Slightly Stoopid in Maximum Ink in June 2008
With a laidback attitude and stoner swagger, SLIGHTLY STOOPID, is set to release their seventh album of party music July 22nd with Slightly Not Stoned Enough To Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid. Hailing from Ocean Beach (a gorgeous surfer enclave near San Diego that perfectly fits their music) and formed in the early Nineties, the band’s two front men, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald, have been playing together since their early teens. Discovered by Sublime’s Brad Nowell and signed to his Skunk Records label, the band released their first record in 1996 (a highly sought after collector’s item by Sublime fans because of Nowell’s appearance on a hidden track) and while the duo at the core hasn’t changed, their lineup has shifted in and out over the years. This latest incarnation is the most solid according to drummer, Ryan Moran (affectionately known as RyMo to fans), adding horns and congas to the mix. With diverse instrumentation like that, they fit their music to whatever suits their mood, according to Moran, “We play a lot of different styles and throw them into the pot. We might play 3 or 4 punk tunes, 5 or 6 reggae tunes, blues-rock, 1 or 2 hip-hop feel or ska feel. We just kind of wing it; don’t write a set list or anything, we just go with the moment and the energy of the crowd.
The band is releasing the new album independently and it’s something Moran is proud to talk about, “Record companies want a good amount of creative control. We got courted by major and semi-major labels. But it’s kind of like you got someone’s hand up your ass,” he says, “And someone’s like ‘Let’s change this’ or ‘That’s cool, but I don’t know if the kids are gonna like that’ and it’s some corporate dude who doesn’t have a clue about what the music’s about. Thanks a lot but no thanks, but we’re just going to rough it. We’re just going to keep touring and making records and that’s paid off immensely by this point. If the labels don’t hear a hit, they drop you. So many great bands release two records and you never hear about them again. We’d rather just take our chances and maybe even stay at a smaller level, but have a career that has some longevity and some truth. It’s definitely been a harder road, but it’s worked out really well for us. Since I’ve been part of the group, it’s 6-7 months of the year on the road. It’s definitely been some hard work, but we’re able to call our own shots…We’ve been fortunate to have a pretty solid following in the U.S. We get paired with a lot of reggae-rock and party music bands like Pepper and G. Love (and the Special Sauce). We’ve even played with all five sons of Bob Marley!”
And even with a heavy touring schedule that takes them away from home for most of the year, Ryan still loves it, “We’re all friends, hanging out with friends, having a couple beers, being onstage. It’s all good. We definitely have times when we’re butting heads, the normal group dynamic. Overall, just being able to travel and do what you like, it’s just the dream you know?” As for what he sees in the future, he’s looking for more of the same, “I’d like to continue doing this on a larger scale, becoming a Dave Matthews or 311 where they’re able to maintain their identity, play huge festivals and do really well for themselves. If we’re able to still draw people, have a good time, party and play some music then it’s all good.”
This year, Slightly Stoopid is kicking off their Summer tour with a Fourth of July show at Summerfest in Milwaukee. For new people that haven’t heard their music before, Moran recommends a few songs to get introduced, “‘Closer to the Sun’, ‘Babylon Is Fallin’, ‘Bandelero’-
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CD: Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid Record Label: Stoopid Records
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