What We Are

3 April 2012 | 6:06 am | Staff Writer

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Few bands have such an interesting back-story as Sublime With Rome – and even less have overcome the same amount of hurdles to prevail victorious. Forming in 1988 under the name Sublime, the three-piece ska-punk band from California reached succuss in only a few short years before having their dreams torn apart with the band put on indefinite hiatus by the sudden and untimely death of vocalist/guitarist Brad Nowell in 1996 due to a drug overdose.

Years passed until one day in 2009 Sublime bassist Eric Wilson, who at that stage was playing drums, found himself collaborating with 21-year-old “whiz kid” Rome Ramirez, an encounter that would jumpstart the dormant story of Sublime. “I was doing some songs with him [Rome] for his album,” Wilson begins. “He wanted to do a cover of a Sublime song and it sounded really good. Our manager Mike Brown had a band recording at the same studio and heard what we were doing. He had a chat to me and said, 'Why don't you put Sublime back together with Rome?'” he explains. “We called Bud [Gaugh, drums] and went up to Nevada and jammed with him and it started going. Rome is super, super talented and we were really fortunate to meet him. Even without us I'm sure he'd be doing really well right now.”

But the reunion wasn't that simple. A string of legal complications left the new line-up unable to perform or record anything under the name Sublime. Adding Ramirez's name to their title left them free of hitches and able to tour and record. A lot had changed during the band's break, but Wilson stands strong on his belief that Sublime With Rome is still Sublime. “There is all sorts of controversy about the new Sublime, so I thought naming the new album Yours Truly would be good because it's what we are; Sublime. It's very unfortunate that Brad passed away but, just like other bands, we're going on. So it's Yours Truly, Sublime,” Wilson says.

At the end of last year, Gaugh decided to part ways with Sublime With Rome to spend more time with his family, leaving Wilson the last man standing. “In a sense, yeah, I'm the only originally member of Sublime, but Rome is an original member of Sublime With Rome,” Wilson laughs. “Of course I wish Bud was still playing with us, but I've got to deal with it... He has a son. I have a son too, but he's eleven. He just had a daughter too. He just wants to be home and able to raise them.

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Gaugh's departure makes room for a drumming heavyweight. World-renowned super-drummer Josh Freese (The Vandals, Guns N' Roses, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails) is taking his place and will be making an appearance with the band in Australia this April after only a handful of shows with the band in March. “We haven't played since [Gaugh left]. We've just taken a little bit of time off. I've always wanted to jam with Josh Freese. I've known him for years. This is a step in the right direction, I can't wait. We've got practice in a couple of weeks.

“I'm totally excited to get to Australia. I've never been there before,” he enthuses. “I'm looking forward to playing to all those fans down there that have been listening to us for all these years and haven't seen us or heard us live.”