For Roman “Rome” Ramirez, life right now is simply Sublime.
He’s the lead singer and guitarist for Sublime With Rome, the latest incarnation of the Southern California reggae-punk band that found fame in the mid-1990s with the song “What I Got.”
“I’m like their biggest fan,” said Ramirez, who joined the band in 2009. “There’s no way I could have imagined I’d end up playing with Sublime.”
Sublime With Rome will perform Tuesday in Avila Beach alongside Grammy Award-nominated hip-hop group Cypress Hill, best known for the hit singles “Insane in the Brain” and “Throw Your Set in the Air,” and Hawaiian reggae-rock duo Pepper.
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“They’re just awesome guys, very cool,” Ramirez said of his tour mates. “It’s going to be summer barbecues every night.”
Ramirez, now 24, discovered Sublime at age 11 when his uncle handed him a CD.
“It was invigorating,” he recalled. “It was something new I had never heard (before) … all the music my mom and dad listened to, but modified.”
Formed by drummer Bud Gaugh, bassist Eric Wilson and lead singer/ guitarist Bradley Nowell in 1988, Sublime released two albums—1992’s “40 Oz. of Freedom” and 1994’s “Robbin’ the Hood”—on Nowell’s Skunk Records label before signing with MCA Records label Gasoline Alley.
The Long Beach band achieved mainstream success in 1996 with the release of its self-titled third album, featuring the songs “What I Got,” “Santeria” and “Wrong Way,” just months after Nowell’s death due to a drug overdose.
More than a decade later, surviving band members Gaugh and Wilson united with Ramirez under the Sublime name at the 2009 Cypress Hill Smokeout. (For legal reasons, the trio performs under the name Sublime With
Rome.) The band’s current lineup includes drummer Josh Freese, who has preformed with Devo, A Perfect Circle and The Vandals.
“The music was always there. It always sounded good,” Ramirez said. “Sonically, it always sounded right.”
Sublime With Rome released its debut album with Fueled by Ramen, “Yours Truly,” in May 2011, featuring the single “Panic.”
“It’s a collection of eclectic music,” Ramirez said of the album. “We’re great at taking influences and molding it into a sound of our own.”
Ramirez, whose personal influences range from Stevie Wonder and The Supremes to Bob Marley, Nirvana and N.W.A., showcases his own sound in his first solo EP, “Dedication,” released in June, and an as-yet- untitled solo album due out this September.
“It’s all me this time,” he said, describing the album as a mix of reggae, alternative rock and straight pop tracks. “Everything on that record more or less is everything I wanted to be there.”
The acoustic title track on “Dedication,” penned with fun. singer Nate Ruess and producer Jeff Bhasker, is “a song about loving someone who doesn’t love themselves as much as you love them,” Ramirez said.
“All my songs are like… a page out of my diary,” he said. “That’s the sole reason I started writing songs was to express what I have inside. I have all these things to say, all these emotions to express.”