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“I decided that I wanted to bring a little bit more of that and combine it with the punk attitude and create our own sound.”

Mike Ness

Two international heavyweights of the rock and punk movement touch down in Australia in just over two weeks when Social Distortion and Bad Religion combine for a co-headlining tour.

Kicking off in Auckland on February 15 the show travels to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth for a nostalgic look into the musical past that has also strongly shaped our future.

In their 40-plus years of existence, Social Distortion have only ever been to Australia once before and this run with Bad Religion also serves as their first headlining visit.

HEAVY caught up with frontman Mike Ness to find out more, starting with choosing Bad Religion to celebrate the occasion.

“I just thought it was a cool opportunity,” he shrugged. “We started about the same time. We’ve survived and managed to keep moving forward. There’s a lot of similarities. I just thought it was a good idea of bringing two California bands that are equally well known and kind of making it a little more bang for the buck.”

Due to the fact Social Distortion have only ever toured Australia once before, it’s fair to say that many local fans don’t quite know what to expect. Sure, you can check out shows on YouTube and social media, but there’s nothing that equals the intensity of actually being there.

“We might be getting older but we take this very seriously,” he said. “We put on a high-energy show. We start at the beginning of our career and work our way up in an hour and fifteen minutes. There’s old stuff, there’s not so old stuff and then there’s a couple of new things because we are getting ready to record an album. We are going to be throwing in some new songs as well, as well as some classics that we haven’t done in a long time.”

In the full interview, Mike talks more about what to expect from the tour, his memories of touring Australia, the early days of Social Distortion, the changing face of the music industry, refining your sound away from the mainstream, the new album and more.

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