Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA

Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA

Arts & Culture: It is evident comedian George Lopez is still a little sensitive about the on-again, off-again relationship he’s had with television. Whatever the... By Kiko Martínez 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Music

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

$31-$33
7pm doors Fri, Nov 16
Backstage Live
1305 E Houston
(210) 698-2856
backstagelivesa.com

Recently in Music
  • The Otherworldly Appeal of Pure X’s ‘Angel’ Before we treat the music of Pure X’s third LP Angel, let’s take a moment to appreciate the airbrushed brilliance of its album art. On a... | 10/22/2014
  • The Infinite Blues of Woodstock Alums Canned Heat Thirty-two bands played the original Woodstock back in 1969. Of those 32, two are still at it today. And if you discount Santana on the grounds that he’s really more a guy than a band at this point, well, that just leaves Canned Heat. Half a century is a | 10/22/2014
  • Step Off: How Kacey Musgraves won Nashville Though she was born in 1988 and released her first recordings at the age of 14, Texas native Kacey Musgraves has always... | 10/22/2014
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