If you grew up in the ‘90s and you didn’t listen to at least one Sublime song, then you were probably living in a cave somewhere. The band is one of a select few that got immensely popular posthumously after frontman and guitarist Bradley Nowell’s untimely death in 1996. Show up to any house party and eventually someone is going to play a song of theirs off an iPod. Their influence is felt far and wide, with Brett Wilson from the New Hampshire reggae rock act Roots Of Creation giving Sublime a lot of credit for his musical background. On Feb. 22, he’ll be coming to the Ocean Mist in Matunuck to perform acoustic renditions of the band’s songs.
We had a chat ahead of the show about getting introduced to Sublime, being intimate with the audience and the possibility of special guests showing up
Rob Duguay: When did you first start listening to Sublime and how much of an influence does the band have on you as a musician?
Brett Wilson: I actually got into them during the mid ‘90s via a friend of mine. I was listening to a lot of reggae through a bunch of mixtapes I had and I was also listening to a lot of KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions. Then a friend of mine gave me a copy of “40 Oz. To Freedom” and I was instantly hooked. Sublime was everything I was looking for in a band at that point and Bradley’s songwriting still has an effect on me to this day.
RD: That’s awesome how you seemed to progress to that band from everything you were listening to beforehand.
BW: Yeah, definitely.
RD: Do you prepare yourself any differently when it comes to performing by yourself versus performing with Roots Of Creation?
BW: Absolutely. When I’m playing gigs by myself it can get kind of nervous but it’s also awesome because I get to be intimate with the audience. Especially with this kind of gig coming up, I can hear people sing along to the songs and I can hear all the notes I’m hitting. I have to prepare myself differently for that because with Roots Of Creation there are so many other things going on that are out of my control.
RD: This series of solo shows is also happening in between the current Grateful Roots tour that Roots Of Creation is on, so can it get hectic weaving in and out of different kinds of gigs?
BW: Yeah, but I’ve learned to manage it. It’s good to have some down time from all the touring that we do, which is kind of why I’m so excited about these Sublime shows. I get to hit the road with myself and my guitar and when it’s over I get to get back out there with the band and perform again.
RD: For the upcoming show at the Ocean Mist, can folks expect any special guests to join you?
BW: You never know what’s going to happen. I have hit a few friends in the area up about playing different parts but nothing is official as of yet. Most likely it’ll just be me performing by myself but I’d love to get other people involved. The Ocean Mist is also a special place for me due to the fact that it was one of the first places Sublime ever played at on the East Coast, according to their management. I’ve always had a great time playing there, Jay Catley and the crew there are awesome folks.
RD: Roots Of Creation recently made a social media post about some new music being on the way. When can we expect it?
BW: We actually have three albums on the way this year. One is going to be an instrumental jammy record for the festival crowds and we’re also going to be putting out a Grateful Dub Vol. 2 with new takes on some Grateful Dead songs. For the third record, we really want to start working on our songwriting with some outside producers and take things to the next level. We want to have fun with it while also growing as a band. It’s going to be a busy year with a lot going on.