“When you make something handmade it means a little bit more than when you buy something for someone.”
– when talking about printing up the very first SUBLIME artwork on a pillow that the late BRADLEY NOWELL used to carry around with him.
INTERVIEW BY TIM AMOROSO
WRITTEN BY SILVIE MIETZEKATZE
TIM: You guys put out some singles last year?
OPIE ORTIZ: Yeah they were done on the spot – one was a cover – “Hooligans” and the other “ don’t get me down”. I tattoo and paint a lot too and I have to find the time to combine these things… I try to paint as much as possible. As soon as my kids are out to school, I am upstairs painting – trying to get some paintings done for some deadlines or something. I do word of mouth – commission from instagram and I stay pretty busy with that stuff.
Tim: You have done a lot of great art – did you do Bradley Nowells back?
OPIE ORTIZ: Yeah I did most of his tattoos…..and I tattooed all the guys in the band. I did a big memorial for Brad…
TIM: How did they find you?
OPIE ORTIZ: I went to school with Eric. We were in 7th or 8th grade in science together and we were both punkers. He had a band. And I was like “damn this kid is 15 and he has a band and they opened up for SOCIAL DISTORTION. HE was so young that he had to wait until their set went on until he could step into the place. So we just started to hang out and years later SUBLIME formed out of the ashes from all the punk bands he was in.
And we were potheads, partying, surfing, and riding bikes – fucking punks and that’s how we all met….And I was always contributing as an artist, making flyers etc.
TIM: Did you know that would be something special?
OPIE ORTIZ: Well, yeah Brad would be in the garage printing up t-shirts and that held something to my heart. I remember when he brought a pillow case that we printed on and the first design was a funny – it was Jimmy Hendrix face and I put dreads on it – and it kinda looked like HR ( BAD BRAINS) and I put SUBLIME under it – that one and the one with a big lion on it were the first designs. Someone told me he would bring the pillowcase on tour. And that was cool. When you make something handmade it means a little bit more than when you buy something to someone.
TIM: That’s what I teach my kids too!
OPIE ORTIZ: Yeah that is mandatory in our house too. Painting and drawing…you gotta keep em inspired. …My kids have giving me tattoos even…like on certain holidays…I think it was Easter I said to my kids “comon’ let’s tattoo dad” – and my youngest Oliver got all discouraged cause he realized how hard it is – he expects to be good at everything he tries.
TIM: You guys are working on the new album?
OPIE ORTIZ: Yeah we are working on getting together 12 solid songs…. – and this album will be stuff from the past and a lot of newer stuff – even stuff of Eric Owens before his passing… you might have heard some stuff live but all of it is new. It’s going to be the same formula but different players.
TIM: Anything else you want to mention?
OPIE ORTIZ: Yeah be on the look out…follow LBDA on Instagram that will give you heads up on any live shows and news on the new album.
FOR THE WHOLE INTERVIEW CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE AND CATCH THE LONG BEACH DUB ALLSTARS LIVE AT THE SURF RODEO JULY 14th in VENTURA.