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Sublime Confirm Coachella Performances Will Feature Jakob Nowell, Son of Late Frontman Bradley Nowell

'It’s an honor to carry on with our family’s name and legacy with Sublime,' Jakob Nowell said in a statement.

Source: Courtesy of Sublime
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When the 2024 Coachella lineup was revealed on Jan. 16, one band name on the festival poster caught Q’s eye (and plenty of others’) in particular: Sublime.

While the band’s surviving bassist Eric Wilson has spent much of the past decade performing and recording as Sublime With Rome alongside new frontman Rome Ramirez (and, briefly, surviving drummer Bud Gaugh), the Sublime band name had largely been retired since frontman Bradley Nowell died from a heroin overdose in 1996.

Shortly after the release of the lineup, however, the band confirmed what many had suspected: the group will be performing with its late frontman’s son, Jakob Nowell, in his father’s place.

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coachella poster
Source: Courtesy of Goldenvoice

“This has so many layers for me,” Nowell said in a statement released late on Jan. 16. “On a spiritual level, my father passed away when he was 28, and I am 28 now. It’s an honor to carry on with our family’s name and legacy with Sublime. I’ve been a performing musician with my own projects since I was 18. It’s an absolute privilege to be able to play these Sublime songs with legendary musicians like Eric and Bud.”

Nowell first performed with Gaugh and Wilson at a benefit concert for Bad Brains frontman H.R. on Dec. 11, playing guitar and singing Sublime standards at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom. Since then, however, all involved had been mum on any future plans for the new trio.

“On a personal level, my Uncles Bud and Eric are meant to play these songs and the fans want to hear them,” Nowell continued. “I’m excited, nervous, thankful and humbled all at the same time to step into this role and start this new chapter. It feels like my big crazy family is finally back together and I couldn’t be more happy.”

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wilson gaugh
Source: MEGA

Surviving Sublime members Wilson (left) and Gaugh performing in 2011.

Wilson added in the statement: “This is great because I haven’t had the opportunity to play with Bud Gaugh in over a decade. And to have Brad’s son playing our music is the closest thing possible to playing with my old buddy Brad.”

Though a substantially popular band in the mid-1990s in Southern California -- where their breakthrough single "Date Rape" was first played by seminal radio station KROQ -- Sublime only truly became nationwide stars upon the release of their self-titled third album, which hit stores two months after Nowell's death in 1996. Sublime saw the group reach No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart with single "What I Got," with the album eventually going 5x platinum.

Gaugh and Wilson continued playing together in the years following as the Long Beach Dub All Stars, though when they first attempted to perform under the Sublime name with Ramirez in 2009, the Nowell estate threatened legal action. The band changed its name to Sublime With Rome, releasing the 2011 album Yours Truly, which breached the top 10 of the U.S. album chart. Gaugh left the group that same year, expressing reservations about using the Sublime name without Nowell.

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Source: MEGA

Rome Ramirez announced his plans to leave Sublime With Rome in 2024.

Sublime will perform at Coachella alongside the freshly reunited No Doubt, who frequently played gigs with the band around Southern California while both were relative unknowns. In fact, Sublime's first major festival appearance, at the 1995 KROQ Weenie Roast in Irvine, Calif., featured a guest appearance from Gwen Stefani on vocals.

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As for the future of Sublime With Rome, Ramirez recently announced on the band’s website that he would be leaving the group after completing their existing touring commitments. He wrote: "After almost two remarkable decades I am announcing my departure from Sublime With Rome at the end of 2024. The upcoming performances over the next year will allow us to reflect on countless incredible memories together!”


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