Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sublime: A New Start With New Singer Rome

via the Los Angeles Times

Fourteen years after Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell died from a heroin overdose, the Long Beach ska-punk trio's surviving original members have decided it's time to revive the name and celebrate the group's musical legacy while attempting to add some new chapters to its story.

Bassist Bud Gaugh and drummer Eric Wilson have teamed with a 21-year-old singer and guitarist named Rome, with whom they will play a string of small-scale shows starting April 20 at the Hollywood Palladium.

"From the get-go my whole mind-set about bands has been that if you change a member, it's a different entity," Gaugh, 42, said from his home in Northern California this week. "Sublime was Eric, Brad and myself. Eric and I are the remaining members, and this is definitely original members playing Sublime music, as well as some new Sublime-style music."

The new trio, billing itself as Sublime with Rome, had a couple of test runs late last year, appearing at the Smokeout Festival in San Bernardino with headliner Cypress Hill, then turning up for an unbilled performance at KROQ-FM's annual Almost Acoustic Christmas show at the Gibson Amphitheatre.

After those shows, Nowell's widow, Troy Tendekker, filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the threesome from performing as Sublime, although Gaugh said their differences have been settled and that "all parties are completely happy and ready to move forward."

On the Southland alternative music scene of the 1990s, Sublime stood out for its heterogeneous blend of ska, reggae, punk, hip-hop and rock, as well as for Nowell's lightly sandpapered voice in the Bob Marley- Jimmy Cliff tradition.

As the lead singer, Nowell was the band's focal point, leading many music fans to consider Sublime to be his band. He wrote the group's breakthrough hit, "Date Rape," the No. 1 most-requested song in KROQ history about a date rape perpetrator who gets his comeuppance in prison.

But many of the group's other songs, including modern-rock radio staples such as "Santeria," "40 Oz. to Freedom," "Wrong Way" and "Caress Me Down," were composed by the whole group.

Gaugh, Wilson and Rome make a convincing case that the new enterprise isn't about money. Sublime's recordings have continued to sell in impressive numbers, and have totaled more than 17 million albums in the U.S. during the SoundScan era, a big chunk if not the majority since Nowell died, leaving Gaugh and Wilson financially well off.

Read the rest of the article here:
L.A. Times - Feeling Sublime With Rome

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