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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Pete remembers the days of Yorn

Pete Yorn is a model of earnest gumption. After graduating college, he set his mind to landing himself a record deal, and just like that, it happened'and on Columbia Records no less, home to his idols Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. After scoring the Farrelly Brothers debacle \Me, Myself and Irene,"" he set to work on his debut album, musicforthemorningafter, a collection of introspective ballads and sensitive rockers that won him near-universal acclaim. Yorn plays the Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., tonight, and Cardinal Arts grabbed his ear and drew his ire Monday night to see what we might expect from the rugged songsmith. 




The Daily Cardinal: So you're in Minneapolis right now'how's that? 




Pete Yorn: It's hot! It's really unbelievable, but you're probably dealing with it too.  




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DC: Yes. 




PY: Very out of character.  




DC: How's the tour? 




PY: We're kind of at the beginning, about a week and a half in. It'll be our ninth show of the tour. It's going great, it's really fun, it's a lot of work too, but you see all the people when you're starting to spread out.  




DC: All right. I wanted to ask you about the rerelease of musicforthemorningafter that comes out next week. It's got this bonus disc here, with the Smiths cover and the Bowie cover and the Springsteen covers. How'd you choose the songs you were going to cover? 




PY: They were songs that I loved, or liked, or sometimes they lent themselves to my playing style. The other songs we've been playing live for years. ... Those were just songs that seemed to make sense, so we did those. 




DC: How does a person cover a song like [Bruce Springsteen's] ""New York Serenade?"" 




PY: Whenever I used to do it, I used to play it at coffeehouses, and a lot of people didn't even know who it was, and I didn't announce it or anything. I got turned onto that song by my oldest brother in college, I remember it was freshman year or something, and he said, 'Do yourself a favor'go out and buy The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, and smoke a big fatty, lie down on your floor and listen to that song ""New York Serenade."" It sort of starts out sort of classical, but sit down and listen to that thing.' And I did and it sorta blew me away, the ending brings tears to my eyes. The way I play it ... I don't think I even play it in the same key. It just lends itself to me, and for some reason, I can remember all those lyrics. I did not do it because of Sept. 11. That was not anything to do with it. 




DC: Good call on that. About the 'For Nancy' video'how many takes was that done in, because you don't seem to sweat? 




PY: I have no idea how many times I ran that day. It was my birthday, and I just ran over and over and over again, just sprinting, sprinting, sprinting. The director made me wear these army boots. I was so uncomfortable, I got blisters in the first 20 minutes, it's really bad. We shot it in Yonkers. I couldn't walk for four days, al for the sake of art. But I sweat a lot because I ran a lot. I ran my ass off over two days. I think I was changing shirts. I'm not a big sweater anyways. 




DC: You've got this combination of serious musician and very good looking person. Have those ever come into conflict? Are you afraid you're too good looking? 




PY: (laughs) 




DC: Now, you're awfully good looking, Pete. 




PY: Have you met me? 




DC: No, but I've seen pictures. Our Food editor says you're very good looking. I got two requests to ask you if you are single. 




PY: I am single. I don't know anything about that thing. I think I'm a pretty normal dude.  




DC: Let's play a word-association game. They're pretty general. Ryan Adams. 




PY: Bryan Adams. 




DC: No, Ryan Adams. 




PY: (indignantly) I thought of Bryan Adams. 




DC: Gotcha. Girls. 




PY: Boys. 




DC: Cigarettes. 




PY: Alcohol. 




DC: Sept. 11. 




PY: London. I only say that because I was in London when it happened. 




DC: Los Angeles. 




PY: Greg Black. 




DC: New Jersey. 




PY: Pete Yorn. 




DC: Cheap Trick. 




PY: Illinois. No, Rockford! Well, I already said Illinois. 




DC: We'll put both of them in there. Mistakes. 




PY: So many. 




DC: Success. 




PY: What you make of it. I suck at those word games. 




DC: All right. Any final message for people coming to see you in Madison? 




PY: Rock and roll.

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