It’s been since the 1998 independent release of Stories, Tales, Lies & Exaggerations or perhaps the late 2001 drop of VH-1’s Behind The Music that a proper telling of Sublime‘s story was documented. 2018 will be the year we see a new documentary on the beautifully complicated band that we continue to celebrate in Sublime.
The documentary will be written and directed by two-time Academy Award-winning director Bill Guttentag and created with the full cooperation of the Sublime members and the Nowell Estate. The film is set to begin production immediately. Guttentag will produce, along with Peter Paterno, Sublime managers Dave Kaplan and Scott Seine (DKM/Surfdog), and Nayeema Raza.
Drummer, Bud Gaugh, from Sublime says, “I can’t wait to hand deliver our story to our fans. It has been a long-time coming and now there are literally two more generations of fans who never had the opportunity to see us perform, or don’t know the whole story. I am excited to work with Bill Guttentag, as I am a big fan of his work as well.”
It’s been said that Guttentag will be granted unprecedented access to Sublime’s archives, including rare music and never-before-seen footage. The film will even have a soundtrack with cuts from the band’s catalog and feature rare, unreleased gems, as well as music from the era and songs that were influential in molding the band’s sound.
Guttentag shares that: “Sublime is an iconic band — and I feel honored to be directing this film. Few bands have had the enduring, electrifying appeal of Sublime. With our film we hope to bring Sublime’s amazing story and incredible music to their long-time devoted fans, and also connect to a new generation — who have also embraced their singular, powerful sound.”
The late (great) Josh Fischel did a fantastic job on ’98’s “Stories, Tales, Lies & Exaggerations.” Josh was the man behind the lens for all of Sublime’s Warped Tour footage and for the time-period, he did research in releasing a great story and interviewing everyone that was associated with the band. I imagine Josh’s documentary would be an immediate blueprint for Guttentag to reference when getting to work on this film. If you’re a Sublime fan and not familiar with Stories, Tales, Lies & Exaggerations, go search it out right now!
As a die-hard fan of the band, this new documentary needs to tell, in detail, how intricate both Miguel Happoldt and Marshall ‘Ras MG’ Goodman were to the sound we know as Sublime. While Sublime was famously marketed as 3-white guys, the contributing players played such a huge role in their diverse sound. Ras MG was behind the drum-kit on “Date Rape” as well as most of the 40oz to Freedom album including hit singles, “What I Got” and contributed production & DJ cuts for “Doin’ Time” from the self-titled record. Miguel was the glue that kept the band together, but was not on the official contract that Sublime signed, so on the surface Miguel has only been credited as a producer.
I just hope the true depth of the band is finally revealed and not just sold as 3-white guys making music — The story is so much deeper than that based on my talks with Miguel, Marshall & Opie Ortiz. The more you dig into that story, the more complex it is, but without it’s complexity, I don’t think we’d have the depth we hear in Sublimes music. So in short, Bill Guttentag better Oscar-Award his way into a well told fucking story of Sublime that matches the depth of their music and background!
Documentaries can often times be viewed as a precursor to a major motion picture, where perhaps a movie is done on the group that loosely follows the documentaries script. It would be awesome to see Sublime’s story spread to the big screen to the likes of a Straight Outta Compton or The Doors. When I spoke to Josh Fischel, just before his unfortunate passing, he offered his input for a Sublime movie, saying it’d be best told as: “a series of vignettes, these little scenes of how all of this stuff was put together. You don’t need an ulterior motive or a subtext necessarily to tell a rock & roll story. Just tell it viscerally and as true as you can… 100% John Goodman could play Jim Nowell, Brad’s dad, Papa Nowell.”
Watch: Sublime – “What I Got”