Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes builds on singer Mike Ness' twin footings, one in the haunted American landscapes of Hank Williams and the other in the raw swagger of Exile-era Rolling Stones. While these twin pillars have always been behind Social Distortion's anthemic songs, on Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes they come roaring to the fore, in one of the hardest rocking, most soulful, albums of Ness' career.
After years of working with various producers in the studio, Mike Ness took on the duty for the first time with their new album. The band entered a Burbank studio in early 2010 where they recorded for the next several months in between spring and summer tour dates which included Lollapalooza and Outside Lands. In early October the band wrapped up recording before heading out for their fall US tour.
"It's something I've always wanted to do," Ness explains. "I love being on that side of the board. Even though I've co-produced all of our records, I always was there for everything. It just came to a point where I was like 'I think I want to try this, I want to do this ourselves.' By being at the helm this time allowed so much more focus for me to the fine details of every aspect of it, whether it was performances, or tones, or arrangements, backing vocals....everything."