Easy driving days are a welcome addition to Mark Arm’s life.
Sure, he’s been making road trips for concerts for nearly 35 years with his band Mudhoney.
“This drive is a little easier,” he says. “It’s not like the 9-hour drive we had a few days ago. Touring is fun but it gets more difficult as you get older.”
Mudhoney is currently on tour, which makes a stop in Santa Fe at Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 17.
The rock band will perform with Meat Puppets.
Earlier this year, Arm and the band – which includes Steve Turner, Dan Peters and Guy Maddison – wrapped up a session of songs for the band’s coming album.
Arm says they don’t know exactly when, as the entire album needs to be mastered before a release date is set.
“Our process hasn’t really changed,” he says. “We’ve never been a band with a primary songwriter. We always kind of work stuff out together. Someone will bring in an idea or two and some lyrics and we’ll work on it together.”
With the latest batch of songs, the members of Mudhoney took their time in crafting each one.
One reason was due to the pandemic.
“We didn’t get together until June 2021 as everybody was vaccinated,” he says. “For the first time since Guy came in the band, we had nine days booked for tracking in a row. Usually, we’d go in the studio for a long weekend and piece it together. This time around, we actually had the time. We felt like we finally made it.”
With nearly a dozen albums under its belt, Mudhoney has built itself an extensive music catalog.
Arm says the band strikes a balance of material culled from each album.
“We’ve also been swapping out songs here and there,” he says. “Nothing is set in stone and we refine the set as we go along.”
Approaching 35 years since its inception, Arm credits Mudhoney being able to navigate the music industry to its versatility.
“We all have day jobs,” he says. “That’s helped us through the pandemic. Some of our friends solely rely on touring and music. We were lucky in that we have day jobs as well.”
As the tour continues through the United States, Arm does get a chance to reflect on how far he’s come with the band.
“I really can’t remember my teenage self accurately,” he says. “But I still feel the same enthusiasm when I get on stage. The best thing about touring now is playing the shows and in front of people. That keeps us excited and that helps as we move forward.”