Sublime (band)

Sublime (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Sublime

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Background = group_or_band
Origin = Long Beach, California, U.S.
Genre = Ska-punk
Third-wave ska
Years_active = 1988–1996
Label = MCA, Skunk
Associated_acts = Long Beach Dub Allstars Long Beach Shortbus Eyes Adrift Volcano
Past_members = Bradley Nowell Eric Wilson
Bud Gaugh

Sublime was a hip-hop influenced American ska-punk and reggae band that originated in Long Beach, California. Founded in 1988, Sublime were Bradley Nowell (vocals and guitar), Bud Gaugh (drums) and Eric Wilson (bass guitar). Lou Dog was the mascot of the band. Sublime achieved major mainstream success with their self-titled third album. Nowell died of a heroin overdose shortly before its release, resulting in the band's split in 1996.Bush, John. [ Sublime] . Allmusic. Last accessed November 23, 2007] Worldwide, Sublime has sold over 17 million albums, [ [ Big Records ] ] including about 10 million in the U.S. alone. Former members include Kelly Vargas (who played drums while Gaugh was in rehab) and Michael Happoldt (guitar) for a very short time.


Early career (pre-1988)

Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh were childhood friends having grown up in the same Long Beach neighborhood. Eric's father Billy Wilson taught Gaugh how to read music and play the drums. Gaugh and Wilson together with later Sublime manager Michael Happoldt formed a three-piece punk band called "The Juice Bros" during their high school years. About this time, Nowell joined the band.

Californian gigs and bootlegs (1988–1991)

Sublime played its first gig on the Fourth of July 1988 in a small club in Long Beach, California, reportedly starting the "Peninsula Riot" in Harbor Peninsula which led to seven arrests. For the next several years, the group focused primarily on playing at parties and clubs throughout Southern California. They recorded a few songs and put forth a number of short demos beside the well known "Jah Won't Pay the Bills", containing several songs which would later appear on their major releases.

Skunk Records and public attention (1992–1994)

Eventually, Sublime developed a large following in California. After concentrating on playing live shows, the band released "40 Oz. to Freedom" in 1992 under Nowell's label Skunk Records. The record established Sublime's blend of reggae, punk, ska, and hip hop, and helped to further strengthen the group's growing SoCal following. Initially being sold exclusively at their live shows, the album became widely known in the greater Los Angeles area after rock radio station KROQ began playing the song Date Rape. In June 1994, Sublime was signed to the label Gasoline Alley of MCA records by Jon Phillips who subsequently became Sublime’s manager.

Tours (1994–1995)

The band toured extensively throughout 1994 and '95, their popularity increasing gradually beyond the West Coast as "Date Rape" began earning radio play. Nowell was known for his tendency to play heavily intoxicated to the degree that he sometimes seemed to be not even able to play the guitar, as seen in the majority of the videos featuring the band live. In 1995, the band co-headlined the inaugural nationwide Vans Warped Tour. Being one of the most popular acts on the tour, their drug use led to tensions with the tour management. Gaugh was arrested several times for possessing marijuana. Similarly, the band's famed practice of keeping their dogs with them everywhere including on to stage resulted concert-goers being bit. Sublime was actually kicked off the tour for some time before the tour management was forced to reconsider and bring them back due to the crowd demand. After the Warped Tour and the subsequent Three Ring Circus Tour, the band was pressured to begin producing new studio material as a proper follow-up to the suddenly-prosperous "40 Oz. to Freedom".

Nowell's death and major label debut (1996)

In February 1996, the band began with the recordings which would comprise their major label debut album. Recording was completed before Nowell died of a heroin overdose on May 25, 1996 at the Oceanview Motel in San Francisco [Prato, Greg. [ Brad Nowell] . Allmusic. Accessed November 23, 2007] , two months prior to release of their self-titled third record. The album became a huge success, including the single "What I Got", which made it to #1 at the Modern Rock Chart. [Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. [ "X-Games, Vol. 2"] . Allmusic: 1997] The album earned the band worldwide fame, and has since gone five-times platinum. Beside "What I Got", the album included several popular singles including "Santeria", "Doin' Time", "Wrong Way" and "April 26, 1992 (Miami)", all of which received heavy airplay.

After Sublime (1997–present)

A number of posthumous releases followed, among them "Second-Hand Smoke" in 1997 and both "Stand by Your Van" and "" in 1998. By the release of their "Greatest Hits" compilation in 1999 the band had released as many albums after Nowell's death as during his lifetime. [Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. [ "Greatest Hits"] (Sublime album). Allmusic: 1999.] A box set of demos, rarities and live recordings called "Everything Under the Sun" was released on November 14, 2006. [Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. [ "Everything Under the Sun"] . Allmusic: 2006]

Following Sublime's demise, its surviving members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh formed the Long Beach Dub Allstars in 1997, which also included many frequent Sublime contributors such as Michael "Miguel" Happoldt (former member of The Ziggens), Todd Forman (3rd Alley) and "Field" Marshall Goodman. LBDA then disbanded in 2002. ☺

Musical Style

Sublime utilized a genre-blending mash-up style which incorporated elements of dub, reggae, ska, punk rock, improvised dancehall, hip hop, psychedelic rock and acoustic rock, which they developed through their live shows. The band is most usually classified as ska-punk, although likely their most prevalent influence, dub reggae, is not directly attributed in such a classification.

Sublime's music was highlighted by bass-driven grooves, reggae rhythms, elaborately-cadenced rhyme schemes and transitions between paces and styles throughout a given song, sometimes alternating between thrash punk, ska and reggae within the same song. Their music often contains psychedelic, harmonic minor-based or bluesy guitar solos, rhythmically-improvised bass solos or dub-lines, turntable scratching and rolling drum transitions.

According to the band's [ MySpace site] , "Rolling Stone" writer David Wild stated the following about the band.:

The singular sound of Sublime, alternately polished and rough and ready, finds stoner rock, rap, punk, and hip-hop funk blended with doses of ska, rock steady, dancehall, and every other pungent flavor of reggae. The result was a beautiful, warts-and-all brand of poetry - a powerful new blend of street sounds and party music. In Nowell, Sublime had an astounding singer and lyricist who created his own edgy but expressive underground vernacular. And in Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh, Sublime was fortunate to have an agile, rock-solid rhythm section that could cover the entire musical waterfront. They were musical counterparts that created their own signature rhythmic foundation, creating the ultimate canvas for Nowell to embellish. [Wild, David; Rolling Stone;]


Even over a decade after Nowell's death and the band's breakup, Sublime remains immensely popular throughout the United States, especially in its state of origin, California. The renowned Los Angeles alternative rock radio station KROQ has listed Sublime at #2 in its "Top 106.7 biggest KROQ bands of all time" memorial for the past six years in a row, behind only Nirvana . [KROQ [] ] With over 17 million units sold worldwide, Sublime is one of the most successful ska-punk acts of all time.

Cultural references

Sublime's song "Santeria" has been included in the video game "Guitar Hero World Tour". [ [ Guitar Hero 4 Includes Song Creation and Sharing, Multiple Instruments, Van Halen, Linkin Park - Shacknews - PC Games, PlayStation, Xbox 360 and Wii video game news, previews ... ] ] The song "Seed" has been included in Tony Hawk's Underground. The song "What I Got" has also been included in the multi-format game "Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX".



Bootleg and unofficial releases



External links


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