Counting Their “Blessings” | Key West Florida Weekly
For the third time in three albums, Sublime With Rome visited the Sonic Ranch near El Paso, Texas, a studio Rome Ramirez (vocals, guitar), Eric Wilson (bass) and Carlos Verdugo (drums) as because it’s isolated enough to allow groups to really focus on the business at hand instead of being distracted while checking in by the nightlife and other recreational opportunities.
“I think Eric really likes that kind of rhythm, like no distractions. I’ve learned to love him too, ”Ramirez said in a recent phone interview.
But being at Sonic Ranch was about the one thing the making of the band’s new album, “Blessings,” had in common with the pair of previous albums.
The first two albums of the group were made in a hurry. “Yours Truly,” released in 2013, was due for completion in about six weeks. The second album of 2017, “Sirens”, experienced a time crunch as the band got off to a slow start with songwriting and had to make up for time while recording.
The experience of creating “Blessings” (released last May) was a 180 degree change.
“It was so different. It wasn’t like ‘You have to make an album.’ Then, “You have to do an album right away,” Ramirez said. “It was like ‘We want to do an album (now).’ And all the songs were written in advance.
In addition, the group was hearing positive things from management, the record company and those promoting on the radio about the songs in play for album number three.
“It creates a so much less stressful environment,” Ramirez said.
So much the better for the group’s current tour, which stops on July 23 at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater in Key West.
All in all, Sublime With Rome spent a year and a half doing “Blessings,” which tested the band’s patience, but ultimately had a major advantage.
“You are able to pull out a well-thought-out piece of material,” Ramirez said.
Making an album that the band can support is important for a band like Sublime With Rome, which has a considerable legacy to uphold that stretches back three decades.
It was then that the original Sublime, with singer / guitarist Bradley Nowell, Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh, was formed. This band’s run was halted in May 1996 when Nowell died of a heroin overdose – just as a self-titled third album was set for release.
Nowell’s death drew a wave of attention to Sublime. Powered by the chart-topping alternative rock single, “What I Got,” the eponymous album went five times platinum and helped solidify Sublime’s place as one of the pioneers of what is now a thriving reggae-rock genre.
The story of Sublime could have ended there. But in 2009, Ramirez crossed paths with Wilson while they were both working in the same studio. The two started playing together and, over time, became friends.
Wilson once asked Rome if he wanted to sing in a new edition of Sublime if Gaugh signed on for the project. Ramirez jumped at the chance, and with Gaugh on board, Sublime (soon renamed Sublime With Rome after Nowell’s family objected to the group using only Sublime’s name) was in the studio working on ” Yours Truly “.
The debut album was a significant success, spawning an alternative rock top five with the song “Panic” and giving Sublime With Rome a lot of legitimacy.
Gaugh left the band in 2011, and Verdugo, formerly of Tribal Seeds, is now the drummer.
“Sirens” did not generate a hit song at the level of “Panic”, but the album debuted at No. 2 on the Alternative Albums chart of “Billboard” magazine, and Sublime With Rome saw its audience. continue to expand, to the point where the group could constantly make headlines.
Now comes “Blessings,” which was preceded by a reggae-centric trio of singles, “Wicked Heart” (which reached the top 35 in “Billboard” magazine’s alternate song chart), “Spiderweb” and “Light On”. “.
The album found Sublime With Rome making another major change, bringing in Rob Cavallo (known for his work with Green Day and the Goo Goo Dolls, among others) to produce after working with Paul Leary on previous albums.
Ramirez said Cavallo and his engineer, Doug McKean, lived up to their reputation for creating great-sounding recordings.
“With what Rob has in mind and how he can communicate with Doug, they are a deadly dynamic duo,” said Ramirez, noting that “Blessings” represents a significant sonic advance over the first two albums by Sublime With Rome.
Ramirez also said that “Blessings” could be a bit more reggae oriented than the first two albums, but there is also a lot of musical variety.
As touring resumes as the country reopens, the group faces a new challenge: creating songlists that keep songs from the old catalog that fans want to hear while determining which new songs to play. connect best with the public.
One thing the band won’t do to make room for the new material is stop playing key songs from the original Sublime lineup.
“You know, we are artists. We’re not here to prove a program or push anything down people’s throats. People go out to have a great time and listen to their favorite music, ”said Ramirez. “You put on a great show and play songs that everyone loves…. It has always been the MO from the start. |