MAY 30, 2022

It’s been six months since I wrote an update here and a lot has changed since the beginning of September last year. I am sure you’re life is looking a lot different too. I thought I’d log into WordPress to type out some words that summarise what’s been going on in my life.

My NEIS business plan was approved in September, around the time of my previous update here. Which is largely why I haven’t had much time or inclination to write any lines on this page. Around the same time, my supplier in Japan asked if I wanted to take six pallets of dead stock from another of their Australian partners and I agreed. It’s been a massive undertaking and I’m only just getting to the end of it now.

At first my business plan was focused around fixing and setting up guitars for my client, but now I am managing stock discarded by other partners and also receiving other items direct from Japan to sell. Therefore, ‘Apus Spares’ was born.

I was initially overwhelmed by the first load of stuff that came to me. I had only basic notes on it’s functionality so most of it required some kind of testing and appraisal. My storage unit was packed to the brim and I was climbing over pallets like a monkey, holding onto the metal mesh on the roof. Slowly I’d transform it into an organised space with a workbench and shelving.

I’d say at least one-third of it was actually working or only needed minor repairs. Others were in need of more attention, and some of it was only really good for parts. I’ve taken some of it to Music Swop Shop and fixed up what I could with the help of David Aurora Audio in West Brunswick. Many vintage turntables were auctioned on eBay. Some things like digital pianos, synths and samplers have been parted out. It’s been a huge learning process for me and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

I can proudly say that I can now install floppy disk emulators and replace screens on synths and samplers; fix keyboard assemblies of synths and digital pianos; and have a greater general knowledge of those product categories. YouTube and Google have been a godsend. The internet has been invaluable and helped guide me when troubleshooting a wide variety of known issues with many of the items I’ve had to manage.

My workbench at Apus Spares HQ

Now that I’ve cleared much of those six pallets, I’m getting sent guitars from my supplier again, as well as other random bits and pieces. Lately I’m also seeing drum machines, effects pedals and smaller keyboards. Another partner also sent me a bunch of broken pedals and effectors recently and I’ve been able to get some of them working again.

So yeah, Apus Spares is the name I decided to go with for what I am doing business-wise now. It comes from a genus of migratory birds which is kinda an analogy of what I am working with. I spent a lot of time during the lock-downs paying more attention to the birds in our backyard at the time and go to know them better. My parents were breeders of parrots and finches when I was in my teens so the whole bird thing fits well for me. Birds also represent freedom, which is something that appeals to me.

Music wise I’ve still been making tunes when I can. Of course I am always wanting more time to dedicate to that, but as I’m growing my business I must make some kind of sacrifice in the short term. But that said, I wouldn’t be very satisfied with life if I wasn’t making some sound most days.

I’ve got a ton of new demos and sketches to work on when I get time. Many of them have vocal ideas which now require me to write lyrics for. There’s plenty of experiences to reflect on so it’s really a matter of getting into the zone and nutting them out. I wrote a hook recently that I was happy with so that’s at least a start.

‘Zebs’ or ‘Zebby’ is a name that an old friend/housemate used to call me so I’m going to use that for some projects. I’ll also use the Kealey Rhoades moniker for some D’n’B productions. It makes sense to me to brand things a little to avoid confusing things as I’m making a music is various styles. You can hear some sounds on the Ved Sengen SoundCloud and I’ll be adding more when the time is right.

As you might imagine, aside from running my business, working in it and trying to make time for creating music, there’s not much time left for anything other than the usual daily stuff. I did turn 50 recently which was strange.

I could say that it was effortless, but I suppose I’ve had to stay alive for 50 years to get here which is an achievement. It’s a little sad to say goodbye to my youth, but I do feel a sense of freedom of moving beyond that part of my life. I think I’ll ease into it more as I continue into my fifties. The years between 47-52 are a little awkward, maybe a little like those ‘tween’ years.

It’s especially challenging to be at this age without the usual trimming of this stage of life: marriage, family, home ownership, etc. My experience is very different where all that stuff is concerned, so I’m learning to accept that. There’s pros and cons to both ways of living. I’m not the only single person at my age and there are some aspects of how things are that I can be glad about.

I’ve moved into my own place again and that’s a great feeling. Paired with a having my own business, there’s a sense of achievement that helps boost my self-esteem. It’s a very modest living but being independent is important to me. Hitting 50 and having my own apartment was important to me after being in a share house for some years after returning the Melbourne from Copenhagen. That was a tough time for me.

Fortunately I’m in a better place and headspace now. Life seems to have smoothed out a lot and I’ve come to terms with how things are. When I am not working or making tunes, I’m trying to take time out to relax and enjoy the simple things. That’s something about getting older that I can appreciate. As I say, it’s a strange, in-between age and there’s some adjusting to do. I’m grateful that I have plenty to keep me busy and new challenges that I enjoy.

Until next time,


• Bad Gear
• The Behaviour Panel
• Espen Kraft
• The History Squad
• History Time
• Metatron
• Norse Magic & Beliefs

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