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About the Album
For Nightcrawler, his first new studio album in three years, rocker Pete Yorn explores, and brings full circle, the day-for-life metaphor (morning-day-night) which began with his RIAA gold-certified debut album, musicforthemorningafter, in 2001 and continued through 2003's Day I Forgot. "This new record is not so much for the night," says Pete, "but for a later period in my life. The perspective I have comes from having lived more and experienced more."
Nightcrawler, which premieres a dozen brand-new songs, is perhaps the most musically complex and fully realized album of Pete's career, a wealth of striking harmonic textures and sophisticated chord shifts framed in a lyric sensibility that's dark and hopeful and knowing and funny all at once. Jason Killingsworth, writing in Paste magazine, said that Nightcrawler is "More daring and challenging than anything Pete Yorn's done up to now."
"The record feels different and it sounds different, but it also feels like a continuation of what I've been doing," Pete offers. "I feel like it's taking more chances creatively as a whole and at the same time it's just music that I want to make. There are a lot of pop songs on it, but it might not be as pop-y as the last record."
On Nightcrawler, as on his previous albums, Pete Yorn plays a bulk of the musical parts: vocals, programming, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, organ, and percussion. Collaborating with Pete on the album's production were Tony Berg -- "He brought a lot to the table" -- and Michael Beinhorn -- "We butted heads a lot, but we got some really interesting stuff out of it."
Some special guest artists stopped by to help out with Nightcrawler including the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, who plays drums on "For Us," the album's first single.
Martie Maguire (fiddle) and Natalie Maines (backing vocals), from the Dixie Chicks, appear with Pete on "The Man." (Pete, who first met the Dixie Chicks at an after-Grammy party in New York, cowrote a track, "Baby Hold On," on the Dixie Chicks' latest #1 album, Taking The Long Way.)
According to Pete, "every song has its own configuration. I want to finish complete songs as a whole before I move on to other songs." Some of Pete's new songs -- like "Broken Bottle," "The Man," "Ice Age," and "Same Thing" -- "feel like they're right in your face. Sonically, they're present." Others -- like "How Do You Go On" -- have what Pete calls "that wall-of-sound vibe, a bigger overall sound."
As a bonus for fans, Nightcrawler reprises Pete's "Undercover" (from 2002's "Spider-Man" soundtrack) and revisits Pete's sardonic interpretation of Warren Zevon's "Splendid Isolation," which also appeared on the 2004 tribute album Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon.
For "Vampyre," the album's opening track, Pete conjures a piece of music that builds from a quiet whisper to a storm. "It was important for me to start the record off with just my voice and guitar," he says. "I wanted it to be very bare bones like that. There were a lot of sleepless nights working on the sequencing, the detail of every song. The process was pretty painstaking for me because I'm just not nonchalant about it. It's something that I take very seriously and I want it to be right."
Pete Yorn's been working on Nightcrawler intently over the past three years. He listened to and absorbed a lot of music including Roy Orbison, Hank Snow, the Beach Boys, My Bloody Valentine, Talking Heads and Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde and John Wesley Harding.
"I'm mainly inspired by melody," says Pete. "I have these sounds in my head, chord progressions that are interesting to me that are inspired by sounds in nature or other music that I've liked over the years. I try and have an open mind. Sometimes the way I hear things in my head isn't the way I actually want it to sound once it's recorded."
Nightcrawler was recorded in a series of sessions taking place "everywhere from Hoboken, New Jersey to Venice, California." A couple of songs were recorded in the backyard of Tony Berg's house.
Prior to the release of Nightcrawler, Pete Yorn embarked on his "You & Me" Acoustic Tour, which included sold-out performances at intimate venues as well as free afternoon mini-concerts day-of-show at local independent record stores at every city along his tour route. Each of Pete's in-store performances was recorded for a limited edition souvenir CD series, "Live From...," to be sold exclusively at the local independent record store originally hosting the mini-concert.
"I've been wanting to do an acoustic tour for a while," says Pete. "I wanted to connect with my fans on a small level and just get up close and see who the Pete Yorn fan is and let them see who I am."
During the making of Nightcrawler, Pete wrote and recorded the songs that found their way onto a special, limited edition six-song EP, "Westerns." "I've been in this lonesome cowboy phase for a while," Pete told Billboard.com. "I've been really inspired by guys like Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. 'Westerns' has a twang to it and is a real departure for me, but Nightcrawler is most definitely the rock record."
With Nightcrawler, Pete Yorn says he rounds out the "morning, day and night trilogy of metaphors of progression of my life. It's an opportunity to re-set. This is where I am now and I'm anxious to get out and play it for people, and it's been really fun. It feels like another evolution in who I am as a person. People complain if you change too much or stay too much the same. Although I'm very connected to my roots and I'm very grounded, I'm not trying to be the guy I was artistically in 1996 or 2000, or 2003 even. I take it day by day."
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About the Artist
From the beginning of his career, singer/songwriter/rocker Pete Yorn has been the topic of numerous critical accolades. Rolling Stone, who picked Pete as one of the magazine's "Ten to Watch in 2001," gave Pete's debut album, musicforthemorningafter, a four-star (****) rating calling the album "...atmospheric, gently lit by sunlight and regret." Pete's debut album was certified RIAA gold as of April 24, 2002.
USA Today observed "The latest last great hope for the ailing singer/songwriter genre may vaguely resemble a young Springsteen....His insinuating melodies and lean...driving graceful arrangements evoke R.E.M.'s early work. It's impossible to pigeonhole Yorn's music...inspired quirkiness makes him, if not the future of rock 'n' roll, at least a promising new disciple."
Pete Yorn was born in New Jersey, his father a dentist, his mother a former concert pianist-turned-schoolteacher. He taught himself to play his older brother's drum kit at the age of nine and was learning the guitar by the time he was 12. Around that time, while vacationing with his family in the Bahamas, a fellow vacationer -- a girl from Pensacola, Florida -- introduced Pete to the music of Morrissey and the Smiths.
Pete started singing, and writing his own material, following a particularly memorable talent show at Montville (New Jersey) High School in 1990. Though he had never sung in public before, he was recruited by his bandmates to croon the Replacements' "Talent Show" from behind his drum-kit. The performance caused such a stir that the members of a different band in the competition cajoled Pete back to the stage to join them in belting out a raucous rendition of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World." Since that night, he's never looked back.
After graduating from Syracuse University, Pete migrated to Los Angeles, where he began to attract a following with his performances at Cafe Largo. Bradley Thomas (producer of the Farrelly Brothers' "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary") caught Yorn's act and asked him to send along some rough demos for inclusion in the Farrellys' Jim Carrey movie, "Me, Myself and Irene." The Farrellys used "Strange Condition" and "Just Another" in the film, for which Pete also composed the score. "Just Another" was also featured on "Felicity" and the Songs From Dawson's Creek Volume 2 album.
Pete's music has been included in original soundtracks for a number of films, including "Orange County" (2001), "Spider-Man" (2002) and "Shrek 2" (2004).
Pete Yorn has toured actively since the release of musicforthemorningafter and has shared bills with the Foo Fighters, Semisonic, Coldplay, REM, and others. He was the headline artist on the inaugural MTV2 Handpicked Tour and played drums on a set of Stooges covers with Iggy Pop, Mike Watt, and the Hives' Mike Vigilante and Pelle Almqvist at the second annual Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement at Los Angeles' Henry Fonda Theater.
Day I Forgot, Pete's eagerly-awaited successor to musicforthemorningafter, was released in April 2003 to widespread critical acclaim and debuted at #18 on the Billboard 200 best-selling album chart.
Pete Yorn's last release, Live from New Jersey, a stunning full-length performance recorded at the Community Theater in Morristown, New Jersey, on October 29, 2003, was released in January 2004. Like Yorn's concerts themselves, his live album was a treasure trove for fans as well as an ideal introduction to the scope of Pete's music.
--- from the official Pete Yorn website