While all the hippies were still recovering from their flower power days that made up the 1970s, punk acts were kicking in gear to bring about an era of punk revival in the 1980s. Along with acts like Minor Threat and Black Flag, Social Distortion helped front the revolution. After forming more than 30 years ago, the band is still touring consistently, not about to stop until they see the world.
tNot only is it amazing that the band is still playing shows, but the fact that such an influential punk band can be seen at the Canopy Club on Friday, June 29, is an opportunity that should not be taken lightly. Keep in-mind, last time Social D came to Illinois, about nine months ago, they played for a total of three nights at the Chicago House of Blues because they kept selling out – night after night. The band is currently on tour in support of the release of their greatest hits album that came out June 26 and includes one new track, “Far Behind.” Buzz recently got to speak to Social D’s guitarist since 2000, Jonny “2 Bags” Wickersham, the former member of bands Youth Brigade, Cadillac Tramps, and the U.S. Bombs.
buzz: How did the idea for a greatest hits album come about?
JW: It’s just about that time. The band has been around since ’79 now, it’s time to put that stuff down into a collection and make way for new stuff so we can do another one in 20 years.
buzz: What are you most excited about in regards to the album release?
JW: The fact that we’re going to be able to go out and do some shows to support it, which is always fun.
buzz: How’d you go about choosing the songs?
JW: It was pretty much a given, those songs on the record coming out are the biggest crowd pleasers.
buzz: Did you think you’d be making music or
touring still in 2007 when you initially started?
JW: Not really, I don’t think I really ever thought about it. I can’t say I ever really pictured it.
buzz: How did you get involved with Social D in 2000?
JW: I grew up seeing Social D play around Orange County and I also played in different bands too, so I just became friends with those guys. I’m an old friend.
buzz: How would you describe the feel or atmosphere at a Social D show with roses flying on stage and such? (Typically, women throw roses on stage during Social D shows.)
JW: I think it’s great. Mike (Ness, singer) throws a bunch out at the beginning of the show so they’re
probably just throwing them back at him.
buzz: Do you live more for playing live or for
JW: I like them both equally. They are two
completely different worlds. The best thing is playing the show and it feels good when you’ve been working hard for a period of time in a studio and you start to see the results shape up, the
gratification is great.
buzz: How come you’re playing such a small club in a small town?
JW: We have to play everywhere, so if a small club is the only place in a small town, we’ve got to play it.
buzz: Do you eventually want to play everywhere in the United States or even the world, perhaps?
buzz: Are your crowds usually mixed evenly between old and new fans? What’s the normal age group you pull in?
JW: It varies, you see kids that are 14, and then you see grown-ups in their 40s and everywhere in between. Sometimes the balance shifts either way, it’s crazy. You get to see such a huge variance in age, and I think it’s pretty cool.
buzz: Typically, what song gets the best
JW: “Ring of Fire,” “Story of my Life,” they all get really good reactions though.
buzz: Where do you see yourself in another
JW: Touring with Social D.
buzz: How about 20?
JW: Making another greatest hits record with Social D.
buzz: What’s the best part about being in
JW: It’s kind of hard to say, the fact that I get to make music all the time, and it’s my life.
buzz: What’s the best part about the Sex, Love and Rock ‘n Roll lifestyle?
JW: The love.