Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013

Best Romantic Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Big Hops Gastropub Brings Beer-centric Eats to the Northside

Big Hops Gastropub Brings Beer-centric Eats to the Northside

Food & Drink: On a recent Sunday, my wife and I drove up 281 and into the heart of San Antonio’s ever-expanding Northside suburbs to try out... By Lance Higdon 8/20/2014
What to Know Before You Go On A Cleanse

What to Know Before You Go On A Cleanse

Food & Drink: It’s been a year since I’ve taken up this gig of eating and drinking across San Antonio. Since then, no fewer than seven juice shops have opened in the area... By Jessica Elizarraras 8/20/2014
10 Unconventional Dorm-room Recipes for Improvising Foodies

10 Unconventional Dorm-room Recipes for Improvising Foodies

College Issue 2014: Food in college can be mundane, especially when you frequent campus cafeterias. But college food doesn’t have to be boring and routine. With a... By Briana Denham 8/18/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Social Distortion's Mike Ness credits success to determination, stubbornness, and luck

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Oldies but baddies: Social Distortion

They're old school rock 'n' roll rebels with swaggering attitude, a rootsy backbone, and lots of loud guitars. Social Distortion may not have aged like wine, but they were never a fit for the cask. Their bathtub brew was designed gruff — mirroring frontman Mike Ness' own voice and character — and time hasn't changed that: the group's essence has only deepened these 34 years.

"I attribute it to two things — luck and brutal determination," Ness said from his Southern California home. "I'm a stubborn motherfucker. Giving up never was an option."

Social Distortion is about to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal '83 debut, Mommy's Little Monster. It's a testament to Ness' perseverance that the band's survived more hiatuses than television's fall programming schedule.

First, in the mid-'80s Ness sunk into addiction and brief incarceration, before returning with a new lineup and 1986's Prison Bound. It brought the country and rockabilly he'd grown up with into the old school punk of their debut. They jumped to the majors for a handful of hits and two gold-selling albums — 1990's self-titled Epic debut and their 1992 follow-up, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell. Then, a year after 1996's White Light, White Heat, White Trash, Ness' best friend/co-founding guitarist Dennis Danell dropped dead in his driveway from a brain aneurysm.

Ness explored a solo career and the band wouldn't reform until 2003. They released the middling Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll in 2004, but still it was nice to have them back. It'd be another seven years before he followed that up with last year's terrific Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. He promises long breaks won't be the case going forward.

"I've kind of agreed to take on this really busy work year knowing that I was taking the next five to six months off next year to [finally] use the studio I just built," he said. "Literally every time I get home something gets done and I have to leave. The floors get done — back on tour. I haven't had a chance to really use [the studio] yet, so when I take those six months off I'll be writing."

The addition of drummer David Hidalgo Jr. (son of the Los Lobos guitarist) prior to the last album's release made a difference in the band's energy and sound.

"He made the songs sound the most natural and organic," Ness said praising Hidalgo's great strength for intuitive groove. "If it doesn't have a groove you're just bashing through chords. I realized that in the late '80s early '90s, after just being frustrated with the way we would sound after shows."<

The band's endurance is a great American success stories, but Ness takes nothing for granted. "

It's kind of a phenomenon," he laughed. "We're really more popular now than we were five, 10, 15 years ago. I wish I could say it was a really cool marketing plan we worked out, but we don't know what we're doing. We just do it."

Social Distortion feat. Lindi Ortega, the Biters

7pm doors Fri, Nov 16
Backstage Live
1305 E Houston
(210) 698-2856

Recently in Music
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus