Sublime With Rome is celebrating its 10th anniversary and frontman Rome Ramirez is still pinching himself.
“Every day I wake up and thank everyone involved with this band for letting me live such a blessed life and singing for my favorite band,” he said last month from home in California. “I feel like I won the lottery!”
In the realm of rock ‘n’ roll fantasies, Ramirez hit the jackpot.
He was in his late teens when he and Sublime bass player Eric Wilson started jamming together. It was a surreal time in his life — Ramirez grew up in Southern California idolizing the punk-rock/ska band and the idea that he would be hanging out with a founding member playing music was pretty mind-blowing.
But that was nothing compared to Wilson’s invitation for Ramirez to join the band in 2009, filling the shoes of Sublime’s late lead singer Bradley Nowell.
Nowell died of a drug overdose in 1996 and Sublime went dormant until Ramirez came on board. The band changed its name to Sublime With Rome in 2010 after Nowell’s estate challenged the use of the trademarked name.
Ramirez was 20 when he joined Sublime; he turned 31 on Tuesday, June 11 — four days before the band headlines the AVA at Casino del Sol on Saturday, June 15.
That means he’s spent a third of his life in Sublime.
“Wow, I’ve never really said that out loud,” he said, and he sounded genuinely stunned by the revelation.
It’s been a pretty fantastic third of his life that included getting married and becoming a father and living out his ultimate teenage fantasy.
Sublime With Rome has released three studio albums including its latest, “Blessings” in May.
The album was more than three years in the making and is being lauded as the band’s best. Cryptic Rock’s Dustin McNees gushed that the record “will probably go down as the best reggae/ska/punk album of the year, and most certainly the band’s best album to date. In fact, the trio have fully embraced their commercial potential, and in doing so, have created a genre masterpiece that will assuredly land them the most airtime in their 10-year, post-Bradley Nowell (R.I.P.) career.”
Added Spill magazine, “‘Blessings’ may be their most triumphant release to date. The group has moved far past their predecessor Sublime, forging their own lane while staying true to what got the original members in the game.”
“We really took our time with this record. We had about 20 songs and we whittled that down to express the message we were trying to send,” Ramirez said. “This is lyrically the most impactful album I’ve written to date. Anyone who listens to this can find similarities in their own lives and get to know me and the band just a little bit more.”