Sublime with Rome
with The Offspring
and The Menzingers
WHEN — 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE — Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers
COST — $29.50-$69.50
INFO — 443-5600, arkansasmusicpavilion.com
All I am is just a product of hard work, focus and just being lucky. For me, an opportunity happened, and I was prepared enough to take it [and rise] to the next level."
At 20 years old, musician Rome Ramirez was barely more than a kid when he joined original Sublime members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh on stage at a reunion performance. Two decades after the formation of the original group with lead singer Bradley Nowell -- whose untimely death occurred two months before the release of their third and most successful album -- Ramirez's infectious passion as well as his musical and songwriting gifts inspired the group to re-brand as Sublime with Rome, bringing on the new lead singer nearly half the age of the founding members.
"One thing I do hope that people understand is I've gone through a lot of the same struggles as most of them," Ramirez reveals. "For me to be where I'm at today, my mom didn't like know the band, I didn't land an audition -- anybody could have been me, provided they worked as hard as I did and I do. I want people to ultimately know that I'm just basically a product of that recipe, and if they follow that same recipe, then they can do extravagant things in their life."
The extravagance in Ramirez's own life -- of ultimately becoming part of one of the iconic bands which shaped his own journey as a musician -- compels him to give back to the industry that's given him so much in such a short time. By joining the record label/publishing company Fresh Goods Music, Ramirez says the chance to work with and lift up other writers, musicians and producers is a way he can thank those who have either watched or been a part of his own experience -- as well as the many people he's met who see him as an inspiration.
"I've gotten them to do big things and acquire things for themselves and their own personal successes and that inspires me to give even more back," Ramirez says of being part of shaping others' careers. "We're able to basically provide them the opportunity that someone else provided me, and it's a way for me to channel what these people have [said about how] I've inspired them, and that inspired me enough to create a whole other way to give back to the very same people."
After coming together as Sublime with Rome, Ramirez, Wilson and Gaugh -- later John Freese following Gaugh's departure from the group in 2011 -- had the legacy of one of the most popular ska-punk bands ever to uphold. By treating the original catalog with respect and keeping the free-spirited vibe of the group in the new music SwR produces, Ramirez has said the whole point of the band remains to be a force of positivity.
"It's always just been trying to put out music that we like, and kind of challenge the listeners and challenge ourselves," he says. "In regards to a legacy, it's always been a combination of just trying to keep the band as close to the [original] group as possible, but still trying advance it. My whole thing is trying to keep the band as current and modern as possible, but at the same time, I don't want to leave the integrity. [We're] very conscious of keeping Sublime's integrity and keeping the essence of the [original] band -- so with every album, that's why we try to keep the versatility in the music very prominent."
That versatility comes through on the two albums released by SwR that build on the foundation of the original band, as well as at the live shows where Ramirez says there's a healthy amount of improvisation. Ramirez feels that in pushing their boundaries this way, the musicians are able to provide the audience with a unique experience every time as they continually progress together as performers. That is also why, Ramirez reveals, the forthcoming music for the group's third album since the re-brand -- likely to be recorded later this fall -- is some of the deepest and most personal material of his career.
"The more and more we progress as a band, and the more time moves forward, the more stories and experiences I've accumulated," he shares, "and I'm able to focus that and put it into a song so much better than I did when I was first starting out."
NAN What's Up on 09/15/2017
Print Headline: Living A Legacy