Welcome to Part 2 of our Exclusive Interview with Marshall Goodman aka Ras MG aka The Field Marshall.
During Part 1 of our Interview with Marshall Goodman he discussed meeting Brad Nowell and joining Sublime as their drummer during the 40oz to Freedom album. He cleared up any confusion that he was a stand in or temporary drummer for Sublime. He clarified that the job was his to take or leave and he consequently left the group when Brad’s drug affiliation grew. Marshall discussed the writing formula he established with Brad and Miguel Happoldt; a formula that subsequently lead to the legacy of Sublime. He defined this formula with his contribution during 40oz to Freedom and again with the Sublime Self-Titled record. That formula didn’t stop there, as Long Beach Dub Allstars was formed in 1997 during the Enough Already Benefit show to raise money for Brad’s son, Jakob Nowell.
Long Beach Dub Allstars would release 2 albums with 1999’s Right Back and 2001’s Wonders of the World as well as being featured on various compilation albums and quietly releasing Long Beach Dub All Stars & Friends” in 1998. Long Beach Dub Allstars collaborated with a lot of the artists that Sublime sampled and covered. This band was a continuation of the sound that formed with Sublime. They would later build off what Sublime started by collaborating on songs with Half Pint, Barrington Levy, Tippa Irie, Will.I.Am of Black Eyed Peas, Charlie 2na of Jurassic 5, Mr Notch of Born Jamericans, HR of Bad Brains and many more. Between Sublime and Long Beach Dub Allstars, a timeless sound was pioneered that continues to be celebrated today.
Part 2 of our Interview below finds Marshall discussing the rise and fall of Long Beach Dub Allstars, being approached to play drums for Sublime with Rome and he speaks of his relationship today with former Sublime Drummer Bud Gaugh and Sublime Bassist Eric Wilson. Marshall Goodman will be joining Skunk Records founder Miguel Happoldt and Long Beach Dub Allstars vocalist, Opie Ortiz for the Skunk Records 25th Anniversary show at California Roots Festival in May. Enjoy Part 2 of our Exclusive Interview below.
Part 1 of this Interview can be read by clicking HERE!
The Pier: The Formula you spoke of that you created with Brad and Miguel– Would you say that carried over to Long Beach Dub Allstars? When I was younger I came across an Operation Ivy Tribute Compilation where I first heard a recording of ‘Dub Allstars with the cover of “Take Warning.” I remember reading on the inside liner notes of that compilation where Miguel wrote something along the lines of “We have no plans to produce anything further but enjoy this song” – How did it go from the Benefit show, to recording a cover-song, to finally moving forward as a group with Long Beach Dub Allstars, using the same writing formula as Sublime?
Marshall: What happened with Long Beach Dub Allstars, from my perspective–and it’s up to you to decide whose perspective may be most sound with the evidence you find–but, my perspective is this: the potential that was recognized by the viewers, the labels, radio and us couldn’t be ignored. We didn’t really understand how to transition and honor Brad and the name of Sublime and so forth. That’s where, I believe, Miguel was quick to say: “no, nothing, we’re not going to disrespect Sublime, we’re not going to disrespect Brad – we’re not trying to be popular, we’re going to follow the Greenday model. We’re not Pop, we’re punkers. We’re going to stay away from all of that!” That’s what I gathered from being in there. That’s how people were thinking. However, the more reasonable way of thinking won out which was: “Let’s just get this band together. It’s a memorial for Brad, for Sublime. Let’s keep that going, let’s play, let’s take it to the people, let’s write some more music.” Miguel and I produced the first (Long Beach Dub Allstars) record with Eddie Ashworth. We said: “We understand the formula, we were there at every session.” So we co-wrote and produced Right Back, the first Long Beach Dub Allstars record. During that production we released a record “Long Beach Dub Allstars and Friends”. At that time, a lot of people that Sublime sampled came to the table. They needed the proper recovery or payment or what have you.
One of the greater things that (manager) Jon Phillips had done during this whole process of recovery, he said: “Well hey, the guys are making a new record, why don’t you come in and do some sessions with them now?” So a lot of people, a lot of the featured artists–Barrington Levy, Tippa Irie, Half Pint– a lot of the features on the Long Beach Dub Allstars songs were around. Wailing Souls–we went and did some work on their record. During this whole period they were involved in this transaction. We parlayed them into Long Beach Dub Allstars’ recordings too. So it was even a bigger honor to represent all of these musicians that Brad and all of us loved. Here we were working with them now. That was another reason that we thought: “Let’s push this thing, this is great, we get to work with these artists,” and they came on the road with us! So it became this bigger thing. With Wonders of the World we brought Paul Leary back–Leary produced Sublime Self-Titled with David Kahne–so we got Paul Leary back to make Wonders of the World and now, we’ve settled into this thing again like: “We’re here! Okay. Brad’s not here–who was brilliant over all–but we could still carry this magic to a certain level. We still have a lock on the formula!” Miguel and I were always there writing, music directing – that was our thing during the Long Beach Dub Allstars. That’s how it transpired from my perspective. That’s the reason the ‘Dub Allstars took the forum. That may have been the reason Michael stated “Nah, this song is just a one off,” and then all the sudden the band is putting out records, a major record deal with Dreamworks – it contradicts what Michael stated but that’s what was going on within the band at that time.
Wonders of the World comes out and its 9/11/2001. This is supposed to be a big day for the band with the anticipated release of your 2nd album. You wake up in the morning, you turn on the TV — walk me through that day, how did this impact the future of Long Beach Dub Allstars?
I’ll speak for myself, that’s exactly what happened. I understood that something big was going down. It was beyond me. But as I watched more, I got it. We were having some major national issues here. There was no question we were going to continue on with our initiative to go on the road and support our record, but it was a struggle and we had to address it. Most of our shows, people came out, but there was that fear throughout America and it restricted a lot of the shows. The turnout was less than it would have been otherwise. The record sales and all of that, yes, 9/11 majorly affected the band. As I look back it’s like it was all destined for that type of ending due to the relationship between Bud and Eric. Those guys were struggling to get along for quite some time. This is how I interpret it: it was a fitting chapter in this book of Southern California music based around this band named Sublime with these characters named Brad, Eric, Bud, Marshall and Miguel. What more fitting chapter to have than a major attack like this on the day your album is released? That’s how I interpreted it and I accepted the whole thing in a way. I thought, it makes sense. It’s crazy and tragic, but for us, it makes sense.
So Fast-forward to 2012 and you guys regroup as a 6 piece under the name L.B.D.A. You are on drums, Opie Ortiz on vocals, Miguel Happoldt on guitar, Jack Maness on guitar/vocals, Tim Wu on horns & Ed Kampwirth on bass. Are there still plans to keep the reformation going? Any plans to release new music with L.B.D.A.?
Right, the L.B.D.A. reformation, call it that! That was actually a breath of fresh air in my opinion. It was a chance to take this legacy, this “what could have been” and make it happen. It was refreshing. Miguel and I had been talking about that for quite some time. We got going, there were some hitches and we’re currently holding up to re-configure. These Skunk shows are the first step toward continuing the LBDA project with everybody on board. We did some sessions, we recorded some songs and those are on standby as well. We’re going to perform some of those songs at the Skunk shows. But the LBDA reformation – that would be great for me because there’s a lot of potential within it. The legacy of the Long Beach Dub Allstars is great yet sour; similar to Sublime. There are some venues that would rather not ever see Long Beach Dub Allstars or Sublime ever again in their life, right? There are some fans that feel that way too. But there are some that understand the magic that happened and that aspect is what I enjoy. Those are the same challenges I faced when I was making music with Brad. There are challenges that you face as I told you earlier–its part of the formula of making magic. There’s an element of struggle that always exists. You need it so the music does not become stagnant. The LBDA project is that perfect formula because it has all of those elements and it would be something if we could make it happen–the biggest thing for me is the legacy that the band holds. We made a record with Ed Kampwirth on bass and it was spectacular! The recording and the vibe and everything was right there again. We were on our way. However, it’s on hold. But we still may do what we were hoping to do. Skunk 25th Anniversary is the first step to it.
When we first published the announcement about Skunks 25th Anniversary on The Pier it quickly spread through the social networks and fans started responding, wanting more information. A lot of fans wanted to know about Bud Gaugh and if he’d be joining you guys to play. Bud himself actually responded on The Pier’s Facebook thread in a comment, saying he wasn’t invited or contacted. Is that right? Is Bud invited to take part in the reunion? How is your relationship with Bud and Eric Wilson today?
My relationship with Bud and Eric is decent. I decided to remain cordial with any and everybody whether the business is successful or not. That’s just something my father taught me. You need to remain cordial, be yourself. You don’t need to respond to people the way that they may treat you. So it’ll always be that way with Bud and Eric. I harbor no bad feelings because that will only deteriorate me from the inside out. Miguel on the other hand, you’ll have to ask him why he did not invite Bud. There’s a legitimate reason. This whole line up, this whole operation, all of these characters, it’s something special. It’s a great movie. I’ll tell you right now, if people want to dig deep into the variant characters that exist within this community of Sublime — you mix some alcoholism, drugs, personalities, sociology, socioeconomics and it’s one hell of a story! Lots of differences, I’ll tell you that right now. And again, that can either benefit the music or it can restrict it. For Sublime, it benefited it. For Long Beach Dub Allstars and the Skunk 25th Anniversary, it has restricted it. So what Miguel has done is cleaned out all of that, like: “Let me just get together the people that I know will come, show up and not have drama, and not have issues.” That I can tell you is how Miguel feels. Why he feels that way directly about Bud or Eric? You’ll have to ask him.
I wanted to touch on Sublime with Rome. When that was first happening there was a lot of excitement with Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson coming back to jam together with new singer/guitarist, Rome Ramirez. After it played out there was a lot of disappointment made vocal from hardcore Sublime fans that it was missing Brad Nowell attached to the name but that it was missing a lot of “Long Beach” that was tied to the name “Sublime” as well. That Long Beach influence and sound that consisted of you and Miguel Happoldt. You guys had a place in that movement behind the name of Sublime and Long Beach Dub Allstars. What were your thoughts on the Sublime with Rome reformation? Were you asked at any point to join or be a part of the band?
Yeah. That’s um, when it comes to talking about me — let me tell you this. There’s a reason everyone knows Ras MG, but there’s not much out there about Marshall Goodman. There’s a reason for that, and I’m a tell you that right now. They interviewed me for VH1 Behind The Music on Sublime for two hours! Two hours of footage about me and zero of it got used for the actual Behind The Scenes that was broadcasted. There’s a reason for all of that. And as time goes by maybe it’ll come out. I don’t want to field a barrage of debauchery that’s going to come at me for the things that I have to say that are truths because they contradict a lot of what is proposed-truths right now. This is why there’s a lot of interest in my perspective for a movie, there’s a lot of interest in me writing a book and there are a lot of people, there are enough people in high places that know what I’m talking about. This is on some like “Who killed some JFK Stuff,” like “are you kidding me? There was a grassy knoll? Really? There was?” It’s that kind of level, you know? SHOCKING!
You know I’m at the platinum party for Sublime Self-Titled and they didn’t give me a plaque! Now I just explained to you the level I was, I mean, I was a co-writer on a lot of those songs! I played drums on “What I Got.” Not a lot of people know that, it’s just part of that conspiracy. I’m at the platinum party holding Paul Leary’s record because he’s not there and the President of MCA stops the whole photograph because they were taking a picture of everybody (that was) a part of this team! This was in house at MCA and all the musicians and so forth. The president stops the picture and says “Who is this guy?” And points at me! Miguel says “Hold up, photographer, just go!” Miguel overrides the President of MCA saying “Don’t do that, not right now!” Miguel bedded that! Michael bedded that whole thing real quick! Those are the type of things. That’s a small thing that’s happened with regards to what I have done and what I have been recognized for.
So as far as this Sublime with Rome coming back together, was I asked to be involved? Yes! I’m a tell you straight away. This will be the first place it is heard. Yes I was asked to be involved and I was asked to be involved when Bud was going to be relieved of his position. There was drama going on in the band and I’m telling you this because I heard it from Jim Nowell and I heard it from Miguel. Jim Nowell told me this, Okay? Bud was about to be relieved of his position. They needed 2 members and this is after the band was created. They never called me or talked to me about joining it when it was first reforming. That’s one of those things, I’ve always just been a side note. However, when they knew that they were going to remove Bud they were under contract for 2 members of Sublime.
And you asked me, if I have ever been asked to be a part of Sublime with Rome and yes, yes I have, but I have to explain these little terms and details for you to understand. This is the first place it’s heard and it’s extremely dramatic. You’re going to get some backlash, I’m telling you! You can ask Jim Nowell, you can ask anybody else about what I’m about to tell you. I’m going to be real with you, Mike. This will be the jump off because it’s going to be some cross fire happening because I talk about things stemming all the way back like I already have. I never stood in for Bud, I was THE drummer. Are you starting to gather where this point of contention is?
So Jim Nowell called me personally and asked me: “Marshall, would you be interested in being the drummer for Sublime with Rome?” and I said “Of course, Jim, why not?” And Jim said “Yea because there are issues with Bud going on right now and they need 2 members of Sublime. They need 2 members of the original Sublime to be a part of Sublime with Rome at all times”. Now Jim acknowledged me as an original member. ORIGINAL! Not stand-by, come on as a DJ, Jim knows. I don’t care about all of this drama that’s why I haven’t written articles about it and talked loud about it and what not, but you asked a question, so I’m answering.
So I said, “Yes!” Jim said “Okay, I’m a have their manager call you. Cheez and you guys can sort out the details”. So Cheez called me, and in short, Him and I did not have a good conversation. They had different motives in that band and stuff going on that is another, whole other JFK type thing. I did not like the conversation I had with Cheez. I already knew Cheez reputation with some of my circle and it wasn’t great. And so at that point I told Cheez: “Look, put me, Eric and Rome in a room. See if we can play and get along, first and foremost. Then we can go and continue talking about what you would like to talk about, Cheez! But at this time, let’s just see if we can jam. Let’s just see if we can get together and play music!” And then all of the questions of “Do you even still play drums?” I mean all of that will be relevant. “You will see for yourself all these questions and doubts you have about me,” and I never heard back from anybody. I guess they settled and allowed Sublime with Rome to play with only 1 original member of Sublime. So that was the only time I was ever asked to be a part of Sublime with Rome. I was asked to be a part of Sublime with Rome by Jim Nowell, there’s your answer. Get ready for the backlash if you print that.
See the fans don’t know any of this and fans have these questions that we field all the time. They want to know why more of the members of the movement behind Sublime weren’t involved with Sublime with Rome from the get go. This is about your history, your background with Sublime and your truth, so I appreciate you speaking openly about that. My last question is what can us fans expect from Skunk Anniversary at Cali-Roots & following the festival?
What we have planned and to sum up the overall picture of this Skunk 25th Anniversary for me, we’re just going to re-hash the history of Skunk Records. The Ziggens are involved, there’s about 4 or 5 shows and it culminates at the festival in May, the Cali-Roots Festival. So some people that are involved in the 25 years of Skunk will play some shows, but not others. But basically what’s being offered for the Cali Roots festival is a projection; a look at the acts, the sounds, and the styles of music that were involved with Skunk. There’s a progression and you’ll hear it in the music! It goes from kind of a garage-backyard party rock into this culminating reggae-infused punk rock, spinning around into Long Beach Dub Allstars, it’s like this huge culmination. Then it answers with an act like Perro Bravo which is a review of the music that was done in southern CA; it’s Miguel’s rendition of the review.
Moving on into the future, past the Skunk 25th Anniversary shows? I’m getting a rock-band going. It’s a rock sound that I’m honing and developing which pays homage to Bluesmen; my father was a Bluesman. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the term “Bluesman”, but it’s Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters and all of the guys that brought this music called “Blues” into fruition; which in turn, inspired the legacy of American Music. My father left the farm at 12 to move to Chicago and he became a Bluesman. He was born in 1929 and he left the farm to seek a better life and he did it through music! He played with all the greats. Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, Otis Redding, T Bone Walker — My Dad was a rhythm guitarist who played with a lot of these artists. So I want to pay homage to that figure, my father and the people like him, and do Rock music. It’s something I’m really excited about. We may or may not touch on it at the Skunk 25th Anniversary, but one thing I can tell you is it has always been there! In everything you hear, from Sublime, Long Beach Dub Allstars, remixes for Good Charlotte and KRS-ONE – all this music that I’ve done, that Bluesman sound is there, it has always been there.
The takeaway for this Skunk 25th Anniversary, an onstage thing where we go through some songs and it was coined the “25th Anniversary” for Skunk. However, it may carry on for this southern California/Skunk Records-style of music and it’ll include this rock thing I’m doing, it’ll include Perro Bravo, and it’ll include LBDA. It’ll be a great thing moving on into the future.
Part 1 of this Interview can be read by clicking HERE!
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