Dropping everything youâ€™re doing and starting from scratch is not an easy task especially when youâ€™re in your mid 30â€™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: â€œCalifornia Soundsâ€.
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, etcâ€¦
Yotam stopped by Bob Hoagâ€™s Flying Blanket Studios (Built to Spill, Ataris) which consists of mostly analog gear and guitars from the 1950â€™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.
â€œNobody does this anymore, everyone is so caught up in sounding perfect and auto tune and it just kills characterâ€ he says, then adds â€œBob was amazing, we did 1-2 takes of each song, making very quick decisionsâ€
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 itâ€™s predecessor â€œDistant Loverâ€ which was released on Hardline Entertainment 3 years ago to be exact, as the name is stripped down as well. â€œDropping 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 albumâ€ says Yotam and adds â€œPeople just canâ€™t remember my last nameâ€, even Fat Mike whom Iâ€™ve known for years asked me one day â€œDude, how do you say your last name again?â€
Trying to catch the madness of tour life while it was happening â€œCalifornia Soundsâ€ was recorded on May 4th between two US tours. It tells the story of questions that appear as we get older but arenâ€™t ready yet to cross the line into adulthood like opener â€œDays of Livingâ€ , other themes dealing with new people entering our lives as others leave â€œTony Slyâ€, â€œGrandfatherâ€ yet, an album is never complete without the ultimate break up song â€œSilver and Goldâ€ or a lost love that didnâ€™t come to fruition â€œCatastropheâ€ and pushing his limits to write songs on the road and completing them during drives â€œCalifornia Soundsâ€, â€œYoung Man Bonesâ€
â€œThe comfort zone is the enemyâ€ adds Yotam.