A Concert Review: Sitting Down with Slightly Stoopid
By: Megan Shea
On Saturday, July 26th, the band Slightly Stoopid made their way back to Sunset Cove Amphitheater in West Boca- a venue that’s kept them coming back for the past five years. With roots in a beach town of their own, Slightly Stoopid’s reception in Florida has always been positive.
I sat down with lead singer, bassist, and guitarist Miles Doughty to talk about the band’s newest endeavor- the release of their eighth studio album, Meanwhile… Back at the Lab and their accompanying tour, “Everything is Awesome” with Dirty Heads.
Hailing from Ocean Beach, California, this seven-man band is just as versatile as the crowd it draws. Their music delves into just about every genre, with elements of reggae, ska, laid-back hip-hop, and psychedelic rock embedded in their works.
Slightly Stoopid has been largely known as a touring act, having been on the road constantly since their inception in 1995, which was facilitated when the act was signed and recognized by Sublime’s front man- all while they were still in high school. “We were big fans of Sublime. We were fifteen and sixteen at the time and they lived a crazy lifestyle back then too. It was a world we hadn’t seen,” Doughty remembers. “It was really cool they gave those kids from Ocean Beach a chance.”
Regardless of this early success, they’ve remained incredibly humble. “After twenty-plus years, to still be touring, relevant, and playing alongside our biggest childhood influences is something we’ve never taken for granted,” Doughty comments, as he kicks his feet up.
Meanwhile…Back at the Lab, named in reference to where it was recorded, utilized a different writing process under their own label, Stoopid Records. “It was really just about the way we built our studio. It was basically the ultimate man cave; you can create at your leisure without the pressure of having to go into different studios,” Doughty stated.
As far as musical influences, Stoopid is melting pot. “With seven guys in the band, there’s so many different avenues you can take. On this record, we try so many different styles,” Doughty notes. The spectrum ranges from influences of Marley to Zeppelin and everything in between.
After decades of touring and writing, Slightly Stoopid’s music has evolved along with its members. They’ve gone from high school kids to family men, most members now married and with children. When asked about the writing process of their newest project, Doughty stated, “The whole process was about living in the moment, and creating while we were off tour,” something they’ve been dedicating more time to. “As you get older, you see things differently and you change to the way the world is,” he commented, which has become true of both their music and scheduling. Normally spending upwards of 200 days per year on the road has become closer to 100 with families to come home to.
But Doughty doesn’t complain- seeing different cities every night and traveling with his best friends isn’t something he considers a rough assignment. “The average 9-5 job only allows for you to see your kids for a bit before they go to bed. When we’re at home, we’re at home 24 hours a day for a few months,” Doughty says.
Slightly Stoopid’s rise wasn’t one made overnight. They came from the epitome of humble beginnings, touring in their own vans, to finally making the upgrade. After mentioning this, Doughty sits back and remembers their first time on a tour bus.”As a musician, that’s your goal. We thought we had made it. The damn thing broke down an hour an a half out of San Diego in the 115 degree dessert heat,” he laughs. Needless to say, the buses have only been getting nicer since.
I’m curious as to what Doughty’s been listening to and what helps to create that melting pot of sounds Stoopid is known for. Things aren’t feeling so much like an interview anymore- we’re browsing through his iTunes library as he reminisces songs that take him back to his childhood. “Rhythm of the Rain” by the Cascades carries through the dressing room as he smiles.
“I grew up listening to this kind of stuff,” he says as he scrolls passed Cat Stevens, Aerosmith, and the Bee Gees. “As a musician, you’ve got to listen to everything. You have to see and experience everything out there because music makes you feel a certain way. There’s so many different styles of music that affect the way you are,” he comments. And that’s when that melting pot starts to make more sense.
The show itself was a testament to everything Miles Doughty had told me- their sound was one difficult to put your finger on, layered with different influences. After years of touring, it’s become something the band has got down to a science and it was truly evident in seeing them live. These veterans to the road have no plans of letting up- after the conclusion of their “Everything is Awesome” tour, Slightly Stoopid will return back to the studio to continue to give the fans what’s kept them coming back for decades.
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