"I'm not new to the band, standing next to my idols, anymore," he says of Sublime With Rome's next project.
Currently on the road, Sublime With Rome is planning a November return to the studio to record a follow-up to its 2011 album "Yours Truly."
"We already have some songs and stuff we've been working on," frontman Rome Ramirez tells Billboard. "That's what this tour is -- we're doing some of the old favorites and some of the stuff we've been working on in the studio and backstage and stuff like that. We have a shit-ton of parts and probably have five or six songs completed, half the album."
The trio, which also includes original Sublime bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Josh Freese, has been producing itself so far, but Ramirez notes that "I've been talking to a couple of people I would like to bring on board. I would be doing a lot of the album, but there's obviously some people who are so talented and bring so much to the music I'd really want to involve them in the project and get their ideas in here."
Ramirez adds that, with five years since becoming part of the Sublime universe in place of the late Bradley Nowell, he's going into the group's next album with a different kind of confidence. "I think the difference between an album like 'Yours Truly' and the album we're going into the studio to record is I'm not new to the band, standing next to my idols, anymore," he notes. "We've all laughed and cried and been in pain and gone to the hospital with each other now. We're a lot closer than we've ever been -- Eric and I especially. So I feel like now it's a lot more of an honest approach where we can feel a lot more comfortable putting aside our weaknesses and differences and really just try to create something new together."
The Sublime With Rome album isn't the only new music we'll be hearing from Ramirez in the near future. He's finished a new solo album, "Get Free," tentatively slated for an August release and has already released its first single, "If The World." The set is a true solo project recorded at the Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas, an experience Rome calls "very liberating. With Sublime, you're working together with other people, whereas my solo record I'm the director, CEO, manager, producer, musician. I don't mean I'm restricted in Sublime or anything like that, but it's fun to really channel just yourself, and I tried to channel that entire of experience from being a teenager to traveling the world and back and meeting incredible people and going all these places and having those very inspiring moments."
"Get Free" is also more overtly rock-flavored than Sublime tends to be. "I'm heavily, heavily influenced by the Clash and Adam the Ants and stuff," Rome says. "With this album I really wanted to employ distortion. I miss distorted guitars on the radio. I need to put that edge back. It's modern-day production but with true-sounding instruments -- real guitars, big drums, bass guitar." Rome is plotting a solo tour to support "Get Free."
Meanwhile, he's still having a bit of chuckle over the notoriety Sublime With Rome received earlier this year when the group was busted for smoking pot backstage at a radio festival in Tucson, Ariz. -- after police, according to reports, received a complaint from members of Linkin Park's entourage. Ramirez branded the group "Linkin Narc" on social media, which led to some hate directed towards the band, but in hindsight Rome feels the incident "got blown out of proportion."
"When I put it out there, I was like, 'Who the fuck listens to me?' " Rome says. "I've got my little 20,000 followers; those motherfuckers have, like, eight million or something. I just thought it was funny. I didn't think they'd respond. I'm like, 'Why did those guys even respond to my little, measly tweet?' What good did it do them? I almost feel bad. They were nice guys. The probably could've handled the situation a little better, but I don't think they deserved the wrath they got. I think we all learned a lesson about the power of (social media), no matter how big or small you are."