Cayucas is irresistible right now. We’re in peak summer season and twin brothers Zach and Ben Yudin have nailed that California sandy summer rock sound. If you haven’t listened yet, before you read on, you should listen up:
“High School Lover” is off of their debut album from 2013, Bigfoot. This past June, they released their newest record, Dancing at the Blue Lagoon which is equally as wonderful but has a more expansive sound. Read below to see what Zach Yudin has to say about the band’s history since they were once Oregon Bike Trails and how Dancing at the Blue Lagoon differed as a recording experience from Bigfoot.
MFL: What has changed since Oregon Bike Trails became Cayucas, if anything (besides the name of course)?
Cayucas (Zach Yudin): Oregon Bike Trails started as a bedroom project as just me (Zach), Ben came in later once a proper studio album was recorded we changed the band name to Cayucas to fit the vibe better.
MFL: It seems like the story of Oregon Bike Trails and Cayucas was a bit of a whirlwind! Were you caught by surprise by how quickly the music community took to your music?
ZY: Yes, especially the blogs, they really took hold of the songs in the early stages and helped give us buzz. It’s all been a nice surprise.
MFL: I’ve gathered that you two are twins. What was growing up with a twin brother like for you two and how did it shape your musical careers?
ZY: Well, we usually did the same stuff, whether it was sports or social activity. We had different music tastes initially, I was more into electronic, Ben more singer/songwriter.
MFL: Who are your top five musical inspirations and why?
ZY: Beatles, Beach Boys, Beck, Radiohead, Weezer
These are bands that have had big influences on me in different stages, some more than others but all staples in my life.
MFL: What was the song writing experience and recording experience like for Dancing at the Blue Lagoon and how did it compare to your debut full length, Bigfoot?
ZY: Both Ben and I spent 2 years writing demos and constantly editing the songs. More time and energy went into the album. There is more instrumentation more strings, more musicality, and more production. Bigfoot was a quicker more lo-fi process, recorded in only 10 days. But both experiences were very cathartic, and creatively fulfilling.
MFL: What are your favorite songs to play live and do they differ from what seem to be the crowd favorites?
ZY: Right now “Dancing at the Blue Lagoon” is fun, also “Hella.” I enjoy playing them all, though. The crowd likes “High School Lover”, which is always fun.
MFL: Your songs are packed full of a huge variety of instruments: flutes, piano, strings, horns some clicky percussion-sounding instruments I can’t pin point…to name a few. Who are some of the musicians behind these instruments and how did you find them?
ZY: Many of them are studio musicians that our producer works with out of Seattle. Also, some of our friends like Mat Santos and Becca Zeller from the band Ra Ra Riot on bass and strings. Our friend Davey on drums who tours with Modest Mouse.
MFL: Finally, where do you see Cayucas in one year?
ZY: Hopefully more people will hear the new album and it will continue to grow. We will probably be touring and starting to write new stuff as well.
Photo credit: Dusdin Condren (courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR)
Thanks, Zach for taking the time to answer my questions! I already can’t wait to hear what kind of new stuff these guys may have up their sleeves in a year. For more about Cayucas, check out their Facebook page and official website.