Jakob Nowell, the son of original Sublime frontman, Bradley Nowell, joins the band’s lineup for the first time, beginning with a performance later this month.
Over 27 years since Sublime’s final performance with original frontman Bradley Nowell, a possible return featuring Nowell’s son Jakob is on the horizon. His first performance with the band’s original bassist, Eric Wilson, and drummer, Bud Gaugh, comes December 11 at a benefit show in Los Angeles.
Jakob Nowell, only 11 months old when his father died in 1996, has been performing and touring for more than a decade with his group Jakob’s Castle, signing a record deal this year with Epitaph Records. On December 11, he will perform at a benefit concert for Bad Brains frontman H.R. at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles with Sublime’s original members — the first time that the trio will perform together. It also marks the first time that Gaugh and Wilson will perform together since 2011.
Although the group is not calling themselves Sublime for the benefit show, Jakob’s manager, Kevin Zinger of Regime Music Group, and former musician turned executive Joe Ecalante, have been selected by the band’s original members and Jakob’s mother, Troy Dendekker Nowell, to manage Sublime’s rights and intellectual property.
Escalante and Zinger will manage “the legacy assets, the licensing, and all the business in Sublime going forward for Jake, Troy, Bud, and Eric,” Escalante told Billboard.
“The guys plan to jam together in support of H.R. at the Teragram Ballroom on December 11,” said Escalante. “Beyond that, we’re not prepared to make any announcements.”
News of Sublime’s relaunch has piqued significant interest from fans and festival talent scouters alike; buyers are already submitting offers to book them at festivals, but Zinger says the trio remain focused on rehearsing for the December 11 show.
“If the vibe’s there, the vibe’s there,” says Zinger, who reports that he, Escalante, and the band are “patiently waiting and doing the right thing.”
Eric Wilson has long been a member of Sublime with Rome, a touring outfit featuring singer Rome Ramirez that plays songs from the Sublime catalog along with Ramirez’s originals. The name was a legal compromise with Troy Dendekker Nowell, Bradley’s widow, in 2010, who sued to stop the men from touring using the name Sublime.
But the bigger complication for a reformed Sublime beyond the December 11 performance stems from touring obligations in 2024. Sublime with Rome is gearing up for a New Zealand tour and several festivals next year, while Jakob’s Castle will open for G Love & Special Sauce on a tour that runs through the end of March 2024.
Positive Mental Attitude: A Benefit for H.R. of Bad Brains takes place at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles on December 11. Tickets are still available, priced at $30 each. Other performances at the benefit will include Fishbone, Beastie Boys, and Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live/Portlandia fame. Organizers have also set up a GoFundMe page to benefit H.R.