Getting to know Kyle Sattler ...

Monday 27 February 2023

Kyle Sattler is a New Zealand-born multimedia artist, musician, and producer who reached out to us recently to share his new single and video project.

Sattler is currently employed as a visual arts and creative technologies tutor on the Bachelor of Creative Industries Degree, at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, in Tauranga. Teaching across a broad range of methodologies including, but not limited to, Photography, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Installation Art, Sculpture, Moving Image, and Sound Art.

Sattler’s current musical project, ‘We Will Ride Fast’, described as “Genre-defying”, “throbbing danceable gloom rock”, blends a multitude of varying visual and sonic processes where the boundaries between the worlds of art and music are deliberately blurred. 

How does the creative process work for you? 

If we are talking specifically about music then my process generally starts from a mindless jam on the guitar or basic rhythm will pop into my head. 

Then I quickly video myself playing or singing the tune. From there it is a case of writing out a rhythm track in MIDI that I can play along to. Some riffs evolve into full songs and others fail I guess. Believe it or not but at least 2 of the songs on my new record, Army Of Invisible Zombies, are from super silly tunes I sang to and about my cat.

I have a Masters Degree in Visual Art and teach full time on an arts degree so my relationship to the creative process has become very holistic in the sense that pretty much everything I do has some tangible creative outcomes.

Embedded within that is an array of different triggers or mechanisms I employ to either stimulate new ideas or facilitate those in action. My Masters of Visual Art project focussed on the concept of ‘flow’ and either being in or projecting my audience into the ‘real present’. With that, we are talking about accessing intuition within process, dadaist concepts of chance or aleatory, and theoretical interpretations of linear time. All of which provide platforms to inform the process.

What effect did the challenges of the pandemic years have on your creativity?

My last album release (Emotional Molecule) was severely impacted by covid. I was forced to cancel a 5 date tour in Oct 21. Other than that, being stuck at home in my studio was awesome. Its my happy place, a place of creative worship almost

What does success look like for you ?

I have managed to make art and music continuously now for 30 years. Not an easy feat. I basically work fulltime in the arts sector, that feels like success. However, being like ‘Benee’ and getting steamed a billion times would be good!!!

Outside of music what's important to you?

Family, I have 2 school age kids. Art, philosophy, critical thinking, great food and surfing. I am super interested in ancient history and revisionist timelines for human civilization. I recently finished the book Forgotten civilization by Dr Robert Schoch

Tell us about your family's relationship to music? 

To my knowledge there aren't any musicians in my family's past, however there is a strong continuum of visual artists and architects. I essentially got into music via my close friends. When I was in my first year of art school 2 long standing musical mates had just had a falling out with their bass player and asked me if I wanted to do it. So, with approximately zero skills I picked up a bass and started playing. They taught me the ropes and before too long I was holding down simple ‘Joy Division’ esc basslines.

All-time greatest musical influences?

This is a tough one as my musical taste is always in flux so I am going to put down those close colleagues of mine that I have written and performed music with throughout the years. 

Specifically the two other members of my old band Frayden and co founders of our record label, Fight, Cave or Hole Records (Whanganui, Auckland) Name drop: Guy Scoullar (Frayden, Deathbeam, Accidie Hex, Blue Sky Hex) and Hayden Fritchley (Frayden, Deathbeam, Seedy Burners, Swallow the Rat). Without realising it I kinda play guitar and drums like they do/did.

Where do you see the music business going?

Well this is an interesting one as it taps directly into the research project and funding that encompasses the release of my new album, Army Of Invisible Zombies. At the time of writing the research application for this current project, DIY music made up 34% of all music released internationally and that number is set to increase. So, for me the future is with independent musicians particularly with regards to Do It Yourself contemporary original music. 

My understanding is that big multinational music labels are buying up the rights to old music and re-releasing it as that is where the growth is.The multinationals are not investing as much in new music. Even with vinyl the growth is occurring with millennials buying music from the 70’s, 80's and the 90's as they have basically never heard it before and want it on a tactile object and vinyl fits that bill.

I am concerned that AI will begin to have a big influence soon. I’m all about authenticity and really only have time for original music. Will the general public, who can at times lack a critical gaze, end up being enamored by AI generated music effectively isolating the musicians and reducing their social impact?

What's next for you?

I am working on some new moving image artworks. I have been planning them for some time but have been busy making new music of late. New artworks that really begin to explore synchresis (the relationship between what we see and what we hear) and audio frequencies that tap into innate natural stimuli like for example, frequencies around 7-8 hertz or those that resonate in tune with the Earth. In essence apply more empirical scientific data to the way artworks are designed so that there is less ambiguity in the way they interact with the viewer.

Also, I have new songs that need recording.

Check out for a deeper dive into Kyle's work.