Thursday, June 27, 2013

Erica Rivera Interviews Cayucas

Q&A: Cayucas

If you’re stuck in Minnesota all summer, Cayucas is the ideal aural escape. The dreamy, bouncy sounding band is named after a small-town in their home state of California. Oft compared to the Beach Boys and Vampire Weekend, Cayucas’ lyrics are infused with a wistful tenderness reminiscent of Jack Johnson, yet set to irresistible booty-shaking percussion.

Lead vocalist Zach Yudin co-wrote the songs on the band’s debut LP, Bigfoot, with his twin brother Ben. Richard Swift produced and played multiple instruments on the album, though Yudin has since added Christian Koons, Banah Winn, and Casey Wojtalewicz to round out the band’s roster.

Bigfoot is pure listening pleasure, evoking the yearning for youth, lost loves, rustic campsites and endless shorelines. Now all you need are some shades and a margarita.

Q: The first thing everyone says about the new album is “summery.” How do you feel about that seasonal classification?

A: I think that’s fair. The writing on this album is based on nostalgic moments and a lot of that comes from summertime and growing up. It wasn’t exactly a theme but lyrically it felt right.

Q: Do you think there’s a stereotype that a summery album is lightweight or lacks depth?

A: For me, these songs are more personal. To other people, something might seem surface-y, but it is meaningful to me. When artists make first albums, they feel like they have to write poetic, deeper songs than they need to be. I wrote songs that are not overly complicated. I will dig deeper on the next album.

Q: Will the next album be seasonal?

A: I don’t think so.

Q: You mention high school a couple of times on the album. Are you nostalgic for that time period of your life?

A: I think it was a poignant part of my life. Not the cliché moments of junior high and high school but the funny, interesting moments. College was that way, too.

Q: Speaking of college, you majored in Japanese and taught in Tokyo for a year. How did those experiences influence your music?

A: I was really into electronic music over there. I was writing dance beats and learning how to sample and loop stuff. It was a totally different style of music that blossomed into what I’m writing now.

Q: Love and ladies are ongoing themes in your songwriting. Do you find the musician’s lifestyle to be compatible with a long-term relationship, or is it more suited to summer flings?

A: [Laughs] It depends on the person. I meet a lot of artists in serious, committed relationships and seem content; some of them never even see each other and they are happy. Then there are other people like me who like being single, but it’s not the “gotta be a rock star” thing.

Q: Do you have a particular pick-up line you use? Or do girls just throw themselves at you?

A: [Laughs] No, I don’t have a particular pick-up line. No, girls aren’t throwing themselves at me. It’s more meeting a lot of older guys who are techy people. Our drummer has really good hair, so sometimes I just tag along with him.

Q: Your twin brother is in the band as well. How has touring together been?

A: It’s been pretty easy. We’re fairly introverted, relaxed, laid back guys. It’s interesting to see people’s reactions after shows. They will always be one or two people who ask if we’re related.

Q: Have you ever said you’re not?

A: No. I think they would figure it out.

Q: What are your must-haves for summer?

A: A swimming pool, the sound of running water, and the smell of chlorine and suntan lotion. Those are my official ingredients for summer.

Originally published on in June 2013.