Ahead of their first Sydney show in yonks, Dave Rennick and Tim Derricourt of Dappled Cities were put to the test on how well they knew their own music. But first, they reminisce about being on the front cover of Dolly, just not in the way they expected.
TIM: We were doing this shoot for Dolly magazine, they were into our band so we thought it would be a cool shot of us being this cool band that teenage girls were into. But it ended up being this weird shoot where we were the backdrop for a teenage model, and it just…
DAVE: And the concept for the shoot was Woodstock, so we were like a 70s band, and there were two models in the front as the festival goers.
TIM: We were wearing denim vests and shit. You look it up, it’s the best shoot. Like everything we’ve done that’s terrible, it’s on the internet.
HAPPY: That is fucking brilliant guys. Well, let’s get straight to business. We’ve decided to ditch the usual interview questions, and instead we’ll play a game. We’ve picked 10 of your songs, and taken a lyric from each. I’m going to recite the lyric out of context, and you have to tell us which one it is. They’ll get progressively harder.
TIM: I Like this game!
DAVE: Yeah me too!
HAPPY: And if you guess right, you get one of these Happy prize packs!
DAVE: And we just have to guess our own lyrics? It’s hardly guessing is it? (laughs)
HAPPY: I may have made some poor decisions.
TIM: Whatever happens we’ll pretend it’s hard. I do forget lyrics when we rehearse though.
DAVE: Alright, hit us!
HAPPY: Okay first one “Why so starry eyed?”
DAVE: Well I know the answer…
TIM: Hang on I have to think. Wait do you know it?
DAVE: Yeah I know it! This is a good game because he writes half the lyrics and I write the other half, so I know mine.
TIM: Within Hours?
TIM: Oh it’s Run With the Wind.
DAVE: That’s so easy! You don’t even know my songs!
HAPPY: Okay next question, that was the easier one too. “Make the light bulbs work“.
DAVE: That’s one of yours.
TIM: “Make the light bulbs work“, it is!
DAVE: This is a hard game! This is actually hard, damn it!
TIM: Make the light bulbs… damn!
DAVE: Maybe Grandance?
TIM: It’s off that era, States? No. Oh my god, can we pass and come back?
DAVE: (laughs) Isn’t that the easy one?
HAPPY: I thought that was an easy one…
TIM: It’s not Work it Out?
DAVE: Oh great, we’re on 50% so far.
HAPPY: Okay we’ll come back to that! Next one, “The hee, the caw”.
TIM: Ah, Holy Chord.
HAPPY: Very good! Next one, “The music tells me“.
DAVE: The music tells me? What? That’s not one of mine man, that sounds like one of your daggy shit. That is definitely not mine.
TIM: Is it Vision Bell?
DAVE: That is terrible, “The music tells me“, (laughs).
HAPPY: It’s not Vision Bell.
DAVE: I’m gonna go with Faces.
HAPPY: Nope, it’s Icecubes.
TIM: HA! That’s your crappy song!
DAVE: (laughs) Alright. I’m suspicious about that one though.
HAPPY: Alrighty, “Missed your entire…”
TIM: Woah. This is an amazing experiment as to how many songs we’ve written, which is very nice. Missed your entire, oh man.
DAVE: (laughing) This game is hard man, I’ve got nothing.
TIM: I love it!
DAVE: I feel like that’s Grandance.
TIM: What’s the answer?
HAPPY: It‘s League of German Girls.
DAVE: That’s good yes!
TIM: That is in there.
DAVE: One point to you!
HAPPY: Why thank you! Okay this is an old one, “Turn your head“.
DAVE: “Turn your head around!“, Peach!
HAPPY: Yes it’s Peach!
HAPPY: Very nice gents. Next one, “Ran for the clouds“.
DAVE: That’s Battlewon, I know because those are some of my favourite lyrics. They live in my heart. Every word is meaningful. Next!
HAPPY: “We’re looking for…”
TIM: Yeah, Price?
TIM: Give me another go! (Tim starts singing and strumming his air guitar). The Weekend? Is it one of mine? I think it is?
DAVE: You have to tap into the muscle memory to get it.
TIM: Can we pass that one? I’ve lost this game, I haven’t got one right.
HAPPY: Alright we’ll come back to that. Next one is “In the walls…”
TIM: That’s not mine. Or is it? Oh my goodness this is amazing. This is what it’ll be like when people interview me when I’m 80. They’ll be like “Remember your song?” and I’ll be like “Nah I wasn’t in a band, but thank you” (laughs). I know this, it’s very metaphorical…
DAVE: I keep wanting to say Grandance whenever it’s something a bit flowery.
HAPPY: It’s not Grandance (laughs)
TIM: What other records do we have? Lake Air…
DAVE: (laughs) Yeah, let’s start by naming our records!
TIM: Nup I don’t have it. What song is that?
HAPPY: It’s Watercourse.
TIM: I knew that.
DAVE: YES! Two points to you!
HAPPY: Okay now do you want to go back to the two you passed or head into the final boss?
TIM: Let’s go back.
DAVE: Yeah give us the previous questions.
HAPPY: Okay, question two was “Make the light bulbs work“.
TIM: It’s not Paint the Walls…
DAVE: Ah! It is! It’s my song! Is it? It’s my song!
TIM: Is it? I don’t think so.
DAVE: Paint the Walls!
HAPPY: Tim, do you agree with that answer?
TIM: No, it sounds like something I said, and it’s from a song that I sing live quite a lot.
DAVE: The Price.
DAVE: (laughing) Grandance.
TIM: Ah, I give up. (Tim starts singing again), you’ll have to give me the first letter of the song.
HAPPY: The first letter is ‘L’
DAVE: The Leopard!
TIM: The Leopard?
DAVE: Oh fuck, what is it?
HAPPY: Lake Air
TIM: Oh it is Lake Air! I sing that as backing vocals.
DAVE: Oh god! (laughs)
TIM: This is amazing, I like this game a lot.
HAPPY: Okay, the other one we were after was “We’re looking for“.
TIM: Ah I know this! “It’s what we’re looking for!” The Weekend? Leopard? I’m just gonna name all the songs I know the names of now.
DAVE: I can’t tell you how hard this is, and how irritating (laughs).
TIM: What’s it start with?
HAPPY: It’s two words, first letter of the first word is ‘V’.
TIM: Vision Bell?
HAPPY: You want to lock that in?
HAPPY: It is Vision Bell.
DAVE: (laughs) Oh thank god!
TIM: “It’s what we’re looking for!“, there it is!
DAVE: That was so punishing!
HAPPY: Okay this is the last one, it’s the hard one.
TIM: Alright bring it.
DAVE: I’m not ready.
HAPPY: “The Sun“.
DAVE: Fire Fire Fire, I definitely say that in that song. Father and Son?
TIM: No. This is amazing, my mind, it will never remember. Old or new?
HAPPY: I’m pretty sure it’s in the middle.
DAVE: Ah, right in the hazy area of our career.
TIM: I’m lost.
HAPPY: Take a punt.
DAVE: The Night is Young at Heart.
TIM: I think it’s one of mine, I think it’s The Answer is Zero.
HAPPY: The Answer is Zero, it is.
TIM: Is it?
DAVE: Yeah it’s in that song!
TIM: (laughing) That was a complete guess! Sucked in! I beat the quiz! I didn’t even know that! That was so hard but I like that. When you’ve written 100 songs it’s very hard to remember.
DAVE: But when you take it out of context like that, you really rely on that muscle memory when you’re playing live.
HAPPY: Well I have one more question for you guys, but I promise it’s not as hard. We like to talk about things that make us happy, or in this case torture songwriters with their past, so what makes you happy?
TIM: That’s very easy, I’m happy all the time. I like swimming, nature…
DAVE: Taking selfies makes you happy.
TIM: I don’t take any selfies.
DAVE: Timothy is the inventor of selfies.
TIM: I invented selfies, and once camera phones became a thing I stopped. I loved taking photos as a kid, when I was 8 I’d take selfies with my grand dad’s Box Browning. I was like “When I grow up, I’l have the coolest exhibition, it’ll just be pictures of me!” Turns out that’s just narcissism.
DAVE: Slash Instagram.
TIM: So you could argue that I also invented Instagram.
HAPPY: You should claim that. Win some money and then goodbye Dappled Cities.
TIM: No I’d give some money to the band. If I won a million I’d give $100 to each member of the band.
DAVE: Why thank you.
TIM: My pleasure.
DAVE: I’d give you about $1000. Just to go do your own thing and not talk to me (laughs).
TIM: If I won a million dollars I’d give you $20,000 and give you another five but if you created something out of it I’d expect half the profits.
DAVE: Like my investor?
TIM: Like your investor.
DAVE: What makes me happy anyway, are things that look nice. Specifically nice looking cars. That’s it.
TIM: You’re like a renaissance humanist, you just like the aesthetic nature of things.
HAPPY: Last time I spoke to you Dave you said you were happy being a friendly dictator.
DAVE: That was with Light Pressure though. If you try to be a friendly dictator in Dappled you get all these blank expressions (laughs).
TIM: It’s like Stalin giving a speech and everyone looking confused and walking away (laughs). You would be a terrible dictator. They all fall eventually, Dave would just fall earlier than most.
Dappled Cities are playing at the Newtown Social Club on Friday February 5 with Hedge Fund and Phantastic Ferniture. Head down to the show, and hopefully Tim and Dave will be able to remember their lyrics.