Sublime reunion: New music on the horizon w/ Bradley Nowell's son

Sublime made a pretty big impact for a relatively shortlived band, but they may be returning with new music from their former vocalist's son.

Sublime at Warp Tour - 1995
Sublime at Warp Tour - 1995 / Steve Eichner/GettyImages

Following the recent reunion of Sublime's founding members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh with Bradley Nowell's son, Jakob, the iconic Southern California band is officially reassembled and set to grace numerous upcoming stages. In an exciting turn for most Sublime fans, whispers of potential new music have begun to surface. The suggestion emerges from a fresh SPIN interview featuring Gaugh and Nowell. When queried about their post-Coachella plans, Gaugh hinted at the possibility of forthcoming tunes, stating, "We’ll see how it goes from the rehearsals, but I’m pretty certain we’re gonna see some music coming out with this project."

In other words, they will gauge the vibe from rehearsals, but it's looking likely that new music will emerge from this revival. Nowell, while not explicitly addressing recording plans, radiated enthusiasm for Sublime's imminent performances, expressing a keen desire to "step into that role," explaining “I look at it as like a custodial role...I’m not Sublime. My uncles Bud and Eric are Sublime..."

However, he did add: "...My dad never got to step on that stage, man. My dad never got to sing those songs in front of an audience that big, at Coachella, of people who adore him and his sound and his message...So I have to do what I have to do." He also explained they will not be playing Sublime with Rome songs, but mostly the songs his father wrote, and maybe any new songs they come up with and are willing to try performing ive.

Will the Sublime reunion work with fans?

Though Sublime was a relatively shortlived band, they have a substantial fanbase and could be described as fairly influential. Still, with any reunion, there is always that question: Will fans actually be p***ed off that there's a new vocalist performing the old songs? Will the reunion be worthwhile and respectful of the musical legacy, or will it be seen solely as a cynical cash grab?

Some bands go ahead with new vocalists and still seem to do okay, even with only limited success. For a few examples: A fair amount of Judas Priest fans were willing to listen to songs from “British Steel" performed without Rob Halford as singer, and even the Dead Kennedys have done plenty of gigs without their former singer and lyricist Jello Biafra (though some, including Biafra, have accused them of selling out for a nostalgia tour). Of course, for most people, such a development is not the end of the world either way. People can always choose to just not see the new shows or buy any new albums that come out, if that's their prerogative.

The big story here: Sublime may have a bigger future

Peering into the future, Nowell eagerly anticipates delving into alternative scenes and collaborating with fellow alternative artists. With Coachella on the horizon, Nowell playfully entertained the idea of a joint performance with the festival's other headline act, No Doubt. He mused about inviting Gwen Stefani to join them for a rendition of their 1994 duet, "Saw Red." Gaugh enthusiastically endorsed the notion, remarking that it's practically a no-brainer (in fact, with the waywomen dominated the Grammys, it could be smart from a business standpoint to collaborate with some modern female popstars).

The reunion of Sublime was catalyzed last December during a benefit concert for Bad Brains' H.R. This year, the band is slated to grace the stages of Coachella and the inaugural Brightside Music Festival. Tickets are available for those eager to witness their triumphant return.
Of course, there are other artists at these festivals, too. Obviously, a concert featuring both No Doubt and Sublime might pair with the "Freaks on Parade" tour as being among the biggest rock festivals of the summer.