We caught up with Sublime with Rome before they embarked on their summer tour with 311 to talk about their new album Yours Truly, which drops July 12. Here's what the laid-back trio had to say about their new album, their first international tour as a band, where they see SWR five years from now, and how to make a rockstar feel humble.
L.A. WEEKLY: ROME, You haven't had the opportunity to start small with the band and grow into selling sold-out shows. How difficult has it been to just put yourself out there and play to an inherited fan base?
ROME: I wouldn't say difficult, it's been challenging, but all of the best things in life come with a challenge, you know.
The challenge isn't necessarily winning over the fan base because they see us have a lot of fun on stage and just kind of do our own thing and it looks really natural, so it comes off really positive and genuine; but the challenge came from playing in front of 200 people and then going and playing in front of like, 80,000. It takes a long time, and I'm still learning to get more comfortable doing this, but this is what I wanted to do since the very beginning, so I knew what I was getting myself into.
L.A. Weekly: BUD AND ERIC, How does it feel to watch a new star rise among your band?
BUD: It's been really cool just being able to get back out and play the music that we've been wanting to play for so long and writing new music, you know. The other bands that I played in just were missing something, that element, and I think that element was being with my best friend Eric and playing music that we grew up playing. So watching Rome take the reins has really made us proud and we're like family. Rome said earlier, being able to call ourselves brothers and stuff is great. My family is expanding. It's a good thing.
ERIC: I just think that Rome had what it took before I even met him and because of Sublime, he can really get out there and show everyone what he's got. He writes songs just like all the other greats who have ever written a song. We're just happy to have him with us.
L.A. WEEKLY: Now you have a new wave of fans tuning in as well as hardcore diehards ... is it difficult to cater to both generations of fans?
BUD: No, we just try to please ourselves. Just like that old [Ricky Nelson] song goes "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." And that's how Sublime has always been. We always played the music that we liked to play, that we liked to hear and if nobody else out there is enjoying it, we are. I think that's where the genuineness comes in, is that we're playing the music that we want to hear. We change up the set from night to night because we want to play these songs and in this order. So really, it's for ourselves and I think the fans appreciate that.
ROME: They can see it, you know. That's always been kind of like our mentality. It's definitely been [Bud and Eric's] mentality, but since I've joined the band, they've really helped me adapt their kind of mentality where it's just like: We only get about an hour and a half of just us--of just me, Bud and Eric on stage, doing what we do, a night--and that's during our set. And for that hour and a half, just put aside everything--put aside the label; put aside management; put aside publicists--just go up there and do what you guys want to do. Go up there and have fucking fun. We played this metal festival, not too long ago, over in Switzerland and we were the only band of our kind of sound on the bill. I mean everyone there was very, very hard ...
BUD: RAWWWWWR! (Laughs)
ROME: So like we were kind of put in this weird place where like "Well, lets try to change the set and lets make it a little bit heavier," you know. We don't do that often, but we kind of stepped out of our element. And we went up there and we played, but we didn't do as good as we knew we could. A couple days later, we had the same festival moved over to a different spot in Europe--same bands, same steez, but we went up there and did what we do best--which is get up there and play what we want to play, how we want to play it. I mean, that was one of our greatest shows in all of Europe and I think that was kind of like a reality check to us like, "Hey, stick to the programs, guys," you know, just do you. It's a simple message, but it really takes you the furthest.
BUD: It's like, if you're collecting art, you always want to get an original. Why get a print? I mean, of course, if you can't afford it, but you'd always rather have the original because it's special to you and that's what we try to do--deliver original art from each night.