Cayucas 'Bigfoot': Zach Yudin Discusses New Album and How Radio Helped the Band Grow

Cayucas is a relatively new band. Since its inception in 2011, Cayucas has already done more in the world of music than most young artists do.

They've been signed by a record label, Secretly Canadian, have a viral music video, released an album to pretty rave reviews, and become a favorite of NPR. Lead singer, and founder of Cayucas, Zach Yudin, sat down to talk to me about the band, and everything Cayucas related.

(Evan Almeida): Starting off can you list the names of everyone in Cayucas and their respective instruments?

(Zach Yudin): Sure, there’s: Casey (Wojtalewicz), he plays drums, Christian (Koons) plays guitar and sings a little bit, Ben (Yudin) plays bass, and I’m Zach (Yudin) and I sing and play guitar.

(EA): How was Cayucas formed?

(ZY): About a year ago, I had basically an entire album recorded, and then I needed to put a band together so that I could play these songs live. So I reached out to a bunch of people and we all came together as Cayucas.

(EA): What is your musical background like?

(ZY): Well, I grew up singing in choirs, and I sang in choirs in college too. I started my music in high school, but it took off in college, I started writing songs in college on guitar, and messing around by playing a midi, and electronic music and stuff like that.

(EA): What has been the best thing to happen to Cayucas so far?

(ZY): We played Primavera Sound in May, which is the BIG festival in Barcelona (Spain) it was pretty awesome, definitely a highlight.

(EA): You’ve recently been featured prominently on the Sirius XM stations: Altnation and Sirius XMU as well as NPR Music. Why, in your opinion has the Cayucas found success so early in its career? 

(ZY): Well, I’m not entirely sure, the track “High School Lover” seems to be pretty popular, and then there’s been so much radio play. Which, I didn’t realize, how effective and powerful radio still is in music. Whether it’s through Sirius XM Altnation, or NPR Music, I would say that the majority of people that know about us, heard us on those stations.

(EA): Who wrote your flagship single “High School Lover”? It’s created a lot of buzz, and the video of the song has been seen a decent number of times, could you give me any insight into the meaning behind the song?

(ZY): Yeah, it was, kind of, a song about this girl I knew in junior high. We had this, sort of; pretend secret fan club for a boy band, where she would send me letters every couple of weeks over the summer, inviting me to join. It was kind of a joke where she would invite me to a meeting “blah blah blah” and she would end every letter with “Call this number to reserve your tickets.” So she sent me a ton of letters over the summer, and I never responded, even though I really liked her and I feel bad about it. “High School Lover” is just a song about that person that you should have hung out more with in junior high and high school and when you look back at that time in your life you just think “Why didn’t I do that?”

(EA): Pitchfork reviewed your debut album, Bigfoot, at a rating of 4.9, while not bad, it's not great either. While the reviewer was fairly positive about the album, he did criticize Cayucas for sounding too much like other bands (specifically Vampire Weekend). Do you plan to try and change anything, or are you going to keep doing what you are doing?

(ZY): I have no plans, really, to fix any problems. You just sort of write the songs that you can. If you’re inspired by Vampire Weekend, and that’s the band you want to sound like, do what feels right for you to do.

(EA): What are Cayucas' plans for the future, and tours that you would like to promote? When are you expecting to begin recording a new album?

(ZY): We just started our U.S. tour, which began June 6, and goes until July 18. After that we just have a few select shows in Los Angeles, with a few dates on the East Coast in August. Then we’re going to relax until we go to Europe in September, and we’ll get back in the U.S. in October and tour the rest of 2013.

(EA): That sounds pretty awesome, thank you for your time.

(ZY): No problem.

To buy tickets to any Cayucas show, especially, you can buy them from their website, or ticketmaster. Their debut album, Bigfoot, is available on iTunes and Amazon. If you need a daily Cayucas fix, you can follow them on Twitter @cayucasband.