Interview with Sublime With Rome
Sublime with Rome just sounds like Summer vibes and with a new album on deck, and Soja added for support, the trio is looking to take America by storm over the next few months. They’ll be rolling into Philly on July 7th at the Skyline Stage at the Mann Center and their frontman, Rome Ramirez, took some time to chat with us about the new record, the Summer tour, and a slew of other interesting topics.
Independent Philly: It’s hard to believe that this is already the 10 year anniversary of Sublime with Rome. How has your life changed over the past decade?
Sublime with Rome: Everything, and in direct correlation to the band. I bought my first house, I got married, had a child, bought my first car…pretty much every monument in my life I can attribute to Sublime.
Independent Philly: We heard that the first song you ever learned how to play on guitar was a Sublime tune. Does it ever feel surreal that you are fronting a version on a band that you grew up idolizing?
Sublime with Rome: 100%. Every day. Even going back to the previous question a bit, all of those things I mentioned are still constantly around me so it’s hard not to be reminded of that. Even when I’m around my wife and kid it’s easy to be reminded of what music can do, and specifically, Sublime.
Independent Philly: Sublime with Rome’s third studio album, ‘Blessings’ is due out on the 27th (interview conducted on May 25). We already have ‘Blackout’ included on our ‘Sounds of Summer 2019’ mix. What can your fans expect from ‘Blessings’ that sets it apart from ‘Yours Truly’ and ‘Sirens’?
Sublime with Rome: We really took our time with this one. We really focused on the songs and we had a direction in which we really wanted to take it. We tried to go into the studio and just plug away but we only wound up using one of those songs, I believe it was ‘Mayday’. Then we tried again and we got a handful of songs. Then we tried again, and these attempts were all separated by years, and after doing it the first two times, we finally had a direction in which we wanted this thing moving. It just felt right and we focused on getting all of the songs written and then going in and producing them. Once we had the music, we shared it with legendary producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Paramore, Linkin Park) and he was blown away by it and was like. “I’d love to produce this album”, and we were like, “Hell yeah! Let’s do this!”. So you know, it happened really organically, over a really long period of time, but it was definitely worth it.
Independent Philly: You’re kicking off a mega Summer tour at the beginning of June. How do you prepare to be on the road for months at a time? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of tour life?
Sublime with Rome: When I was younger there was so much more preparation. Now that I’m older, it’s kind of light, and it’s rather quick. It’s just kind of become more systematic on my end. The most difficult part of preparing for a big tour is getting all of my electronics together. I like to go out with studio stuff so I have so many little gadgets and pieces of gear and stuff, and then all the chargers and cables, which are kind of a nuisance. When I was younger I’d roll out with a whole suitcase that was just [filled with] sneakers and a bunch of bags of clothes. Honestly, now, we all seem to pack less than we used to.
Independent Philly: Do you have any favorite memory from a past show in Philadelphia?
Sublime with Rome: Off the top of my head…I have a friend who lives down there, his name is Michael McDermott, and he’s a really dope guy who plays drums for Joan Jett, anyway, we were at his pad while we were on tour and he gave us this big tour of his house. It’s three-level homes out there and we went down into his basement, where he plays drums and everything, and he had this big, black dildo stuck on the wall. You turned the corner and there it was. It kind of caught me off guard. That’s the first thing that came to mind, I’m not sure why.
Independent Philly: We know you don’t practice Santeria, but the Yoruba people had various religious customs, including a trance and divination system for communicating with their ancestors to learn about the future. If you could ask one question about the future, what would it be?
Sublime with Rome: I would ask if humans ever wound up discovering any other forms of life in our galaxy. That’s a question I would love to ask.
Independent Philly: Let’s get serious for a minute. Both of your parents are of Mexican descent. Do you have an opinion about the current state of affairs at the U.S./Mexican border?
Sublime with Rome: Yeah, I definitely have an opinion on that. We are kind of getting away from the ideology of what America really is, or what it was, and maybe that’s the point. If that’s the case, then that’s a whole different conversation and we can explore the benefits of that. As far as what we were as a country, and as far as protecting the essence of what America was, I’d say, in regards to that, we are moving further and further away from that with these Nationalist policies.
Independent Philly: Tell us something about yourself, or Sublime with Rome as a whole, that would surprise, or even shock, our readers.
Sublime with Rome: Eric Wilson likes to wear a lot of Prada and Chanel sunglasses. I listen to a lot of pop music…
Independent Philly: If I were to look at your music collection, what would be the thing you’d be most embarrassed to have me find?
Sublime with Rome: Let me check my Spotify. I have a kid so off the top of my head, it would be Raffi. A lot of my stuff is underground because I’m always listening to new music to discover the up-and-comers, but as far as embarrassing goes, man, I listen to some good shit, I’m not going to lie. I can’t find anything embarrassing on here man. This is pretty good, I’m actually really proud of myself…
Independent Philly: Practicing self-love is important. I’m happy to hear that.
Sublime with Rome: …I have some Adele on here…
Independent Philly: I wouldn’t say that’s embarrassing.
Sublime with Rome: Yeah, that’s not embarrassing. If I find any, I’ll let you know.
Sublime with Rome kicks off their Summer tour on June 2nd in Cedar Rapids, IA and end on August 4th in Dallas, TX. The band will be touring in support of their upcoming release. Soja will join the tour as direct support. Sublime With Rome will also be performing at major festivals like Bunbury Music Festival, Summerfest, Levitate Festival, and One Love Cali Reggae Fest. We will be there to catch them at one of our favorite venues, The Mann Center, on July 7th. Hope to see you there, Philly!
[Interview by David J. Miller]