Social Distortion’s Mike Ness Opens Up on Cancer Battle

Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness has opened up about his battle with tonsil cancer in a new interview.

Ness’ conversation with Matt Pinfield on Los Angeles’ 95.5 KLOS comes after the punk legend shared a positive health update on Instagram about a month ago, revealing that he was finished with chemo and focused on rehabilitation. That was recently followed by Social Distortion announcing a co-headlining Spring 2024 US tour with Bad Religion, as well as a Fall 2024 run of rescheduled North American dates making up for the planned Summer 2023 tour that was originally postponed upon Ness’ diagnosis.

“Well, first of all, obviously it wasn’t in the plan,” Ness told Pinfield of his diagnosis [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “So the shock is a lot just to take in. But, yeah, the surgery — I mean, you can hear it in my voice. It’s still weak, just talking.”

He went on to say that he still has “a lot of work to do,” namely rehab, before that first tour date in April.

“It’s only been a month since the treatments ended,” he continued. “But, yeah, it’s been hell, because head and neck is a little bit different than other types of cancers, and they have to go in and disrupt major structures that you’ve been living with your whole life. I had to learn how to swallow all over again, and speech is just slowly getting stronger and then eventually singing.”

Reflecting on the moment when he received the call about his diagnosis, Ness said he was in the studio recording the long-awaited new Social Distortion album and had to immediately step away from the sessions.

“We were halfway done,” he said. “We were literally in the studio laying down bass tracks when I got the call. And I just had to shut it down. I didn’t even — I got the call and I got in my car and left. I wanted them to finish the day.”

Social Distortion plan to “go back in like January, February” to finish tracking the record, said Ness, with vocal sessions to come after the band’s first leg of tour dates.

“I wanted to wait at least till one tour behind me, to get the voice strong and to do the vocals,” he added. “So we’ll probably cut the vocals in June or July.”

Get Social Distortion Tickets Here

Social Distortion’s US tour with Bad Religion is set to kick off April 9th in Bakersfield, California. Ness and company will be performing their 1983 debut album, Mommy’s Little Monster, in full during the outing. Get tickets here.

Below you can watch Pinfield’s full interview with Ness.

Author: Michael

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