for the last couple of years. What's been happening lately?
Chris: Uni, teaching, drums, drums and more drums, started rock climbing (mental sport!!!), and just started working for myself!
Cee: Word got around that you started your own business, eh...fill me in (pause).
Chris: Yeah! It's called AUSTRALIAN DRUM SUPPLY. We're a retailer of TRX Cymbals, Corsair Drum products (sticks mainly), and Pulse drum bags.
Cee: What made you decide to start a business on top of your musical aspirations?
Chris: To be totally honest, the idea just fell into my lap out of co-incidence. I was lucky enough to receive an endorsement from TRX and Corsair for my playing, and due to me having a large client-base as a teacher they wanted to make sure that all of my students were all playing TRX and Corsair.
Cee: How did the endorsement come about, and how does it help your business?
Chris: Basically in a very short story, the importer/director of TRX Cymbals Australia wanted me to on-sell to my students and anyone else. Then I came up with idea of running my own online store, and that was that! It's awesome to have a great company like TRX backing your business, and it's awesome that even though the cymbals are of a Turkish design, they really market themselves to everyone, and in a way that is accessible in price and sound, not just to people that can afford expensive gear.
Cee: On top of your playing and the biz, you teach drums as well?
Yeah dude, I teach at a school in Bentleigh east (south east Victoria), and also teach privately out of my studio at home, so that keeps me on my toes and massively busy, with 40+ students ranging in age from 6 to 66.
Cee: And you study music? Jesus son, slow down! How much longer have you got in your course? What's the plans once you graduate?
Chris: Yeah full time study as well as doing everything else! I graduate one degree this year, start another next year (2 years) and then am doing my masters in music/education after that (probably via correspondence as I need to get back out there and make some money)! All of the teachers/lecturers at Box Hill Institute have massive understanding to what I'm doing, which is awesome. It's great that you can always ask them or advice when it comes to business/music/education, and they're always there to help out!
Cee: Currently the business is a webstore, but do you have plans on opening a physical shop at all?
Chris: The business is only fairly young, so there are no plans at this stage - but who knows what'll happen in the future. We seem to be nailing it on the head at the moment doing what we're doing so we're going to run with it how it is at the moment.
Cee: Do you ship locally or internationally as well?
Chris: We mainly ship locally/interstate, but can easily organise to ship O/S. Actually our first few customers were from Sydney and the Gold Coast. Who knows how they got word of what was going on!
Cee: So since you're studying, working, running a business, teaching and playing, what's the order of priority?
Chris: I guess the order is studying/playing (the two go hand in hand), running a business, and then teaching. That's not to say that I take any of these things lightly, especially the teaching, but at the end of the day, good studying methods will make you more organised and therefore better in business, and the end goal is to become a teacher of music, not just drums. In this country you need qualifications to do pretty much anything in education. I barely get anytime to sit down and relax, but when I do have some downtime, you'll find me down at the all of the indoor rock climbing joints around Melbourne. So that's where it's at!
Cee: At the end of the day, what do you really want to be doing?
Chris: Look, to be honest, I never want to work ever! But that's near impossible unless I win the lottery, so teaching is the end goal. Australian Drum Supply almost floats itself, so that's awesome too. The top of the spectrum would be to be in an awesome touring band, flying around the world, and getting paid for it (I wish!)! So everyone should also check out my band, BRONSON ;)
Cee: Hit the people with all your links so they can check you out!
Chris: www.australiandrumsupply.com http://www.facebook.com/australiandrumsupply https://australiandrumsupply.bigcartel.com
and you may as well check these bad boys out!
Cee: Thanks for your time bro!