Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn decided to move dramatically forward on his new album, “Back and Fourth.”
On his first three albums, Yorn wrote lyrics before composing music, then recorded most of the parts himself. But he upended that process on “Back and Fourth,” which comes out June 23, not only changing his writing style but also working with a full band at Bright Eyes/Saddle Creek principal Mike Mogis’ studio in Omaha, Neb. — Yorn’s first recording venture outside of Los Angeles.
“As much as it was what I wanted to do, it was definitely hard on me,” confesses Yorn, 34, who also recorded a duet project with actress Scarlett Johansson, “The Break Up Album,” due out Sept. 8. “I’m so used to doing all the (playing) myself, it’s definitely a challenge for me to let go and let people bring their stuff to the table.
“But these were all musicians I definitely had a lot of respect for, and they played some things I don’t think I would have thought of myself, so that was good.”
Yorn had one other major compatriot in making “Back and Fourth” — Grammy Award-winner Rick Rubin, who has a primary creative position at Yorn’s label, Columbia Records, and provided guidance and oversight for the project.
“I remember going out to his house in Malibu and definitely having an acute anxiety attack,” Yorn says with a laugh. “But he’s just the nicest guy. I just felt this warmth from him.
“He was really encouraging and made me feel good and gave me confidence to move forward and write more songs. He really was a big help. I hope I get to work with him again.”
Pete Yorn performs with Coldplay and Howling Bells at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (June 2) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $105 and $87 pavilion, $42.50 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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