Singer/songwriter Pete Yorn is known for playing many of the instruments on his albums himself.
He did it with his 2001 debut album “musicforthemornigafter” and when he collaborated with Scarlett Johansson in 2009 on “Break Up.”
But since 2014, Yorn has hit the road with stripped down acoustic shows. On Tuesday, March 12, Yorn comes to Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach to play hits, covers, rarities and to tell a few stories.
“It's a great way to connect with everybody in a really pure way," said Yorn. "It's just me and my guitar, we just connect, it feels really satisfying.”
Yorn also plays the Troubadour in West Hollywood on March 13.
“The main rule is no set list, it's a completely different set every night.”
In 2018, York and Johansson released the follow up to “Break Up,” the EP “Apart.”
The two had been friends for a few years before they first hit the recording studio in early 2006. But the first single wasn't released on digital download until May 2009, before “Break Up” was released that September.
“She was always easy to talk to, we kind of saw the world in similar ways,” Yorn said of Johansson.
“People have all their ideas about who Scarlett is and all that, but she's a really funny, cool girl, very talented. I remember being so impressed with her in the studio, just how fast she was able to pick up the song ... the vocals.”
But years before his work with Johansson, he had moved to Los Angeles in 1996, and eventually was signed by Columbia in 1999.
A few months after he signed, he was asked by film producer Bradley Thomas to write a few songs for the upcoming Farrelly Brother's film “Me, Myself and Irene.” Not only did his songs “Strange Condition” and “Just Another” make the film's soundtrack, he also scored the film as well.
While working on the film project, he was also writing material for his debut album which became “musicforthemorningafter.” The first single, “Life on a Chain,” helped the album reach gold in sales and that single, as well as two others, hit the Billboard charts.
Yorn, who was 27 years old when his first album was released, said he had low expectations because talented friends of his were being dropped.
“I was like, 'Well, I'm just going to make music I love... I just want to make music I’m going to be proud of in 10 years. If I like it, maybe other people will.”
Yorn said his acoustic tour reinvigorated his music and touring.
The purity of acoustic music reminded him of when he first started playing guitar for “pure fun” when he was around 12 or 13 in New Jersey. He had much older brothers growing up and there was always music playing and there was a drum kit that he began playing with when he was around 6 years old.
When he first heard bands like The Smiths, that's when he knew he wanted to play guitar. Years later he still enjoys playing with his band, but there is something freeing about being alone on a stage.
“There are a lot of more moving pieces, so it's harder to change things on the fly,” Yorn said. “This definitely represents what music always meant to me, which was freedom ... You can take it wherever you want to go at any moment.”