What started out with love for a sleepy beach town has spurred a successful music career for twin brothers Zach and Ben Yudin.
The two lead the indie band Cayucas and join the Irvine alternative rock band Young the Giant on a North American tour that kicks off Feb. 4 in Ventura and comes to Los Angeles on Feb. 7 at the Hollywood Palladium.
“We're pretty stoked for this tour,” said Cayucas frontman Zach Yudin, after a recent rehearsal in downtown L.A. “It's going to be some of our biggest shows ever in front of the biggest audiences in the biggest venues we've ever played.”
Cayucas toured most of 2013 and played in front of about 5,000 during a festival in Barcelona — probably the largest crowd yet, Yudin said — but “It's a different feeling when you're in a huge theater with everyone packed out there in front of you.”
Young the Giant is promoting its sophomore album “Mind Over Matter,” which was released in October, while Cayucas is continuing to celebrate the success of its first full-length album, “Big Foot,” that was released in April.
“It originally started out with songs I was sampling from old vinyls from the '60s like the Beach Boys genre, but not actually Beach Boys. I don't remember exactly, but they were samples I was looping that was the basis of our first four to five songs,” Yudin said of the band's humble start, when it was originally named Oregon Bike Trail.
A two-week-long recording session with his brother, who is a classical guitar-trained musician turned bassist, a few band member additions — Casey Wojtalewicz on the drums/percussion and Russell Henson on the guitar — and a name change later, Cayucas is becoming an indie rockers' household name.
And speaking of names, how did the band end up going from Oregon Bike Trail to Cayucas?
Yudin visited the beachside town of Cayucos in San Luis Obispo County while a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and fell in love with the vintage beach town, which ended up setting the vibe for the band and its songs. The band even went back to Cayucos in November to play a benefit concert at its namesake pier.
Between benefit concerts and touring, however, Yudin admits he and his brother have forgotten to take care of one little thing.
“Technically, I'm homeless,” he said, laughing. “My brother and I have been living in Santa Monica for the last three years and we ended the lease on our apartment but haven't had the chance to really find one. We're still looking.”
Sure, they're couch-surfers at the moment, but the brothers of Cayucas aren't going to be home much anyway. The guys are rising rock stars — and they're still getting used to it. Among the fun stories Yudin still laughs about in an “I can't believe this is real” kind of way was the day he found out Drew Barrymore is a fan of the band, or when the 30-year-old met his teenage crush Michelle Branch, the guitarist/songstress who collaborated with Santana for their Grammy Award-winning hit “The Game of Love.”
“She tweeted one of our songs and then we ended up becoming friends with her,” Yudin said, laughing. “She's a girl I had an insane crush on when I was younger. It was kind of crazy. I was a little bit starstuck when I saw her.”
Cayucas is already working on new material for its next album that Yudin hopes will keep to the band's summer-lovin' sound.
“The first album was full of songs I wrote about high school and that was cool, but I'm not really in that head space anymore. But I'm also trying to not do anything too crazy,” he said. “The songs I'm writing now, I'm trying to do a little more storytelling. There's different inspiration for this one, but I hope the California vibe is still there.”