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Is Pepper the New Sublime??
The answer is...
BUT they come in at a close second...
Much like Sublime, Pepper combines rock with the local island flavor that you cant help but move to! Pepper is great, but it still has a ways to go when it comes to stepping up to Sublime. From their funky rhythms to down to earth lyrics, Pepper has an influence almost everywhere they touch. Unluckily, with their style of music, it is often limited to the coastal regions.
But before I can get into all that, I gotta show some respect for the legendary Sublime.
As I try to type this, there are just no words that truly get on Sublime's level. If you put all of the songs Sublime ever released onto a playlist and hit shuffle, one minute you would be bopping around to a funky punk song, the next you would be swaying to the sweet acoustic melodies of vocalist/guitarist Brad Nowell, and the next you would be bobbing your head to those sweet reggae riffs. Even some of the songs are a beautiful combination of all three.
Sublime started in 1988 as a garage punk band, with vocalist/guitarist Nowell, bassist Eric Wilson, and drummer Bud Gaugh. Sublime didn't get famous until the mid 90's with the rise of "California Punk" (Green Day, The Offspring), Sublime grasped the crowd with their own blend of rock, reggae and ska. After four years dedicated to nothing but touring and live shows, they came back to make the album, 40 Oz to Freedom, in 1992. They weren't too famous until a local radio station blew up their single, Date Rape. Mostly due to radio exposure, Sublime signed for another album in 1994, Robbin the Hood, then later made the self titled Sublime album. Nowell never got to see his third album release in July 1996. It was May 25, 1996 that Brad Nowell was found dead in his San francisco hotel room. He had died from a heroine overdose. . The hit single "What I got", was so popular, that by the end of the year the album had gone Gold. The album sold over 5 million copies, making it the most popular ska-punk albums in history! It is a shame that Bradley Nowell was gone before he ever got to the top. He will always be my all-time favorite lyricist and vocalist. Many posthumous Sublime releases include Second Hand Smoke (1997), Stand by your Van and acoustic: Bradley Nowell and Friends (1998), Greatest Hits (1999), and Gold (2005).
The band lives on...
Bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Daugh went on in their music careers as Long Dub Beach Allstars, but never reached the fan base of Sublime and failed. In 2009, Wilson and Daugh teamed up with Rome Ramirez to be Sublime's new vocalist/guitarist. After performing at the Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival, they were slapped with a lawsuit and were no longer able to use the name Sublime. (Bradley owned the rights) They started a tour on April 20, 2010, as Sublime with Rome.
If you ask me, no one can sing those songs but Bradley Nowell. There was never a right time to replace Bradley Nowell, not now, not 15 years ago. Ramirez is mostly talented in the studio, but when you get him on stage he has a hard time catching his breath trying to sing and play guitar at the same time. Keep practicing bud!
Pepper has got what's goin' on! If you put all of their songs on a playlist, you would have a result much like Sublime; except for Pepper was never too big on acoustic sessions. Pepper's music is more heavily influenced with reggae, seeing as they are from Hawaii.
Pepper banded together on the big island in Hawaii in 1997, with members bassist/vocalist Bret Bollinger, guitarist/vocalist Kaleo Wassman, and drummer Yesod Williams. These three mostly played in garages and house parties for the next two years until they took the initiative to pack up all their belongings and move to San Diego, CA to push their music. In that time they recorded their first album Give n It in 2000. Pepper landed shows with the established artists, Born Jamericans, Shaggy, Eek-a-Mouse, Burning Spear, Pato Banton, Secret Hate, and SX10, who were featured on XBOX games/Transworld Surf and Snow games. Pepper also played an entire season on the Warped Tour in 2001, they didn't play for free though... These boys had to pay their dues by building the stage to be able to deliver their "Kona-dub-rock" to the heart and souls of the public.
In late 2001, Pepper finally hit up a professional studio to record their next album Kona Town(to be released in 2002). These boys had a lot of help, with dub technician Remy Derouchmont controlling the space echo's throughout the album, Steve Kravac (Blink-182) producing, Willie Waldman (Sublime, Snoop Dogg) on horns and Ronnie King (Death Row Records) on keys. The result, an edgy, rockin', melodic masterpiece. Pepper was finally able to capture their essence of sound the way it was meant to be heard. (For those of you who listened to Give n It, you know what I mean) Out of this album protruded the single, "Give it Up", which has been one of Pepper's most aired songs to date.
Riding on the heels of that success, Pepper retreated into "The Hive" (311's legendary analog studio), and started on their next album, In With the Old, which released in March of 2004. Pepper has always been about nonstop touring, but when the dust finally settled, they were back at it in the studio to record, No Shame, which came out in October of 2006. This album contained the next popular single, "No Control", which topped the Billboard's "alternative" chart at number 18, with "Give it Up" coming in at 34. Another single from the album No Shame, "Your Face", has been chosen to be available for Guitar Hero World Tour.
Pepper sold over 500,000 albums independently, and used that money to found their own record label, LAW records. Though it is still not a very large record label yet, it has spawned three bands; IRATION, Passafire, and The Supervillians. Pepper's music has often been used for TV shows, video games, and even a few movies (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Good Luck Chuck).
Pepper has a huge fan base due to their constant touring (a lot of the time, its one after the other). They also play at numerous festivals, Vans Warped Tour, and outings with other bands (for example 311, Snoop Dogg, the Wailers). Throughout all the craziness of shows and touring, they managed to record the album Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations, which released in July of 2008 and peaked to #11 on the Billboard's "independent albums" chart!
After spending the early months of 2010 writing and recording new music, Pepper spent their summer on the annual Unity Tour with long time friends 311, and The Offspring. Then later this fall, they started up on the "Like a Surgeon" tour to promote the forthcoming release of their album, Stitches due out Oct 12, 2010.
Give it Up!
Links to check ya out some Pepper!
- Pepper on Myspace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads
Myspace profile for Pepper. Find friends, share photos, keep in touch with classmates, and meet new people on Myspace.
The band's official site!
And if ya wanna keep it classic...
- Sublime with Rome
Founding members of Sublime, drummer Bud Gaugh and bass player Eric Wilson have announced after 14-years they will officially take to the stage once again; with new frontman, singer/guitarist Rome. Dubbed Sublime with Rome, the group will reintroduce
- Skunk Records, Inc.
1992-2004 Skunk Records, Inc. Record label out of Long Beach, CA. Home for Sublime, Burn Unit, Shortbus, Long Beach Dub Allstars, and Slighlty Stoopid. Get Skunked Skunk Records 2001, All Rights Reserved
- Sublime Spot - Sublime Band Page