Sublime with Rome Interview … As the temperatures cooled down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina the week before Thanksgiving, the House of Blues was just heating up since Sublime With Rome was in town. If you do not know who Sublime is, you might need a little schooling before the interview… California band Sublime with Rome is a collaboration between bass player Eric Wilson, formerly of the band Sublime, Long Beach Allstars, Long Beach Shortbus and singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez. The band performs Sublime songs and the new material they created since the death of Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell in 1996. Rome began performing Sublime with Bud Gaugh and Wilson in 2009, until the Nowell estate issued a legal challenge. 2010 the name Sublime with Rome was created, they played festivals and went on their first tour in 2010, releasing their debut album in July 2011 before drummer Bud Gaugh left the band to spend more time with family as he was having a child. Josh Freese, who played drums and percussions with the Vandals, Devo, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Guns N’ Roses, Weezer and Sublime with Rome stepped into Gaugh’s position and never skipped a beat. Despite all the shit talking about Sublime with Rome, they continued to tour, with Josh Freese taking Gaugh’s place as you see… The new album Sirens was released July 17, 2015 and the touring continues. Before the show at the Myrtle Beach House of Blues on November 20, 2015, we were able to sit down and talk with Rome Ramirez about the past, present and future of Sublime With Rome. Check out the video interview or just read the interview below.
Can you tell us about Sublime With Rome? Rome Ramirez: Yeah. I was about 19 when I met Eric, then we just kind of like hung out and jammed for a bunch. Maybe a couple years later, I was like 20 or 21, we were at a party at his house. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in playing a Sublime song for the party with him. I was like, “Hell yeah.” We did that, then he asked me a couple months later if I’d be down to start Sublime with him. I was like, “Hell yeah. That sounds awesome.”
How’s the new album going? Rome Ramirez: We’re stoked. We get to play it every night. It’s good to be able to see the reaction from fans or the not reaction. We know that we’re doing something right. When we’re playing the new music that we’ve been doing, they’re singing along and shit. Obviously the music hasn’t been out as long as some of the other hits, they sing them just as loud. It’s a good sign. We’re very grateful for it.
What inspires the music and where does it comes from? Rome Ramirez: I mean, I think like any true art, it just kind of comes from the individual and what they’re going through and what they’re feeling, or what they’re trying to channel at that point in time. For me specifically, it’s very mood based. Like I can’t write the same song for more than a day or two. I’ve actually never worked on something for more than a day, as far as writing goes. It’s just something that you’re feeling in that time period. For artists, whether it’s drawing or painting or playing music or making movies, we just got to get it out right then and there.
I see that you had Drew Brophy to create the new album cover, how did that happen? Rome Ramirez: I think it was somebody from our … Taylor from our management. She was a big fan of his work. I’d never seen any of his stuff before, but she sent me over some of his paintings. I was blown away. I had one idea, like a siren, kind of like shooting down sound waves to the city. He just took it and made it that night. No notes, none of us had anything to add, like, “Yo, do this. Turn, change this.” It was just out the gate man. He knocked it out of the park.
If you could jump in a time machine right now, where would you go? Rome Ramirez: I’d probably go back to like JFK assassination and put money on that. Then like…Flip that, go from there. People would probably think I was psychic.
What would you tell the youth, or someone that was just starting out as a band or artist creating music, art etc.? Rome Ramirez: I would say that enlighten yourself to whatever it is you want to do as much as you can. For people who want to really do something that they love, try to fix your life in the way where you’re still able to really practice. That’s all it is man, you know? It’s a cheesy-ass little message that practice makes perfect, the whole you keep at it and you’ll get it, but it’s the god damn truth. I don’t know, it’s pretty easy for them.
What’s next for Sublime With Rome? Rome Ramirez: Well, we got some more dates coming up in the spring, then we’re planning on getting back in the studio and start writing some new stuff, maybe coming out with an EP for fall of next year, or mid-summer or something. We want to get into releasing more music more often because we feel like the business model of the way to lose the chemistry is kind of work, it’s kind of played out now. We’ll drop an album every two years. We live in a world with immediacy and overabundance of everything. I feel like there’s no sense in holding back when we’re capable of writing all kinds of songs all the time. I think it’s kind of cool to be able to release new music more often. It’s more engaging. It’s fun for us too, you know, because that’s like kind of the two fun parts of being in a band are being in the studio writing shit and hitting the road and playing it. Everything else just kind of comes with the territory. We would like to get more on the other side, get more in recording more.
Do you feel that it’s easier current day with the media and iTunes, to get your music out and tell people? Rome Ramirez: Yeah, I mean, it’s totally easy. You could upload this conversation right now in Soundcloud and boom, just like that, you know? Of course, it’s obviously easier, but I just think that with how easy it is now, there’s a lot more people doing it. When a lot more people do it, the overall bar of quality gets dropped a little bit more because we are over-saturated with things that may not be. Which is not a problem because this happens in many different forms of art or business even. When that happens, the great have to be even greater to get noticed. That is something I think everyone should look for.
Does this help you set your bar higher? Rome Ramirez: Hell yeah. I like that. I like that competition. That’s life. That’s why I got into this, for the music, to be the greatest thing in the world. Still on track.
12/09 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
How The Edge Stole Christmas – w/ Of Monsters and Men, Atlas Genius, and more
12/18 – Buffalo, NY @ First Niagara Center
Kerfuffle Before Christmas – w/ Matt & Kim, BORNS, Wolf Alice, and more
12/19 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
The Night 89X Stole Christmas
01/14, 15 & 16 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
Benefiting Orangewood Children’s Foundation
09/30 – Long Beach, CA @ Light Up The Pacific cruise
Find out more about Sublime With Rome on their website at: sublimewithrome.com