LOS ANGELES — Pete Yorn has been on tour practically nonstop since his debut album was released in the spring, though it hasn't kept the New Jersey native from finishing nearly half of his next disc.
Yorn has written and recorded seven songs for the follow-up to Musicforthemorningafter, he said backstage at KRCW-FM's A Sounds Eclectic Evening on Friday (see "Ozomatli Turn Singer/Songwriter Showcase Into Hip-Hop Salsa Party").
"We record in my buddy's garage, so it's really convenient," Yorn said, referring to R. Walt Vincent's Culver City home studio. "If I have a day at home, I just run down to his house for a few hours. Last time I was here at the Wiltern, I saw Belle & Sebastian, and we were so inspired by the show we darted out of here and went right to the studio and stayed up until seven in the morning working on another new song."
While Musicforthemorningafter was inspired by movies Yorn saw (including "The Sixth Sense"), books he read or people he met while working on it, his next record will be more tied around a central idea.
"The theme of this record is embracing change," Yorn said. "A lot of people are afraid of change. But sometimes it can be for the better. It usually is for the better."
Among the new songs that will likely appear on the album are "Seventeen," "Come Back Home" and "Man in Uniform," which Yorn noted is not about the September 11 terrorist attacks. "It's hit me in a major way, obviously, but I haven't used it as a vehicle for a song yet."
The title of the album will relate to its theme, though Yorn was not ready to reveal it Friday. He expects the record to be on shelves by late spring or early summer.
It seems music fans are just catching on to Musicforthemorningafter, anyway. The album's "For Nancy (Cos' It Already Is)" is garnering increasing radio and video play from an array of outlets.
For the next single, Yorn will hit the alternative rock and adult contemporary markets with different tunes. The harder-rocking "Closet" will be released to alternative rock stations, while "Strange Condition," which first appeared on the "Me, Myself & Irene" soundtrack and was produced by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Better Than Ezra), will go the adult contemporary route.
"I don't care what is released," Yorn said. "Any song. I like them all."
Before Yorn's new album is out, fans can hear him on Liz Phair's spring release. He wrote and arranged four tracks for the project after meeting her through Wood and Vincent, who are also both working on it.
"I gave her what I thought would be cool arrangements for some songs," Yorn said. "Her new songs are great and totally cool. The new stuff is kind of a return to Exile in Guyville (1993)."
Yorn just launched a winter tour with Remy Zero and JJ72 that will keep him busy through the rest of the year.
"It's still so new. So many people are seeing us for the first time, so it's fun to see how people relate to the songs," Yorn said. "It's been a nice, steady build, not anything that is overwhelming, not anything that is boring."
Those who will miss Yorn on the tour can catch him performing live on the latest episode of HBO's "Reverb" on Friday.
Pete Yorn tour dates (with Remy Zero and JJ72, unless otherwise noted), according to Columbia Records:
- 11/15 - Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
- 11/16 - Houston, TX@ Engine Room
- 11/17 - Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Tea Room
- 11/19 - Birmingham, AL @ Five Points Music Hall
- 11/20 - Atlanta, GA @ Earthlink Live
- 11/21 - Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
- 11/23 - Old Bridge, NJ @ Birch Hill Nite Club
- 11/24 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
- 11/26 - Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
- 11/28 - Valley Stream, NY @ The Vanderbilt (WLIR-FM radio show)
- 11/29 - New York, NY @ Roseland
- 12/1 - Fairfax, VA @ Patriot Center (WHFS-FM's Nutcracker with System of a Down, Nickelback, Coldplay, Puddle of Mudd, the Crystal Method)
- 12/2 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
- 12/4 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
- 12/5 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
- 12/6 - Minneapolis, MN @ Quest Club
- 12/11 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Rosebud (WXDX-FM's Kick-Ass X-Mas 2001 with Remy Zero, Flickerstick, Buzz Poets)
- 12/14 - Charlotte, NC @ Grady Cole Center (WEND-FM's Not So Acoustic Christmas Show with Train, Ben Folds)