What Inspires Social Distortion's Mike Ness

(Gibson) With the recent release of Social Distortion's seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, frontman Mike Ness took some time to chat about the SoCal punk outfit's latest foray into revved-up rock 'n' roll. The album marks a first for the Les Paul slinger, as he was the record's sole producer.

"One thing that happened a lot during some of the older recordings is that there was this high level of compression," Ness explained to Premier Guitar. "When I listen back now, some of the tracks just had the life and original tone squashed out of them. With this record, there was no one else to blame, so I did what I felt was right and sounded best."

When it comes to guitars, Ness continues to follow the lead of the Wizard of Waukesha. "I always thought Les Pauls would be too heavy and restrict me when I was onstage, so I just stuck with what worked my SGs. But once I tried the Les Pauls, I just fell in love with their sustain right off the bat. It's incomparable. And the tone of those thick, mahogany Les Pauls is something I really took on as my new sound. In a way, it reshaped Social D's sound." more on this story

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