Created in 1988, Sublime is a reggae punk band from Long Beach, California. Their sound resembles Slightly Stupid, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Pepper. Associated acts include No Doubt, Long Beach Dub All-Stars, and Perro Bravo. Sublime’s unique sound, popularized alongside the beaches of sunny California. Overtime, they became one of the most popular and influential bands of the 1990s.
The group started when childhood friends Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson got caught up in the rising popularity of punk rock. They began playing with future manager, Micheal Happoldt and later met Bradley Nowell, who introduced the guys to reggae and ska. Nowell impressed the group with his voice and guitar skills, so they asked him join. Soon, Sublime began writing and performing in the local Long Beach area. Due to the overload of bands in California, most clubs didn’t accept unsolicited musicians. In turn, Nowell started his own label, Skunk Records, to make Sublime appear more official. During this time, the singer also adopted a Dalmatian, which later became the bands mascot, Lou Dog.
In 1991, their manager asked them to take a risk and record a demo at the local high school. Illegally, Sublime went into the school overnight and recorded their first demo, Jah Won’t Pay the Bills. The songs became a modest success in the local area, leading to a small cult following. As their popularity grew, the group released their debut album, 40.oz to Freedom. The record became a huge success in the California area, thanks in part to KROQ. Their progressive sound was slow to catch the mainstream; yet, overtime, it would find an international audience.
In 1994, they dropped their follow-up, Robbin the Hood. The record matched the success of the previous, growing their grassroots following but not making it to the mainstream. Sublime followed the release by going on the Vans Warped Tour and the Three Ring Circus Tour. The group became too hard to handle for festival staff and the band was kicked off both tours. They returned to the studio and prepared their third self-titled album. Before the record finished, the group played a memorable performance at Petaluma, California. The show was special because it would be their last with singer Brad Nowell. The musician overdosed on heroin in his hotel one day later. After Nowell’s death, their album became a huge success, selling millions. Almost every song, including “What I Got” and “Santeria,” became a hit. Fans began clamoring for past albums, which increased the sales of their previous work.
Since, Sublime released a series of re-mastered albums and unreleased Eps. They tried to regroup with a new singer in 2013 under the name Sublime with Rome; however, Rome left 5 months after releasing their first album. Sublime is currently not writing or recording and has no future plans.