Though the band no longer exists, Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh said that doesn’t mean their music has dried up.
In fact, he said there’s songs out there that are extremely relevant to the band and its music, and that deserve to be heard.
Now they will be.
Even as his now-defunct band’s self-titled major-label debut continues its remarkable chart presence, recently passing the 2.2 million sales mark, Sublime will release a collection of previously unreleased and remixed songs.
“I think there’s some good music that we have left over that people would want to hear,” Gaugh said. “Like, some are tracks that we had to take off 40 Oz. to Freedom because we couldn’t get clearance on some samples, so we remixed those.”
The new album, Secondhand Smoke (Nov. 4) will feature 19 songs spanning the band’s career, including some of the tracks the trio recorded but left off Sublime, released just months after the drug-related May 1996 death of singer Bradley Nowell.
Scheduled for inclusion on the collection, which is being overseen by long-time band collaborator/producer/guitarist Michael “Miguel” Happoldt, are a different mix of the final album’s “April 29, 1992 (Miami),” produced by Butthole Surfer Paul Leary and a remastered version of “Saw Red,” featuring No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani, from the group’s 1994 indie album Robbin’ the Hood.
The CD is also expected to feature a number of songs tracked during the Sublime sessions that have never before been officially released, including: “Get Out,” “Romeo,” “Slow Ride,” “Had a DAT” and a cover of Bob Marley’s “Trenchtown Rock.”
Happoldt said the collection will also feature some material from the band’s first demo, the long unavailable, Jah Won’t Pay the Bills, including the song “Don’t Push” in addition to a remix of the Sublime song “Doin’ Time,” with a new vocal from reggae giant Mad Lion.
“I compiled it more than produced,” said Happoldt, who produced both 40 Oz. and Robbin’ the Hood. “The band has been listening to tapes too, but I’ve mostly just been remastering and cleaning some stuff up.”
Gaugh said that remixes of “Doin’ Time” by Wyclef, Snoop Doggy Dogg and the Pharcyde, are also in the can, but it’s unclear when, or if, they’ll be released.
The album will likely be the next-to-last project released by Sublime on MCA, since the band and the label recently parted ways. Happoldt said the group has more than enough material for a live album, which he intends to work on as soon as Secondhand is finished, which should happen by the end of this week. “We’re going to do a 2-CD live album with an enhanced CD portion,” said Happoldt, who added that he’s already started listening to tapes.
“We have endless sound board tapes, a couple of bootlegs and some good live recordings from some shows,” according to Gaugh, 30, who said there would “hopefully be a couple more” Sublime releases on MCA.
MCA has already passed on Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson’s post-Sublime group, the Juice Bros. “We brought it to MCA and they weren’t into it at all,” said Gaugh. “Our motto is ‘trash, not thrash; shit, not music,’ and you can imagine they didn’t like it.”
The Bros., which features the duo, Happoldt on guitar and band friend Scummy on bass and vocals, is just one of half-dozen bands Gaugh and Wilson have played with since the demise of Sublime, most of which can be heard on the recently-released Skunk Records 1997 Fall Sampler, from the label that released Sublime’s early recordings.
Gaugh is also a member of acoustic-punk Friends of Jesus, while Wilson sits in with the swing/surf/drag racing revivalists in Del Noah and the Mt. Ararat Finks and the trash punk Corn Doggie Dog and the 1/2 lb. Both are also part-time participants in the nine-piece Sublime tribute band, Long Beach Dub All-Stars. A Del Noah album has already been recorded, but does not yet have a release date.
Still, Happoldt said nobody was surprised MCA passed on the Juice Bros. album. “It’s a great album that we tried our hardest to make sound as horrible as possible. We made the record we would have made anyway, but its subject matter guaranteed they wouldn’t release it.”
When pressed for what the subject matter was, Happoldt chuckled, “AIDS, herpes, trash cans, sluts, PCP, hating cops.” Questioned on how such a thing would have stood up on the charts next to a mainstream diva such as Mariah Carey, Happoldt said, “It would infect her and turn her eyes yellow.”
Ras 1, guitarist for the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, said that group has recently mutated from strictly a Sublime tribute project to a full-fledged band that will soon record an album of originals with various singers.
“We have a bunch of different singers, HR (Bad Brains), Born Jamericans, Mad Lion and some others. We’d like to bring in the greats that are down as fuck to play some of the strictly reggae style music,” Ras said. “We’ve got some momentum now,” said Ras, about the constantly mutating group. “That’s good now, we just can’t jump the ball.” [Thurs., Sept. 25, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]