Pete Yorn plans to release two albums next year – the follow-up to 2001’s acclaimed Musicforthemorningafter and a record he made before his major-label debut.
While the former will feature the same introspective singer/songwriter roots rock showcased in singles like “For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is)” and “Strange Condition,” the latter will reveal another side of Yorn, who is currently touring with Weezer.
“At the time, I was really into Guided by Voices, so it’s lo-fi, really blown-out vocals and guitars,” Yorn said backstage at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California, this weekend. “A lot of reverb. I started every song with the drums and built the songs on top of that. It’s a record that I’m very proud of.”
Recorded mostly in 1997, before Yorn caught his break scoring the Farrelly brothers’ “Me, Myself & Irene,” the album will likely take on the name of the first track, “Model American.”
As for the new release, Yorn said it is still in its infancy, even though he’s already recorded 10 songs for it. He plans to track more and polish the recorded ones when he wraps up his tour commitments in late June.
“The main progression will be different themes in the songs,” Yorn said. “It’s not really about forcing myself to like, ‘I want to make an R&B record’ or whatever. I have my sensibilities and that’s what I’m about. The songs won’t be so much about relationships, [but] more about hope and finding strength within yourself.”
Unlike Musicforthemorningafter, on which Yorn played nearly every instrument himself, the new material will feature his current band. Yorn may also bring in one of his new friends and a recent collaborator, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. The guitarist and Yorn, mutual fans of each other’s work, recorded a new version of “Strange Condition” that Yorn felt could lead to other things.
“He’s the nicest, coolest guy,” Yorn said. “He’s actually got great production ideas as well and is an all-around great musician.”
The new “Strange Condition” surfaced last week on a re-released version of Musicforthemorningafter that also includes covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” and “New York City Serenade,” the Smiths’ “Panic” and David Bowie’s “China Girl” as well as videos for “Strange Condition,” “For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is),” “Life on a Chain” and “June.”
Yorn said the idea for the revamped album came from executives at Columbia Records.
“They knew I was playing a bunch of covers live that the fans always loved and I loved first and foremost and were like, ‘You want to record them? We’ll throw you in the studio,’ ” Yorn explained. “We went in with the Butcher Bros., really diverse guys who did Urge Overkill and the Fugees. We did it one day in like six hours in a studio in Philadelphia. Everything was pretty much just live in the studio. I’m happy that it’s something they’re willing to give away for free with the record. It’s cool.”
Yorn also had a new song hit the shelves Tuesday on the “Spider-Man” soundtrack. He recorded the track, appropriately titled “Undercover,” in December, though not with the superhero, or anything super for that matter, in mind.
“I was really inebriated one night with my friend Ken Andrews, who produced ‘For Nancy,’ ” Yorn said. “I was at his house and said [in a mumbling drunk voice], ‘Let’s go do a song.’ “