40oz. to Freedom Is 20 Years Old: We Reminisce and Speak With Sublime's New Incarnation
Since then it's sold over 2 million copies. More importantly, it unquestionably influenced a generation of Californian musicians. One of those musicians was an 11-year-old Rome Ramirez, who almost a decade later would become the band's new lead singer. "I was in San Diego with my uncle. He told me to go grab that Sublime album and play it," Ramirez says. "That album changed me, so to speak. 40oz. is my favorite Sublime album. It changed the way I dressed, talked, everything.... That summer I told my mom I wanted a guitar."
Sublime disbanded immediately following Bradley's death from a heroin overdose in 1996, but reformed with Ramirez in 2009. Nowell's estate was unhappy with the decision to use the Sublime name and filed a suit against the band in October of 2009, who had to change their moniker to Sublime with Rome, the name they now perform and record under.
Hearing Ramirez and Wilson speak about Sublime is disarming -- they are at such different places in their musical careers. Wilson seems willing enough to talk about the old Sublime and says that it feels really good when people give the album its due, but mentions that he didn't even know it was the 20-year anniversary.
The new incarnation of the band: Sublime with Rome
There's no romantic reminiscing with him. Maybe that's because of Nowell's untimely death and the endless questions he's been asked by reporters about it. Ramirez, on the other hand, seems bright eyed. He never thought he'd be singing for a band he idolized, and calls the experience "surreal." (He's also releasing a solo EP on June 12th entitled Dedication.) Regardless of how you feel about Sublime's newest incarnation, you will likely find their thoughts about some of 40oz. to Freedom's classic tracks interesting.