Social Distortion's newly released "Greatest Hits" was meant to offer fans not only a look back, but a tiny peak at enduring Socal punk band's next record, says singer Mike Ness.

Social Distortion's newly released "Greatest Hits" was meant to offer fans not only a look back, but a tiny peak at enduring Socal punk band's next record, says singer Mike Ness.

The 11-track disc, released on Ness' Time Bomb label, closes with the new song, "Far Behind," an anthemic, hard-driving sing-along. "We were in between studio albums, we're writing, and we thought it was a good time to pause and take a retrospective look at the band's career," Ness tells Billboard.com. "And we also wanted to let people know that we weren't going anywhere and hit 'em with maybe an indication of what the next record might sound like."

In terms of the band's follow-up to 2004's "Sex, Love, and Rock'N'Roll," Ness says, "We have a dozen ideas at least -- a lot of songs that didn't make the last record. They didn't make it not necessarily because they weren't good enough. I have demos from 1994 that I'm revisiting -- great ideas that didn't get finished. You know, maybe they needed a better chorus or something. Also, I just want to create some new stuff entirely."

"The creative vibe is just very charged right now," he continues. "With every album, I want to outdo the last one. That's my goal going in: I want to make it better than the last one."

Having recently turned 45, Ness, the band's leader and sole original member, says he was able to see all the peaks and valleys of his life while compiling the tracks for "Greatest Hits."

"When I look at this list of songs in black and white, I see that every one of those songs was written at a transitional period in my life," he offers. "As a writer, to see that is very interesting. I was seeing a breakup, or someone passing away, or remembering going through a particularly dark period. It's interesting to see what came out of that."