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A Splendid Talk with... Kitzl | First Contact

Artist: Kitzl

Location: Guelph, ON, Canada

Peanut Gallery: Sound


Hey Kitzl! How have you been as of late? Any special shenanigans about?

Hey Nicholas, I’ve been having fun digs getting ready for my albumb (sp?) release and eating fruit by the foot… … . basically stuff like that.

It was such a pleasure to have you on The Sentinel’s Marvellous Kaleidoscope (SMK) with Dru Jacey and myself earlier in January, our first musical guest this year! It was both your first live radio interview and performance, correct? How did you feel about the overall experience? I hope we did everything we could to make it a pleasant audience.

Yeppers, it was my first time live on the radio. You guys were really welcoming and gr8! It was really fun to learn all about the radio. I learned about radio things and stuff like that, mostly. Did you know that radio is very widely used in modern technology, in radio communication, radar, radio navigation, remote control, remote sensing and other applications?

Your music is uniquely striking in the best possible way. How would you describe your musical work?

Thank you! I think kinda Hilary Duff meets Frank Zappa. I combine a lot organic and electronic elements. I like outer space and the ocean and stuff like that, mostly.

As a listener, I get sonic sensations from the textures you bring to life. How do you achieve the sounds we hear from your electronic children? What tools and equipment do you use, both in studio and on stage?

I use maschine software and hardware to compose and arrange songs, and also for performing live. It’s a super fun, intuitive tool for composition and you can do so much with it and hardly have to look at your computer screen. I also use lots of soft synths and virtual instruments. I used the korg minilogue in some of my newer tracks (I don’t use it for my live set right now because my rig is already a lot for me to transport around without it). There’s a lot of the minilogue in 'Armadilla'. I have some classical guitar samples and electric guitar in my songs too. I like to play with harmonies, pitch/shifting, and autotune and vocoder effects on my vocals. I use the Perform VE by TC Helicon for most of my live vocal effects, and a RC-505 looper. And then of course I use lots of samples of organic matter and animals outside, and sounds I've collected around my home and around town to get some unique textures in my stuff. So yeah basically stuff like that.

Kitzl @ Silence, Guelph - Photos by Nicholas Cooper / Scope Overseer Photogenics

It has not always been the case that you have produced electronic-based music. What is your background in music? How did you become attracted to electronics?

For a long time I played/wrote on just piano and guitar. It was more singer/songwriter-ish. More folky and poppy. I think at some point I started to feel a bit limited in what I could produce with that. I still like listening to that kind of music and singing/playing along, but I love being able to make music that feels sonically foreign. I wanted to get into soundtrack work and that’s when I started exploring sound and producing music. I think I kind of just started playing with all these new instruments and making weird soundtracky stuff and then forcing vocals on it and it became this stuff- stuff like that.

Who have influenced you in your musical journey thus far? What lessons or neat tricks do you place in your cerebral arsenal to help you through difficult patches?

Right now I really like some peeps like The Knife, Ásgeir, Empress Of, Sigur Rós, ABBA, Baths, Tei Shi, etc etc etc basically stuff like that, basically. It's hard to say, I've kind of just been going nonstop the last little while. It's interesting seeing myself get better at knowing when a project isn't working and letting it RIP. When I started making music I used to get stuck trying to force something to work for too long. Now I know there will always be more and better ideas/projects if I let myself keep moving.

The music videos for your first two single releases, 2018’s ‘Armadilla’ and your most recent ‘GSF’ just released a few weeks ago, are simplistic, yet exudes a quirky and fantastical spirit… and confidence I should say. Are there narratives that you try to project in these works, or are they simply art for art’s sake?

Hmmm. I think it’s largely Kitzl expressing expressive expressions at the listener. Like here I am and this is what i’m doing right now and this is what’s in my brain and this is what it looks like. There are maybe little personal narratives that match the spirit or “message” of the songs. 'GSF' is maybe a bit more upfront with that prison-break allusion. Ssttuuff lliikkee tthhaatt

Aside from your musical activities, what human_person interests and hobbies do you treasure dearly? I recall from our SMK talk that you adore cats…?

I do like cats, but I like all animals. I love birds a lot. Birds birbs borbs. They’re ridiculous. I love dogs, especially my dog. He’s a fruit fly. And I like fish and ocean ppl but i’m worried they’re all going to be dead soon. I want to be a pro scuba diver. I’ve never been scuba diving but I know it’s my thing. I like driving while eating food. So yeah basically stuff like that mostly pretty much.

How did Splendid Industries come by you? Why did you want to join this new special artistic community?

I think Ty said he heard of me through you? Or the SMK broadcast. I liked the website a lot. I like the music in the Methlab. That kinda stuff like that.

It seems like a community of cool artists who are making really neato stuff, I was really happy to be asked to join!

What thrilling escapades will you be setting forth in this year of 2019? Any more live performances, new music releases… will you be finally getting that loving cat that you righteously deserve!?!

No new pets for a while because of the restraining order. I am releasing my debut album [40 Moons That We Know Of] April 25th.

I'm playing Kazoo! Fest next Friday night [April 12th in Guelph @ eBar], and Riverfest in August [17th in Elora @ The Porch Light]! I've got my first shows out of Guelph booked- one in Waterloo and one in Hamilton in May. I'm hoping to play as much as I can and really branch out near and far from my hometown this year. I've been trying to get some shows happening in Toronto but it's been tough to break in. Trono if ur reading this plz be my fren.

So ya basically just stuff like that and whatnot.


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