In a recent video interview with Chris Kies of Premier Guitar, both Jonny Wickersham and Mike Ness of Social Distortion spoke effusively about their preference for Gibson guitars, electric and acoustic, and how P-90s have become an integral part of their sound.
“I’ve got a couple of old Juniors, a ’55 Junior and a ’57 TV model that are staples in the old quiver right now,” Wickersham says. He’s also switched to P-90s thanks to Ness’s influence. “I started playing with Mike and I bought a ’69 Gold Top and it had mini humbuckers in it and I just followed his lead and put Seymour Duncans in there and it’s been P-90s ever since.”
Ness’s use of the P-90 in his Les Paul Deluxe came as a result of seeing Neil Young’s guitar tech Larry Craig switching out the humbuckers for P-90s. “The P-90 is that warm creamy sound to me,” Ness says.
As for acoustic guitars, Ness is devoted to his 1939 J-35. Showing his prized possession to Kies he explains, “I wrote everything on this guitar. It very rarely leaves the house. Last year I bought a 1940 Martin D-18 and I set it up and every single day I went to the J-35.”
Social Distortion will release Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, their first new album since 2004’s Sex, Love and Rock n’ Roll, on November 23.