First published on 18 Jul 2012. Updated on 20 Jul 2012.
The self-proclaimed “middle-aged statesmen” of Sydney indie-rock, Dappled Cities are returning to the scene with a new album, Lake Air. In the lead-up to the release, Time Out spoke with vocalist and lead guitarist Tim Derricourt about a new, dancier sound, recording in St Peters and the Sydney live music scene that made Dapples what it is today.
Tim let’s start with the new album, Lake Air: It seems a lot brighter and a lot dancier, dare we say – was that a conscious decision on your part?
Yeah: 100 per cent. We wanted to make an album that we had fun making and that people have fun listening to. So if that’s the impression you guys get, then our ambitions have come to fruition.
What else have you done differently this time around?
Well, sonically, we aimed to reduce our normal production style. We’re a band that has often tried to orchestrate the hell out of our songs and put five versions of each sound on the recording. With this record we really tried to let the songs breathe and have a life of their own. Also, we wanted to let the lyrics be heard more clearly so we basically recorded with less instruments. Lyrically, I feel like it’s a very different record – we’re three years older than we were on the last record so we were thinking about different things.
We know that you’ve recorded previous albums overseas but Lake Air was put down in St Peters. Does the recording environment affect your sound or was it just a convenience thing this time around?
It affects us unbelievably – the recording environment contributes to the whole thing. The same can be said for who you’re recording with. This time around we collaborated with a bloke called Jarrad Kritzstein, he’s just an incredibly fun-loving, young LA dude, which was great. That combined with the fact that we recorded at a place that had a big balcony where we could have barbeques every day meant that the majority of the recording process was delightful and sunny.
After doing some very basic arithmetic we’ve discovered that it’s been almost ten years since the release of your first EP and one of our editors remembers seeing you at a band competition in the late nineties. You guys have been around for a while then, how do you think you’ve hanged as a band?
Well the funny thing is – and I think anyone that’s been in a band for a long stretch can attest to this – is that we haven’t really changed that much. We came on the scene when we were 18, in 2001, but had been playing together since we were 14. That period prior to being in the spotlight kind of firmed our approach to being a band. We just keep playing together. So we never really fight, never have moments where we’re going to break up – we’ve literally always been hanging together and looking forward to making the next record and touring.
And what about the Aussie music scene as a whole, how has that changed?
We’ve charted the recording trajectory from not being able to get music on the Internet, to Myspace, to Facebook to Spotify and we have seen bands get disenchanted with the fact that no one can sell records anymore. But that fact doesn’t stop people wanting to form bands. The music scene in Australia, right now, is stronger than ever. We’ve got great young bands like Royal Headache and Collarbones with incredibly diverse styles and kick-arse live shows.
So, where to from here?
We’ll release this record then go on a tour of the country and everyone will fall blindly in love with us. It’ll be quite difficult to manage the expectations of the entire country and all the hopes they’re resting on our shoulders, so we’ll escape to America and England, and take those places by storm. While doing so, will buy a big truck and record our next record while on the road – in fact we’ll make a triple record. And if all that doesn’t come true, then I’ll eat my hat.
Lake Air is available Fri Aug 3.
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