Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary on Sublime With Rome: '[Rome]'s Going to Make it With or Without Sublime'

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A few months ago I talked to Paul Leary for our story on  Bradley Nowell's death anniversary. Leary produced Sublime's eponymous major label debut.

Since Leary also produced Yours Truly, Sublime with Rome's forthcoming album (out July 12), the conversation obviously gravitated toward the new album and comparisons between Rome Ramirez and Bradley Nowell.

Leary said, "Rome is a completely different cat in the studio. He's a real studio musician. Brad just put up with the studio; I think he loved making the music but I think he just liked to play. He wasn't really into being in the studio and learning studio stuff.

"Rome is just all over the studio--he soaks everything up like a sponge and is hard to get out of the control room. He's on top of everything. Brad would come in and do what you asked, but he wouldn't be in there looking for things to do, and that's what Rome does."

At the time, Sublime with Rome had just released "Panic," the first single off their album. Today Sublime with Rome released "Lovers Rock," their latest single. (Listen to it after the jump; it's also streaming here.)


If you recall, we weren't big fans of "Panic" when we first heard it. Leary shares a similar sentiment: "Panic isn't my favorite song of the record, though." A lot of the same-old, same-old  comparisons have to do with Sublime OG members Eric and Buddy, however. "They're involved in the songwriting process. It's really more than just someone writing a song. Those guys have a real sound and character to them. That's where Sublime comes in. It's just a thing. It's so much fun to work with them because you hear them play and you think, my gosh here's Sublime again."

Leary didn't have enough good things to say about Rome Ramirez, either. "You gotta keep up with him or he'll leave you in the dust," he says. So he's really good? I asked. Leary replied, "Oh my gosh, the world is not ready for Rome yet."

"I have a feeling [Nowell and Ramirez comparisons] are not going to last very long because Rome is so much his own cat. I got over that real quick, just a few days after working with him. I realized it was pointless--he's going to make it with or without Sublime.

But it's great that he's with Sublime because they're such a great combination. They all fit together very well."




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