Son Volt to play at the Historic El Rey Theater - Albuquerque Journal

Son Volt to play at the Historic El Rey Theater

Son Volt is touring in support of its 10th studio album “Electric Melodier.” The band makes a stop in Albuquerque on Monday, Jan. 17, at the Historic El Rey Theater. (Courtesy of Auset Sarno)

Jay Farrar is beginning to get back to rehearsals for the upcoming tour.

After a year off from touring, it’s taken a little work to get back into performance mode.

“It’s been a wild ride,” says the frontman for Son Volt. “We’re still moving forward and that’s great.”

Farrar and Son Volt have been making music since the band’s inception in 1995.

Over the course of the 25 years, Son Volt has released 10 studio albums. Its latest is 2021’s “Electro Melodier” which is taken from the names of two vintage amplifiers from the late-’40s and early-’50s.

“Ten albums,” Farrar says. “You never think about how many (albums) you’re going to make. We’ve tried to stay aware of what we’re doing and the direction we’d like to go in the future.”

Son Volt will perform in Albuquerque on Monday, Jan. 17 at the Historic El Rey Theater in Downtown Albuquerque.

Farrar says the process for the new album began concurrent with the pandemic.

“We only did one show in 2020,” he says. “That was before it all started. We tried to make the best of the situation and focused on this recording. What the pandemic did provide was an opportunity for me to have a singular focus. The live performance was taken away and I felt fortunate to concentrate on just writing.”

During the lockdown at home in St. Louis, Farrar carved time out of each day to work on music.

“When I enter a period of writing, I don’t finish everything every day,” he says. “I contribute little bits and pieces. It was about two or three months of writing and a couple weeks of recording. We had to adapt a little bit. We started out the process not knowing what to expect.”

Farrar says the single, “These are the Times” was recorded remotely before the band decided to bite the bullet and head to a recording studio.

“Recording remotely came with a lot of technical difficulties,” he says. “We went into the studio with masks and were as socially distant as possible.”

Farrar and crew ended up with 12 songs for the vinyl pressing and 14 for the compact disc.

As Farrar readies for the tour, he says there’s more thought these days put into the set list.

“I try to pick one song from every record,” he says. “I’m also trying to be representative of the new recordings. There’s a lot of material to go through and finding the right balance will be a challenge.”

Over the course of 25 years, Farrar has seen a series of peaks and valleys.

He credits his love for music pushing him to the decades-long career.

“Over time, you learn how to make a career like this work,” he says. “I’ve learned that I can’t stay up three days in a row anymore. Sleep is important. All of the processes have led to the refinement of my craft. I’m one of the lucky ones who is still going strong making music. It’s been a tough journey, but also one that is well worth it.”


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