Social Distortion has stayed strong for three decades on their own terms, on their own time, by
their own rules, and over that time their influence has only grown. Each of their albums has been
stronger than their last. They’ve been brought onstage by Bruce Springsteen, because he wanted
to play one of their songs. They’ve seen high times and low ones, good days and tragic days, but
every night they give 100%, and every morning they wake up still swinging. This is the short
version of the Social Distortion bio — the long version could be a 10-part mini-series. But over
the past 30 years, the punk godfathers in the band have all but trademarked their sound, a brand of
hard rockabilly/punk that’s cut with the melodic, road-tested lyrics of frontman Mike Ness. Their
searing guitars and a locomotive rhythm section sound as alive today as they did in ’82, as do
Ness’ hard-luck tales of love, loss and lessons learned. Social Distortion is a mix of potent
power, appeal across all age brackets and a genuine satisfaction at reaching as many people as
they have. “I write songs for myself, and I hope that other people will like them too,” Ness says.
“I think every record you make is showing people what you’ve learned over the past few years.
It’s showing people, ‘This is what I know.'” Now in their fourth decade, Ness and Social
Distortion have officially done one of the most non-punk things possible: They’ve failed to burn
out. And that is good news for their fans!