Mike Ness of Social Distortion Speaks About The Band's Future
OC Weekly (Daniel Kohn): Whose idea was it to do the House of Blues run?
Mike Ness: It's kind of a tradition that we like to do not every year so it's predictable, but we don't play Southern California a whole lot, so this is our chance to do it. We usually do it at the end of our touring cycle and it becomes more fun and not really work with touring and traveling. It's a good way to end a cycle and begin a new one.
Is there any new material in the works?
Yes, I'm currently writing a new record. It will come along better once I stop touring. I can only do one or the other. I don't really write on the road, so I get ideas and I file them and when I get done touring, I revisit them. In 2013, we've scheduled very little playing. We've built a new rehearsal studio, so we'll see about that.
What are some of the themes you've started to think about for the lyrical content? Is dealing with growing up and maturing like many of the other Social D songs?
I don't know about that. It's going to be different from the last record. That's all I can say that the last record was one of my favorite ones. It was more Americana and roots, combined with the punk. I don't know, the next record might be more garage-y.
What are the sets going to be like?
We have to make each time a little different. It's fun breaking out songs that we haven't played in 15 years and bringing them back. That's what gets people talking and they want to leave going, "Man, I haven't heard that song ever and so stoked that they played that!"
How has this incarnation differed from some the past versions of the group?
In the early days, I didn't really know that you were supposed to audition people and the pick the best ones. Musicianship came second and as a result of that, I was never really happy with where we were or where we could be. Later on I realized it's important to surround yourself with the best musicians and then eventually you become good friends because of that love and respect of what you share for what you're doing. These guys are all pro players and actually it feels like a band again, which for a while it didn't because you'd get a guy who's a great player, but maybe you don't care for them personally. But you tolerate it because they do the job well. It's nice when you ultimately get both. I see these guys more than I see my wife and family, so it has to jive.
(and as a bonus, in light of Tuesday night's show)
What's it like being on-stage with Bruce Springsteen? I remember seeing you perform with him in 2009 at the Sports Arena, what's it like receiving praise from someone like him?
Obviously, it's one of the ultimate forms of validation.
Will you be going on-stage with him at the show again?
I'm going, but I haven't talked with anyone about performing or anything yet, but yeah, I love that new record. It's one of his best ones.