It’s not easy being Rome. While he gets to live out childhood rock dreams by performing with members of Sublime, he’s fully aware that by doing so, he’s going to catch a lot of resistance from a certain faction of the band’s longtime followers.

“Honestly man, look – do I wish (all Sublime fans) loved me? Yes, of course,” Rome said in a recent interview. “Do I think everyone in the entire world is going to love me? No. That’s just how it goes. Not everyone in the entire world loves Mexican food. Well, maybe,” he joked. “99 percent of us do, but there’s still one percent out there who don’t like Mexican food, and there’s still one percent who don’t like me.

“People are very protective over the things that they love,” he continued. “I understand that, because I love that band very, very much so as well. They have a meaning in my heart. For the rest of my life, I will always see Sublime as Bud, Brad and Eric. That’s what I grew up on. That’s what I’ll die thinking what Sublime is. But we’re Sublime With Rome. It’s a different entity.”

For those who don’t want to give Sublime With Rome a chance, the defiant frontman is willing to show and prove that he’s worthy of respect.

“I do say this – please come to a show,” he challenged. “Chances are, and I’ve had tons of people tell me this, they’ve changed their minds just coming to a show and just listening and having a good time with their friends. It really is a beautiful experience. If you don’t like us after a show, you probably don’t like Mexican food either. So we probably don’t got much to talk about.”

Sublime with Rome is set to perform at the Arizona State Fair Park & Exposition on November 1, followed by a swing through South America at the end of the month. In between, Rome will spend the first two weeks of November on his first solo U.S. tour, playing shows in San Diego, Chicago, New York and more.

–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local


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