When you discover that California-based singer-songwriter Jade Jackson’s favourite band are Social Distortion, her unique take on soulful, raspy country-rock starts to fall into place. Channelling moments of the greaser-punks’ softer side, Jackson often marries elements of their swaggering punk rock with her heartfelt country crooning.
With Mike Ness producing her debut album, Gilded, and an upcoming support slot on their summer tour lined up, Jackson takes a moment to pick her all-time favourite moments from Social Distortion.
Mommy’s Little Monster
“Mommy’s Little Monster was the first album I listened to as a teen. The song Mommy’s Little Monster was one of my favourites. After seeing a Social Distortion show at the age of thirteen, I was inspired to play guitar, sing and write songs of my own. I’ve spoken before of a rockabilly band I was in when I was fifteen called The Royal Wreckers, but before that group, I would jam with a drummer and electric guitar player from my childhood. The three of us, equally infatuated with Social Distortion, would sing along to this song and actually attempted to play it once.”
I Was Wrong
“I Was Wrong is such an amazing song with really powerful lyrics. Lyrics like these showed me that allowing yourself to be vulnerable as a writer demonstrates strength, not weakness. Mistakes are part of growing up, and being able to relate to these lyrics in the process helped me heal and mature.”
Like An Outlaw
“This song kicks some real ass. It has that old Spaghetti Western vibe and the long instrumental sections and textures that I’ve always enjoyed. This is also a song I’ve listened to many times because it’s my dad’s favourite Social Distortion song. It’s just tough.”
“One of my first experiences working with Mike was on one of my songs called Shiver. The song didn’t end up making the album, but it’s one of the original songs I demoed with Social Distortion before I had a record deal or the band I have now. Mike suggested I elongate the chorus and I asked him, “Like Highway 101?” He said, “exactly!” The actual highway 101 is the highway that connects to my hometown so it paints a familiar picture.”
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“This song always stood out to me and I loved how different it was compared to my other favourite Social D songs. ‘I don’t care about what they say, I won’t live or die that way, tired of figuring out things on my own, angel’s wings won’t you carry me home’, or ‘And now my biggest challenge, a thing called love, I guess I’m not as tough as I thought I was’ have never left my mental pool of favourite lyrics. When I first started working with Mike he said in an off the cuff kind of way, “You should cover a Social D song.” I figured either he wanted me to cover one for my album, or just wanted to hear me sing one. Either way I took it seriously and as soon as I got back to campus I locked myself in a practice room that CalArts has for their music students and started learning how to play Angel’s Wings on Piano while singing the lyrics.”
Footprints On My Ceiling
“This song reminds me of Mike’s wife who is truly one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met. When she and I first started spending time together, we were both obsessing over our love for gardenia flowers. So, when I listen to this song now, I wonder if Mike wrote it about her. I like how lyrically in this song he both tells a personal story in the verses, and provokes a more general question in the chorus.”
When The Angels Sing
“I connected to these lyrics the first time I listened to them. In my opinion, this is lyrically one of Mike’s strongest songs.”
“I remember riding the bus home listening to this song repetitively on my Walkman. The circularity of the melody blows me away still. Mike has a way of seamlessly blending verses and choruses together while still managing to build the choruses. I really admire this about his songwriting.”
Writing On The Wall
“I love this song because I feel like it covers many families’ feelings. It tells a story that is easily understood and the lyrics are something my family can really relate to.”
Jade Jackson’s new album, Gilded, is out now via Anti-. You can catch her on tour with Social Distortion this summer, click here for full dates.