meta-scriptNew Sublime Documentary Spotlights Recovery |
Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins

Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins


New Sublime Documentary Spotlights Recovery

'The Long Way Back: The Story Of Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins' to highlight the road back to sobriety and wellness

GRAMMYs/Sep 20, 2017 - 03:27 am

"Santeria" and "What I Got" are ska-punk classics, giving Long Beach-based Sublime a prominent place in rock history.

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Tragically, the death of singer/guitarist Bradley Nowell in 1996 came right before Sublime were poised for a big breakthrough. The Long Way Back: The Story Of Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins, a new documentary to be released on Vimeo on Oct. 17, will share insights on the band's addictive behaviors, the later addiction of Nowell's son and what it takes to travel the road back to sobriety and wellness.

Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins, a childhood friend of Nowell's who was part of the group's entourage, is the focus of the film, candidly speaking about how Nowell's passing affected him and his own 17-year addiction to Oxycontin.

"When Brad died, I thought that would be a wake-up call," said Zalkins. "It was the exact opposite — stuff ourselves with whatever substances we can to numb the pain and act like we're still having fun."

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Additionally, the film spotlights Zalkins' attempt to help Nowell's son, Jakob Nowell, recover from his own battle with drugs and alcohol. As Zalkins puts it, "You constantly tell somebody tomorrow is going to be better, hoping it's better, because oftentimes tomorrow isn't better — tomorrow hurts just as much or maybe even more."

Despite its dark subject matter, the film offers a ray of hope. Zalkins now believes his past addiction "is the biggest asset that I have, because it's enabled me to help a lot of people."

Watch: First Look At New George Michael Documentary

Doja Cat headlines at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, April 14, 2024
Doja Cat headlines at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Photo: Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


7 Incredible Sets From Coachella 2024 Weekend 1: Doja Cat, No Doubt, Raye & More

With a weekend full of surprise guests, exciting reunions and breakout performances from first-time performers, this weekend in Indio was one for the books. Read on for seven of the top performances at the first weekend of Coachella 2024.

GRAMMYs/Apr 16, 2024 - 02:37 am

While every headliner at last year’s Coachella held some sort of historical cultural significance, Coachella 2024’s roster instead represented a series of graduations from opening slots and side stages to top-tier main stage titan status.

Friday featured Lana Del Rey, whose sole previous Coachella performance was at the Outdoor Theatre in 2014. Saturday was capped by Tyler, The Creator appearing for the third time in Indio (his last appearance as runner up to Haim and Beyoncé on the main stage in 2018). And on Sunday, Doja Cat occupied the uppermost spot after her penultimate main stage appearance in 2022.

Yet Coachella Weekend 1 this year’s attendees got astronomically more bang for their buck than they counted on, due to a surprise-guest-heavy lineup. The bulk of those special moments came from  A-list talent, from Billie Eilish with Lana Del Rey to Olivia Rodrigo with No Doubt, Justin Bieber joining Tems, Kesha with Reneé Rapp, most of the Fugees performing alongside YG Marley, Will Smith performing "Men in Black" with J Balvin … the list goes on. 

When all was said and done, the diversity, quality and impact of the weekend’s performances were tremendous. Even without elite bonus appearances, there were plenty of performances — quite a few of them newcomers, recent buzzbands and imminent breakthroughs — that made this year’s Coachella more than worthy of an early accolade for one of the first-rate fests of 2024. Read on for seven of the best sets from Coachella 2024.

Faye Webster Thrills Loyal Fans With Supreme Confidence

Underneath the shaded canopy of the Mojave Tent, Faye Webster held her sprawling audience in the palm of her hand during her Coachella debut on Friday. Deafening cheers rang out at the start of every song, which seemed to infuse the 26-year-old singer/songwriter with a level of energy unparalleled up to this point in her career.

Webster deftly worked her way through 11 tracks, each one received with wild cheers from fans, who sang with such gusto that they often nearly overpowered her own vocals. The crossroads of her confidence and creativity fully manifested during closing tune "Kingston," which saw her pausing to let the audience belt out the remainder of the line, a beckoning gesture that exuded self-assuredness. 

Notably, three of six new songs ("Wanna Quit All the Time," "He Loves Me Yeah!" and "Lego Ring") from her recently released fifth album Underdressed at the Symphony were live debuts. The fact that Webster saved them for Coachella showed a clear intention to ensure the set was extra special. Beyond any shadow of doubt, she succeeded. 

Lana Del Rey Taps Billie Eilish, Jon Batiste & Others For Standout Friday Set

With her notoriously downtempo demeanor, Lana Del Rey wasn’t the obvious choice for a Friday headlining spot on the main stage, but when all was said and done, her 20-song set delivered plenty to position her as a standout performer. 

Dressed in an elegant baby blue gown, her entrance — a slow ride on the back of a motorbike through the lanes of the crowd all the way to the stage — worked wonders to build excitement. And her first three song choices, a shortened version of "Without You" (not performed since 2014) and two more gems from the vault — "West Coast" (debuted 10 years ago to the day at her first Coachella appearance) and her superb cover of Sublime’s "Doin’ Time" — signaled her intention to make this show a truly special occasion (neither of the latter two tunes have appeared on a setlist since 2019).

From there it was a parade of hits culled from her robust catalog, as the GRAMMY-nominated singer waltzed her way across the expanse of a fairytale palace stage production, at several points venturing up flights of stairs to a towering terrace. Four of her 10 albums feature production from Jack Antonoff (who played with Bleachers on Saturday), so it was unsurprising when he took the helm of the white grand piano toward the end for a strikingly serene duet with a hologram Lana on "Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have — But I Have It."

Jon Batiste (who performed his own set on Saturday) also assisted on piano for an alluring take on "Candy Necklace," but the pinnacle moment arrived during performances of "ocean eyes" and "Video Games" alongside surprise guest Billie Eilish. Sitting side by side atop a balcony, the two harmonized through much of those tracks, and the occasions when Lana sat back to let Billie sing several sections solo were absolutely arresting. The two superstars stared adoringly at each other throughout, clearly just as awe-inspired by the unprecedented collaboration as the audience, which erupted with rapturous applause that rivaled the decibels of the set’s glittering fireworks finale.

Raye Races Toward Superstardom During Emotional Debut

After just one song of Raye’s Saturday afternoon performance, there was no question that her Coachella debut would be remembered as one of the most striking in recent years. The British songwriter and chanteuse, who shattered the record for most wins and nominations in a single year at this year’s BRIT Awards, poured every ounce of her soul into her 45-minute set. The crowd inside the Mojave tent hung on every note and went absolutely berserk all the way from the sultry intro of "The Thrill is Gone" to gloriously anthemic closer "Escapism."

Backed by a powerhouse band of eight backup singers, three string players, four brass aces and the standard guitar, drums and bass, each song was a showstopper. Without question, the most impactful moment came on "Ice Cream Man," which deals with her own experience with sexual assault and rape.

"I want you to know it’s not an easy song to sing," she started. And before she could continue, the audience released a loud roar of support, to the point that the singer shed tears. When she composed herself, she continued, "But it’s important to be loud .. and to be brave. This allows me to be loud about something I’ve been quiet about my entire life. I am very f—ing strong."

That moment — which culminated into a big band-style belter that evoked the power of Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday — likewise drew tears from many in the audience. Further, it defined Raye as an artist destined for superstardom on the merits of genuine talent, an infinitely infectious spirit, and incomparably hard work ethic. To that end, it should be no surprise she’s the songwriter behind tunes from GRAMMY-winning artists including Beyoncé, no big deal. 

Sublime Revives Their Definitive Sound Alongside Jakob Nowell

Though many were referring to Sublime’s Saturday afternoon appearance on the Coachella main stage as a "reunion" in the days leading up to the festival, new frontman Jakob Nowell — son of the band’s deceased original singer Bradley Nowell — made it abundantly clear that wasn’t precisely the case.

"My name is Jakob Nowell and this is Sublime," he said following the conclusion of opening song "April 29, 1992," gesturing toward the beloved Southern California ska-punk band’s surviving members bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh.

Read more: Sublime's Jakob Nowell On Leading His Father's Legendary Band & What To Expect At Coachella

His resistance to co-opt his dad’s legacy was admirable, which was an issue for some when Rome Ramirez joined Wilson and Gaugh in 2009 to form Sublime with Rome, a chapter that ended for those original members when Gaugh left the band in 2011 and Wilson subsequently exited in February. With all the pieces in place, the next hour played out as a fantastically fun alliance of old and new.

Jakob sounded strikingly like his dad during most moments, though he asserted his own spin on the classic sound by adding a hardcore-esque growl at various points in the set. Among the 14 songs, they revived early-era material that hadn’t been played live since the mid '90s, including "Date Rape," "Badfish" and "Doin’ Time." One cut, "Romeo," had not been performed live since 1988. The band likewise included tunes that Bradley never got to perform from the band’s final self-titled album, including some of their biggest commercial successes. Tracks such as "What I Got" and "Santeria" were sung by thousands, a chorus oozing with celebratory mass catharsis. 

By the end, there could be only one conclusion: the most definitive version of a revived Sublime has arrived and, should they choose to continue on, they’ll be received by fans with open arms. 

No Doubt Snatches Headliner Status During Jubilant Reunion

Though the reunion of No Doubt was billed as the runner-up to Tyler, the Creator’s Saturday night finisher, it’s absolutely valid to argue that the beloved Southern California outfit — playing their first show since 2015 — was the evening’s true headliner. The eye-popping expanse and unerring enthusiasm of the audience (the largest of the weekend), combined with the group’s sheer joy and explosive energy, drove the feeling home.

Every member of the core group — bassist Tony Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont, drummer Adrian Young and frontwoman Gwen Stefani — emanated pure exultation, wide grins plastered permanently on their faces. Stefani was especially fired up; after the band powered through five treasured tracks — including opener "Hella Good" (performed at the end of long catwalk), "Ex-Girlfriend," and "Different People" (featured for the first time since 2009) — the singer stopped to address the sea of screaming fans.

"Wow … you showed up to Coachella Saturday night 2024 to see No Doubt play together on this stage for the first time in nine years. Are you crazy?!" Stefani said. "If I could just somehow explain the amount of love [we feel] and how much I wanna slap the s— out of you guys tonight!"

The sentiment was meant endearingly, but every song did hit intensely. In particular, a rendition of "Bathwater" featuring special guest Olivia Rodrigo — as hyped as Stefani with her never-ending spinning and bouncing antics — left a lasting mark. For old school fans, the Return to Saturn single was a special treat, and with Rodrigo in the mix, it elicited equal exuberance from younger audience members.

For the finale of the 16-song setlist, the band fulfilled the promise of euphoric nostalgia with a hard-hitting trio of tracks off 1995 breakthrough third album Tragic Kingdom: "Just a Girl," "Don’t Speak" and "Spiderwebs." The timeless tunes incited a sudden surge of fans toward the stage, and one would’ve been hard pressed to spot anyone not participating in the jubilant singalongs. It was a moment of multi-generational unity and unbridled joy — unquestionably unforgettable, and hopefully just the precursor to a triumphant new era of No Doubt.

Olivia Dean Enters the Stateside Festival Scene With Humbling Authenticity

Watching the first few moments of British neo-soul singer Olivia Dean’s Sunday afternoon performance in the Gobi tent, you’d never know this was her first American festival appearance. And what an incredible debut, at one of the States’ most prestigious festivals with only one album under belt (2023’s Messy) to boot. The 25-year-old stunned with utmost finesse and confidence, working the stage like a long-established diva and immediately eliciting rapturous applause after each of the first two songs, "OK Love You Bye" and "Echo."

While it can sometimes be off-putting when an artist introduces every song with a tidbit explaining what it’s about, this method had the opposite effect for Dean. Her context made each moment feel intensely personal, and the audience reaction was overwhelming. One of many tunes with a distinctly Motown bop, "The Hardest Part," was prefaced with the remark that it "recently changed [her] life," and spoke to the process of overcoming grief. After the final note was sung, she received a deafening standing ovation, prompting her to endearingly cover her face in response. And there was so much power in her anecdote before "Carmen," a tribute to how her grandmother made everything possible for her. 

"My granny came to London when she was 18 … had never been on a plane … left her life behind and had my mom, and my mom had me," she said, already being drowned out by cheers before the final remark: "This song is for my granny and anyone brave enough to move and any immigrant in the crowd right now."

As she wrapped up her short set with the bewitching single "Dive," the sun broke through the clouds, illuminating her with the loveliest natural spotlight to complement a performer who already naturally, effortlessly shines on her own.

Doja Cat Exudes Total Command & Flawless Flow For Sunday Finale 

It cannot be overstated: Doja Cat’s fest-closing performance on the main stage was a visionary masterpiece, and the strongest headlining set of the first weekend. That wasn’t certain from the stripped-down beginning moments when the GRAMMY-winning singer/rapper appeared on a circular b-stage mid-audience, dressed in a hazmat suit and encircled by a black and yellow biohazard pattern.

But excitement built steadily as she bombastically delivered opening song "ACKNOWLEDGE ME," which, even in an abbreviated format, lived up to its title and created a palpable air of anticipation. From there, she strutted back toward the main stage via a connected catwalk, meeting briefly in the middle with South African quintet the Joy (set to release their self-titled debut album on June 21) offering up fiery raps amidst the group’s arresting a cappella.

Shortly after, Doja appeared on the main stage dressed in a knee-length platinum blonde weave, flanked by an army of dancers who all wore matching getups covered in the same synthetic hair. The effect when they all converged, their movements completely in sync, created an optical illusion of one enormous hairy creature moving across the stage to punctuate the ferocity of "Demons." 

That was just the first taste of a breathtaking series of visual sequences over the course of the 70-minute show, each profoundly enhanced by cinematography that created the effect of watching a top-quality music video on the main stage’s massive screens. If you witnessed the camera work during Beyoncé’s Homecoming show back in 2018 or Rosalía’s production in 2023, you’ll understand the aesthetic. 

Other key moments when the video work was utterly astonishing arrived during the live debut of "OKLOSER" (one of five first-time song features) where the previously smooth camera went rogue, shakily weaving through the gang of dancers to create the effect of maneuvering through a chaotic house party; again during "Attention" as the lens wove through dancers in fur coats wielding Cruella de Vil-inspired cabrioles until it settled on Doja at the end of the line; and finally during closing track, "Wet Vagina," where Doja and her dancers rolled and writhed (in perfect choreographed unison) on the b-stage filled with brown mud, the sequel ending in a stunning birds-eye shot. 

Backtracking a few moments earlier, maybe the most jaw-dropping production element came on "WYM Freestyle" in the form of a giant T-Rex skeleton following Doja down the catwalk while flames erupted from the stage behind her. The precise reason for that wasn’t evident, but it certainly boosted the ferocity of her raw rap delivery.

The unending visual feast only served to amplify Doja’s already flawless flow. She never missed a vocal mark, whether singing or rapping. She didn’t even once pause to banter with the audience, creating the effect of total focus and command. Big bonuses: 21 Savage materializing mid-set to serve up "n.h.i.e.," Teezo Touchdown’s cameo on "MASC" and A$AP Rocky (who likewise performed with Tyler, the Creator on Saturday) swooping in for "URRRGE!!!!!!!!!!" before Doja dazzled with super-hit "Paint the Town Red."

When all was said and done, Doja Cat more-than-earned her graduation to festival headliner, and while she’s already set for an arena tour this year, she’s clearly destined to stun at stadiums not far in the future. 

Coachella 2024 Weekend 1 Recap: 20 Surprises And Special Moments, From Billie Eilish & Lana Del Rey To Olivia Rodrigo With No Doubt

Jakob Nowell
Jakob Nowell

Photo: Rowan Daly


Sublime's Jakob Nowell On Leading His Father's Legendary Band & What To Expect At Coachella

After the tragic death of Bradley Nowell in 1996, Sublime — proper, not with Rome — went dormant for 27 years. Now, Nowell's only son, Jakob, is taking up the mantle, and their upcoming Coachella blowout will reflect how many lives these songs affected.

GRAMMYs/Apr 8, 2024 - 04:47 pm

When Jakobs Castle leaned into Sublime's "Garden Grove" at City Winery NYC, it was almost an involuntary response: you had to rise to your feet and chant every line. It certainly helps if you're a West Coast boy, like this writer, but on a winter night in Manhattan, everyone thawed.

Arguably, nobody except the Beach Boys so exemplified Southern California, or brought its sound to so many. While Sublime's songs remain eternal, the trio's run was cut short when  frontman Bradley Nowell — father of Jakob Nowell — died of an accidental overdose on tour in 1996. Jakob was just a baby and has no memories of his father, though Jakob looks, and especially, sounds like him — and addiction snared him too, badly. 

The young Nowell got clean and sober seven years ago; nicotine and caffeine are his only remaining vices. And at 28 — the age his dad passed — it was revealed that he was the new singer of the '90s reggae-ska-punk heroes. As this is Jakob's birthright, this is the true Sublime.

Unlike Sublime with Rome — an offshoot of the band with singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez — the reconstituted Sublime will not be releasing new music. "I think it's where Sublime with Rome lost me," the scruffy, super-smart junior Nowell tells "I think it's jive when a lot of '90s bands come back and try to make a brand-new record, 'cause you're never going to recapture that old era."

Rather, Sublime's plan for now is to carry the torch live, and let audiences behold a beloved band that ended right as it was taking off. Bradley died two months before their enormously successful self-titled album was released in 1996.

Jakob Nowell

*Jakob Nowell. Photo: Rowan Daly*

On April 13 and 20, 2024, Sublime will make their Coachella debut — a highly anticipated, though somewhat unexpected, reunion of sorts. And on April 12, Jakobs Castle —  his electronics-inflected pop/rock project — will release their debut album, ENTER: THE CASTLE, via Epitaph Records.

Ahead of his arrival on the Indio, California stage, Jakob Nowell shares what audiences can expect during his Coachella sets and shares his intention to revisit unreleased material from Sublime's original run.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Let's start with Jakobs Castle. What's your live rig all about? It caught my attention.

I'm really proud of my Jakobs Castle setup, 'cause I've been in music for over a decade now with varying degrees of involvement in the gear side of things. But two years ago, when I decided to start my solo project, I was like, OK, I've got to buckle down and go down the rabbit hole and become my own sound guy.

And that's exactly what I did. Jakobs Castle is an electronic alternative rock band, like the Gorillaz or whatever, we use a lot of electronic sounds. And I can't hire a whole bunch of musicians, so that means tracks. But that's not to say we don't still jam or improvise. I still think we like to have the lifeblood and flow of a real band.

I have this big giant center console, this big rack mount that sits center stage. And standing on top of it's my computer. It's supposed to be like my DJ booth. And that plugs into a Loop Community track rig, which has eight XLR outs that I can send out to the house, so they have all of our tracks. I like to send out each different stem differently so it gets mixed better and you can hear everything a lot clearer.

But because I have this big thing sitting there, I'm like, Well, I got to do something with this. So I put a TV in it that's playing static, and I make it part of our bit. I call him Castlebot 9000. I'll be like,  "Everybody give it up for our in-house robotic DJ and bass player, Castlebot 9000. " Castlebot 9000 has 100% become the most important band member in my band, and it's all part of the act.

Wow. What happens from there?

From Castlebot, I send out all our tracks, and then I send the click to my drummer. Drummer is playing out of a four piece kit. It's all mic'd up. He doesn't use a drum pad or anything yet. We might do some sampling. And then I trigger all the tracks with Ableton. I'm playing out of a guitar that's being taken out of a DI. I don't like traveling with big amplifiers. I like to reduce our travel load as much as possible, because we travel in a Ford Transit van.

How did you learn all this technical know-how? Did you self-educate?

Yeah, it's definitely all just the internet. The internet's your friend. It's the great equalizer. When writing was invented, there's this story where f—ing Thoth is talking to the emperor of Egypt, of course. I can't remember his name. Man, I sucked in English class. And he is like,  "This invention of writing is going to make our people stupid. You're supposed to memorize everything. " And the Greeks had their own f—ing opinions about that shit, too.

And the same thing happens with the internet. Is it going to make people more stupid? Because they're supposed to write everything down to memorize it. But I think you take every single technological leap as it comes and it's like a cheat code. I always say that I'm not actually good at anything. I'm just really good at cheating. And the best form of cheating is practice. Practice and study is just cheating. No one's good at anything right off the bat.

A friend interviewed you and reported back that you're a literature buff. Are you a history buff too?

I wasn't in school, but I had to grow up a little bit to see its merits. But now I totally am. I f—ing love history and stuff. I just got done reading The History of the Peloponnesian War, and I figured I ought to start at the beginning if I'm going to get into history. But yeah, man. There's so many amazing things we can take from the past and stuff like that.

In my own personal journey, joining my father's band and trying to eke it out on my own as a musician, I see a lot of different parallels, especially coming into your own and having to hire people and getting involved in the politics of music..

Everyone's trying to get a leg up and stuff like that. So I think even though music is not like statecraft, there's a lot that can be taken from [history] to learn how to advance your position in your career.

You brought up your old man, naturally so. Was he pretty involved in the studio, as far as you know? Was he a gear guy?

I think about as much as I am. He definitely knew how to get the tones that he liked, but it's biting me in the ass because in that self-titled record that everyone loves so much, he passed away before they got to tour those songs. So we don't really know how he would play them live.

People don't realize all those amazing life-changing solos, that was the one take they got of him doing that perfectly. According to Paul Leary from the Butthole Surfers, who engineered it.

When I'm up there on stage, I always tell fans I'm not my dad. They're like,  "He doesn't play the guitar the same or sing the same or do this. " It's almost like I'm not him, dude; I'm a different guy. My larynx just happens to be biologically similar, so sometimes it sounds similar. But I will play them genuinely and I'll have fun doing it, and that's all I can promise.

[That's] the best job I can do: Trying to portray these Sublime songs is just having fun with it, naturally. And I think that's what you can hear in the studio recordings:  a bunch of guys just having a really good time in the booth together.

I've been revisiting the Sublime catalog, and they sounded so good. Did you play with Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson a lot before this got rolling?

No, I think we only jammed just once or twice. They've always been around in the tertiary wing of my life, but I've always considered them family. But as far as getting to jam with them now in these rehearsals, it's been fun, man. They're world-class musicians, like you said.

Sometimes I'm sitting there listening to f—ing Bud hit the drums and I'm like, Goddamn, this guy is so f—ing good. He's so articulate and interesting. He's got such a f—ing active right hand and the stuff that he does on the hi-hat, it is amazing. And Eric Wilson is just a machine, dude. The lines that he plays with such ease and he just makes it look easy, it's awesome.

Eric seems like a total nut in his middle age.

In the best way. They're a bunch of mad geniuses, that's for sure.

When you started to play with them more and more, what did you learn about how Eric thinks about the bass, or how Bud thinks about the drums?

it almost just seems like second nature to them. It's like seeing a carpenter at work, making an expert chair out of scratch. It's nice going from Jakob's Castle, so electronic, and then Sublime is just so raw and real.

The way your dad played guitar was so hip — very relaxed, yet precise, with so much breathing room. What was approaching the instrument like when you stepped into his shoes?

Oh, man. It definitely was its own challenge, trying to get that mix of [elements]. Because I treat this job like a job.I've done singing gigs before where you got to learn a bunch of material, and this has some guitar in it too, so I'm going to f—ing learn the guitar.

I think we all take our practice time very seriously. We try to be as rehearsed as possible, but then once we get up there on stage, it's like — let chaos reign. We're still just a f—ing punk rock band, just having a good time and it's going to be messy and wild and fun. But that's the allure of it.

I can't wait to see this. Are you just playing the hits? Throwing some deep cuts in there?

A good healthy mix of both. I think Bud and Eric are having fun with it 'cause they get to pick a bunch of songs they haven't played in a while, but we definitely want to play all the big singalongs and stuff that people know and love, the  "Santeria "s and  "What I Got "s of the world and that sort of thing.

I definitely need to brush up on my Spanish for songs like  "Caress Me Down" and "Chica Me Tipo," but we're getting there too.

You've mentioned that there are unreleased Sublime tunes ripe for reexamination. Care to elaborate?

A bunch of songs [ended up] on the cutting room floor that never made it on record. Sublime, currently, we don't have any plans to do a brand new album. I think it's where Sublime with Rome lost me. I think it's jive when a lot of '90s bands come back and try to make a brand-new record, 'cause you're never going to recapture that old era.

Sublime has always been this big collaborative thing, and now it's bringing all these people together. We would love to workshop some of that old stuff that was on the cutting room floor, unreleased material, and maybe bring in new modern day artists who have been influenced by Sublime and do a big collaborative process.

I think doing some singles like that could be really cool and give back some of the love to the people who've been inspired by Sublime over the years. So, I find that to be a pretty likely thing.

I'm sure you can't divulge too many details at this point, but is there anything you can say about them? What's the context? What era of Sublime are they from?

It's all from all sorts of different sessions, all the way from their last one, the live album to their very first stuff. I think it all still sounds like Sublime.

Some of them were unreleased 'cause they were just fun jams. And other ones were like, OK, there's a cool hook in there. I can't believe that one never saw the light of day. But they definitely all still have that classic Long Beach, SoCal rock feel.

Sublime obviously partied and messed around onstage, but they seemed to always take care of the music. What's your perspective on all that?

A hundred percent. It was just a bunch of guys having fun and being genuine and sharing their world with the rest of the world, almost without even meaning to.

Going through the catalog and learning all the lyrics and the guitar lines and stuff like that, you start to see this beautiful tapestry of a personality unfold before you. And that's been a very special process. Connecting with the lost loved one and getting to see a lot of who they are, that's all very there.

But as far as that devil-may-care, irreverent attitude, I want to bring that into this era of Sublime. We're trying to work out what the stage design's going to be like at Coachella. Coachella is so big, and the lights and the pyrotechnics and all this.

I think it'd be cool if we said f— it it to all that and just wheeled out a bunch of couches and tables and rugs and stuff and had a bunch of people kicking it with us on stage, f—ing smoking and drinking with their dogs.

I hope that can happen. Do you think that can happen?

I'm putting it out there right now because if it doesn't happen, people will know that this is what I was f—ing fighting for. Just almost make a big joke of the big pomp and circumstance of it all and make it seem like it's just like a f—ing little house party or something like that. I think the other dudes are down too.

The backup plan is just to have an army of strippers. Just an army with battle axes and flamethrowers. And if we're not using that idea, we'll use it for Jakobs Castle. [Grins.] Next question.

Jakob Nowell

*Jakob Nowell. Photo: Rowan Daly*

Are there any misunderstandings of your dad that you wish you could correct?

No. I think that when you become a public figure, you have to trade a lot. There's pros and cons, just like the pros and cons of using technologies like writing or AI or the internet. You have to take the good with the bad.

So, if people are going to view him one way, then I can't change that. If people are going to view me one way, then I can't change that. Everybody's opinion of me or my father is none of my business, really. That's their right to think that, whether it's something I agree with or not.

I think that he was a man who was widely loved and respected by his friends. He was a human being like anybody else. He was varied. He had good days and bad days.

But I think we have to just take everybody's character based on their actions and what they produced and created in the world. And I know that his music helped a lot of people, and I just feel so grateful to get to be involved with and get to interface with it like that.

He seemed to be a lovely, intelligent fellow.

Yeah, that's what I've heard, man. It's been really nice getting to put together the gestalt to who he was 'cause I never met him personally, but all his different friends and family and the fans, they each have a little piece of who he was, and he seemed to be a very multifaceted and interesting man.

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Kendrick Lamar GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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Music Charities to Support

Photo: Suriyawut Suriya / EyeEm via Getty Images


9 Organizations Helping Music Makers In Need: MusiCares, The GRAMMY Museum & Others

Are you in a position to donate to musicians in a state of financial or personal crisis on this GivingTuesday? Check out these nine charitable organizations — beneath the Recording Academy umbrella and otherwise.

GRAMMYs/Nov 29, 2022 - 03:17 pm

Imagine a world where care and concern is distributed in a holistic circuit, rather than being hoarded away or never employed at all. That's the paradigm that GivingTuesday is reaching toward.

Created in 2012 under the simple precept of being generous and celebrating generosity, GivingTuesday is a practical hub for getting involved in one's community and giving as freely to benefit and nourish others.

Since GivingTuesday has swelled not just from a single day in the calendar year, but a lens through which to view the other 364 days. You can find your local GivingTuesday network here, find ways to participate here, and find ways to join  GivingTuesday events here.

Where does the Recording Academy come in? Helping musicians in need isn't something they do on the side, an afterthought while they hand out awards.

No, aiding music people is at the core of the Academy's mission. MusiCares, the Academy's philanthropic arm, has changed innumerable lives for the better.

And through this society of music professionals and its other major components — including  Advocacy, the GRAMMY Museum and GRAMMY U — the Academy continues its fight in legislative and educational forms.

If you're willing and able to help musicians in need this GivingTuesday, here's a helpful hub of nine charitable organizations with whom you can do so.


Any list of orgs that aid musicians would be remiss to not include MusiCares.

Through the generosity of donors and volunteer professionals, this organization of committed service members has been able to aid struggling music people in three key areas: mental health and addiction recovery services, health services, and human services.

For more information on each of those, visit here. To apply for assistance, click here. And to donate to MusiCares, head here.


"Museum" might be right there in the name, but there's a lot more to this precious sector of the Recording Academy.

The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles doesn't just put on immersive exhibits that honor the legacies of musical giants; it's a hub for music education.

At press time, more than 20,000 students have visited the Museum, more than 10,000 students have participated in the Museum's Clive Davis theater, and 20,000 students have participated in their GRAMMY Camp weekends.

To donate to the GRAMMY Museum, click here. To become a member, visit here.

Give a Beat

By now, the evidence is ironclad: Giving incarcerated people access to music and art dramatically increases morale and decreases recidivism.

Give a Beat is keenly aware of this, both on direct-impact and mentorship levels.

The org hosts classes for incarcerated people, in order for them to "find healing, transformation, and empowerment" through its Prison Electronic Music Program, which helps incarcerated folks wade deep into the fields of music production and DJing.

Its On a New Track Reentry Mentoring Program initiative connects music industry professionals with formerly incarcerated individuals in order to transfer their skills into a professional setting.

To become a member of Give a Beat, click here. To donate, visit here.

Jazz Foundation of America

Despite being at the heart of American musical expression, jazz, blues and roots can sometimes feel roped off on the sidelines of the music industry — and its practitioners can slip between society's cracks.

That's where the Jazz Foundation of America comes in. They aid musicians struggling to hang onto their homes, connect physicians and specialists with uninsured artists and help musicians get back on their feet after life-upending natural disasters.

To donate to the Jazz Foundation, click here; for all other info, visit their website.

The Blues Foundation

Headquartered in Memphis, the Blues Foundation aims to preserve the history and heritage of the blues — which lies at the heart of all American forms. This goes not only for irreplaceable sites and artifacts, but the living, breathing people who continue to make it.

The Blues Foundation offers educational outreach, providing scholarships to youth performers to attend summer blues camps and workshops.

On top of that, in the early 2000s, they created the HART Fund to offer financial support to musicians in need of medical, dental, and vision care.

And for blues artists who have passed on, the HART Fund diverts money to their families  to ensure their loved ones would be guaranteed dignified funerals.

For more information on the Blues Foundation, visit here. To donate, click here.

Musicians Foundation

Founded all the way back when World War I broke out, the Musicians Foundation has spent more than a century cutting checks to musicians in times of need.

This includes financial grants to cover basic expenses, like medical and dental treatments, rents and mortgages and utilities. Submitted grant applications are reviewed by their staff and a screening committee. If approved, the money is dispatched rapidly and directly to the debtor to relieve financial pressure as soon as possible.

The Musicians Foundation's philanthropic legacy is enshrined in Century of Giving, a comprehensive analysis of financial aid granted to musicians and their families by the Foundation since 1914.

For more information, visit here; click here to donate.

Music Maker Foundation

Based in North Carolina, the Music Maker Foundation tends to the day-to-day needs of American roots artists — helping them negotiate crises so they can "keep roofs over their heads, food on their tables, [and] instruments in their hands."

This relief comes in the forms of basic sustenance, resources performance (like booking venues and providing CDs to sell) and spreading education about their contributions to the American roots canon.

Check out their website for more information; to donate, click here.

Sweet Relief: Musicians Fund

When music people are in danger, this charitable organization sees no barriers of genre, region or nature of crisis.

If you're a musician suffering from physical, mental or financial hardship — whether it be due to a disability, an affliction like cancer, or anything else — Sweet Relief has got your back.

There are numerous ways to support Sweet Relief; you can become a partner, intern or volunteer, or simply chip in a few bucks for one of their various funds to keep their selfless work moving.

For any and all further information, visit their website.

Music Workers Alliance

The Recording Academy's concern and consideration for music people hardly stops at musicians — they're here to support all music people.

They share this operating principle with Music Workers Alliance, which tirelessly labors to ensure music people are treated like they matter — and are fairly remunerated for their efforts.

This takes many forms, like fighting for music workers at the federal, state and city level for access to benefits and fair protections, and ensuring economic justice and fair working conditions.

Music Workers Alliance also fights for economic justice on the digital plane, and aims to provide equal access for people of color and other underrepresented groups in the industry.

For more info, visit their website; for ways to get involved, click here.

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