Pete Yorn Plays Things By Ear When He's on Stage

Pete Yorn Plays Things By Ear When He's on Stage
Andrew Youssef

Since the release of 2010's self-titled album, Pete Yorn has stayed busy. Between his work with The Olms, his collaborative project with J.D. King and happenings in his personal life that includes getting married, the singer/songwriter hasn't had the time to put his own solo work into consideration.

Yorn has been at work on his sixth studio effort, but at his own leisurely pace. That's why when he decided to do a quick, stripped down tour he calls You & Me, it was an exciting change from his work with his own touring band and other projects like The Olms and famously his work with actress Scarlett Johansson. Though there are a few songs that he'll play, the set is generally a free-flowing, freeform process where Yorn will take requests from fans and go deep into his catalog if he's in the mood for it. The requests have varied from night-to-night, with some deep requests leaving the singer to dig deep into his memory to remember how to play a particular track.

"It was just five shows at the beginning in case because I wasn't sure if I was going to bug out," he explains over the phone from his home in Los Angeles. "My mind wants to avoid stress and pressure, but subconsciously, I like to create the unknown. It's already a challenge for me to go with nothing to hide behind. Now, I'm not going to have a set list, and I don't know why I do it. But it's made for the interesting shows for me."

The tour has turned out to be more successful than initially anticipated. Initially the tour was scheduled to be a five one-off shows but has expanded to the whole country. For the final run, Yorn has seven shows booked in seven nights, all in California.

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"I was going for some simplicity and hadn't been on the road in a while," Yorn says. "It felt like it would be a hard reset and get out there in the way I started by having a guitar and playing some songs."

These final You & Me shows are the last until unleashes his latest batch of new material. Five years in the making, Yorn isn't quite ready to disclose the nature of the record's sound or title. He worked with Walt Vincent - who produced his first two albums - Sunny Levine and Scott Seiver on the new album. There isn't a release date, though Yorn says the album is done and ready to go.

Even though it's almost done, he's shied away from playing too many new songs on the road. Yorn says this is more as a courtesy to the crowd than him being worried at how the songs are received. He will play a few newer ones, he says, but knows fans are excited to hear particular songs from his catalog and won't inundate them in the new material. At least not yet.

"Having that freedom to reinterpret songs any way I want on a given night makes feel even more alive," he says. "I'm just happy to play music and that the fans are excited about what I'm playing."

See also: The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List

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