“It was the very end of the 2 month Coast to Coast US tour, I wanted to go revisit the same hotel that the cover photo for “California Sounds” was shot in just 7 months before. Since my friends Ian and Katherine who shot the video for “Sad” live only a few blocks away, I had an idea that maybe we should just make a video of me visiting the site with my guitar, no real plan, script or story. It’s fun to see how I went from looking as I normally do on the album cover to a complete hillbilly here. It’s like two different people but I guess that’s a part of my story”
Directed by: Ian Fisher, Filmed By: Kathrine Kohl & Ian Fisher, Produced By: Ian Fisher & Yotam Ben Horin
Yotam on tour of Europe with Joey Cape of Lagwagon.
Dropping everything you’re doing and starting from scratch is not an easy task especially when you’re in your mid 30’s.
After celebrating a successful 20 years of existence show with punk band Useless ID (Fat Wreck Chords) to a hometown crowd in Israel it was time to take a break.
Yotam set out to the States for some soul searching, the result: “California Sounds”.
After living in his car and random houses all over the States for the past 6 months in 2015, around 70 shows in with the likes of Frank Turner, Chad Price, The Ataris, Laura Jane Grace, etc…
Yotam stopped by Bob Hoag’s Flying Blanket Studios (Built to Spill, Ataris) which consists of mostly analog gear and guitars from the 1950’s, armed with 10 brand new songs and going for a vibe where you enter a studio and leave a day later with an album done like in in the early years of Bob Dylan.
“Nobody does this anymore, everyone is so caught up in sounding perfect and auto tune and it just kills character” he says, then adds “Bob was amazing, we did 1-2 takes of each song, making very quick decisions”
All live with some overdubs here and there, the album was mixed the next day and mastered a month later by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room while Yotam passed by through Colorado for a show.
The album is more stripped down in sound and more punk in spirit than it’s predecessor “Distant Lover” which was released on Hardline Entertainment 3 years ago to be exact, as the name is stripped down as well. “Dropping my last name just felt natural after playing a show at Hermosa Beach opening for label mates The Bunny Gang featuring Nathen Maxwell of Flogging Molly, I looked at the stage times and it said Yotam 8:00–8:30 which just seemed more fitted for this album” says Yotam and adds “People just can’t remember my last name”, even Fat Mike whom I’ve known for years asked me one day “Dude, how do you say your last name again?”
Trying to catch the madness of tour life while it was happening “California Sounds” was recorded on May 4th between two US tours. It tells the story of questions that appear as we get older but aren’t ready yet to cross the line into adulthood like opener “Days of Living” , other themes dealing with new people entering our lives as others leave “Tony Sly”, “Grandfather” yet, an album is never complete without the ultimate break up song “Silver and Gold” or a lost love that didn’t come to fruition “Catastrophe” and pushing his limits to write songs on the road and completing them during drives “California Sounds”, “Young Man Bones”
“The comfort zone is the enemy” adds Yotam.
“California Sounds” is out now via Hardline Entertainment.
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