When headliners Eric Wilson, Bud Gaugh and Jakob Nowell took the stage shortly before midnight at the Teragram Ballroom on Dec. 11 in Los Angeles for a benefit concert for Bad Brains frontman H.R., they didn’t officially have a band name. It wasn’t until the second song during the rousing set that Nowell announced he was now leading the band his late father, Bradley Nowell, first launched with Wilson and Gaugh in 1998 — the beloved Long Beach alternative, rock and reggae group Sublime.
One week later, on Monday (Dec. 18), Rome Ramirez, lead singer of the group Sublime with Rome — the Sublime spinoff that has performed classic Sublime songs and Ramirez’s original material since 2009 — announced he was ending his run performing with the group. The announcement followed news that the Nowell family, along with Wilson and Gaugh, had effectively laid the groundwork for the younger Nowell to take over his father’s role and lead the band into a new era.
Briefly, in 2009, Wilson and Ramirez toured under the name Sublime but were sued by the Nowell family and eventually reached a legal settlement and license agreement with Nowell’s wife, Troy Dendekker, to tour under the moniker Sublime with Rome.
While Wilson and Ramirez were touring and performing, Jakob was developing his own musical talents, forming the Long Beach band LAW in 2013. Earlier this year, Jakob and his mother agreed with Wilson and Gaugh to relaunch Sublime with Jakob at the helm under the management of Kevin Zinger and Joe Escalante.
What this development means for Rome Ramirez is not totally clear. In a statement, the singer announced that “after almost two remarkable decades, I am announcing my departure from Sublime with Rome at the close of 2024. The upcoming performances over the next year will allow us to reflect on countless incredible memories together!”
Sublime with Rome currently has four dates on its website scheduled for 2024: Feb. 16 at Cali Vibes Festival in Long Beach, April 12 at Cattle Country Festival in Gonzalez, Tex., April 20 at Hard Rock Live in Atlantic City, N.J., and an April 27 headliner show at Red Rocks.
“Over the last 2 years I’ve been spending countless hours pouring my soul into my solo music, and the excitement to share these songs with you is building up! I’ve got some really big news that I can’t drop yet. Just wait,” Ramirez’s statement continued. “Singing and playing guitar for this iconic band has been a lifetime opportunity and just flat out, absolutely epic. Carrying on the Sublime legacy has been a trust I’ll forever cherish. This is only the beginning…”
Sublime with Rome has put out a total of three albums, including its 2011 debut record, Yours Truly, which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. They followed that up in 2015 with Sirens, which peaked at No. 34 on the tally, followed by Blessings in 2019. The band has consistently headlined festivals and in 2023 collaborated with Slightly Stoopid on the track “Cool & Collected,” along with a joint 27-date summer tour.