How The Olms Brought Pete Yorn and J.D. King Together
Yorn first met Johnny Ramone in 2002 when the guitarist requested that Yorn contribute to We're a Happy Family, the all-star tribute album to the patron saints of CBGB's. For his part, Yorn covered the band's "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." The two became close friends over the final two years of Ramone's life, before he succumbed to cancer in 2004. Yorn continued his friendship with the iconic guitar player's wife, Linda, who a few years later, introduced him to King, a respected artist and guitarist for his own band, J.D. King and the Coachmen. The two have now been good friends for the better part of the past decade.
Even though they individually create different music, there was always a mutual admiration between them. In 2009, Yorn invited King to tour with him; at the time, King was in the midst of promoting three different records he'd release that year. A few years later, while they were hanging out in the home studio King built, they felt the time was right for a collaboration.
"He played me some stuff he was doing in there, and at some point, he told me he had all these song ideas, and we decided to write a tune together," Yorn recalls. "That first day, we wrote 'Twice As Nice,' which is on [their eponymous] record; [we] recorded it, I think, pretty much how it is within a few hours. We had a good time doing it, so we started a routine."
Yorn would head to King's house on Tuesdays and Thursdays when both were in town, and they'd write and record a new song each day they were together. They both have solo careers to tend to, taking time away from their project, but they quickly garnered enough material to put out their first album as the Olms.
Collaborative songwriting--especially for two solo artists--can be strenuous, which can be attributed more to a change in routine above anything else. But Yorn says these sessions were a welcomed challenge in which they introduced each other to new styles they may not have been exposed to otherwise.