Ben Salmon / The Bulletin Ryan Moran and his mates in Slightly Stoopid have heard just about every reaction you can imagine to their band’s unusual name. Certainly, some folks love it. But many deride it. When major labels were courting the band, some suggested they change the name, Moran said in a recent telephone interview.
Slightly Not Stoned Enough To Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid is an album by California band Slightly Stoopid, which was released July 22, 2008. It contains all 7 tracks.
(They declined, of course.) Spin Magazine even listed Slightly Stoopid as one of the top 10 bands least likely to succeed based on their name. For his part, Moran calls it “kind of a blessing and a curse.” But most of all, he’s tired of hearing about it. “There’s definitely people who are like, ‘Slightly Stoopid is really stupid,’ you know,” Moran said. “It’s an obvious kind of thing.” But it’s also obvious at this point that, love it or hate it, Slightly Stoopid will and should remain Slightly Stoopid. That’s the power of branding, and of hard work and a commitment to touring and to keeping the name — Slightly Stoopid, in case you missed it — in front of all the folks out there who are drawn to the band’s mellow, party-friendly blend of reggae, funk and rock. And there are plenty of those folks. Slightly Stoopid’s fall tour, which stops in Bend on Thursday (see “If you go”), comes on the heels of a summer full of well-attended shows on both coasts, Moran said.
The band sold out a bunch of venues, including the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, and drew 5,000 to 9,000 people on a nightly basis, he said. Not bad for a band that has never had the kind of touring budget a major label can provide.
Slightly Stoopid was formed in the mid-1990s by Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald, two kids from Ocean Beach, Calif., who got their big break when they were signed by Sublime’s Brad Nowell to his own Skunk Records, which released the first Stoopid album in 1996. Since then, members have come and gone while the core duo of Doughty and McDonald has remained, and Slightly Stoopid has become one of music’s independent success stories.
Before it was hip to do so, Doughty and McDonald rejected the big labels and chose to do their own thing, a decision that looks better and better with each sold-out show and CD sale. Moran said the band didn’t have a crystal ball and couldn’t have predicted the current, crumbling state of the traditional music industry. But in hindsight, in this case, foresight was 20/20. “(Major-label support) just wasn’t the right thing for us. The guys made the decision to stay true to the independent thing and it’s totally starting to pay off,” Moran said. “Our business model (is) we try to follow after, like, the Grateful Deads and the Pink Floyds, bands that were around for 25, 30 years.
One Direction Up All Night Deluxe Zip. Those bands built a true following by making their own music and creating their own fan base, and we’re trying to model ourselves after that.” But creating a grass-roots fan base is hard work, and most of that hard work happens on the road, where Slightly Stoopid spends much of its time. “We’ve played a lot of great shows, and we’ve played a lot of crappy shows,” Moran said.
“We’ve (gone from) playing basement clubs and backyard parties to being able to get into amphitheaters and more prestigious clubs around the country. “For us, it’s kinda been that blue-collar mentality like we’re just gonna go out and work and if people like it, cool, and if not, cool. We really don’t care,” he said.
“We’re gonna do our best to perform well every night, and we’re gonna have fun. We’re gonna party. We’re gonna smoke a little and drink a little, and we want people to come and have a fun night with us.” Slightly Stoopid is also keeping the fans in mind with its newest release, “Slightly Not Stoned Enough To Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid,” a collection of B-sides, rarities, previously unreleased tunes and new studio tracks that not only clears the vaults and gives Stoopidheads what they want, but also shows off the band’s versatility. Much of the disc is classic Stoopid reggae groove, chilled to the bone. But there’s also a side trip into acousticville that ends with a down-home take on the traditional song “Know Your Rider.” Moran said the album’s genre-hopping nature was by design.
“It shows that we can throw down some ’70s blues, and then into the straight hardcore, and then some of those more almost old country-type influences,” he said. “We’re just having fun and trying to experiment a little bit. I hope the fans dig it.” Speaking of grass roots, Slightly Stoopid is a band that is more than happy to tout its affinity for weed, and I’m not talking about leafy spurge. Combine this predilection for pot with Slightly Stoopid’s easily pooh-poohed musical style and, yes, that band name, and you’re bound to find a few skeptics.