But choosing his musicians was no easy feat. “I had some ideas of people, and I knew it had to be right,” he says. “I knew it couldn’t be just typical session players.” Yorn admits that of all the positions he had to fill, the drummer was the hardest, partly because drums were the first instrument he ever learned. “The drummer has to feel it, and it starts from there,” Yorn explains. “He’s the heartbeat of it all.” The gig ultimately went to Joey Waronker, who has spent time behind the kit playing with Beck.

Add legendary producer Rick Rubin to the mix, and the result is something special. Rubin, the cochairman of Yorn’s Columbia label, has worked with countless big-name artists, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Metallica, and the Beastie Boys. “Rick was a great filter for me, because a lot of times I’d go in to make a record and I’d be all over the place,” he remembers. “I’d just have so many ideas and too many songs, and he was able to help me organize it. He helped me pick the exact songs to record for the record, and he doesn’t let you slide on lyrics at all.”

One thing, however, has remained constant on all of Yorn’s albums: the influence of former Smiths front man Steven Morrissey. “I’ll put Morrissey’s whole catalog on shuffle and listen to it nonstop,” he says. Lyrically, I want to somehow get the balance of that in there. I just love his lyrics.”

Fans can expect even more from Yorn, who says he has two additional records completed and ready for release later this year, thanks to a writing spurt. “I think one’s going to come in September, and I recorded the third one in six days up in Oregon with Frank Black [of the Pixies],” Yorn says. “He was the best to work with. Hanging out with that guy and getting to talk to him about life and the world and getting perspective was super powerful for me. It was the best I’d felt in five years.”