“I can’t smoke anymore weed.” Miles Doughty held out the blueberry blunt to any takers, and I took this as a sign that our interview had gotten off to a good start. In the clouds of smoke and sweet aroma of Arizona’s best, the members of California’s Slightly Stoopid cooled with me after sound check. Event staff were later to tell me that they smelled our interview from Tucson’s City Limits Nightclub parking lot.
Miles and Kyle, the core members of Slightly Stoopid, were discovered by Bradley Nowell of Sublime when they were only 16, and promptly signed with Skunk Records. Despite the offerings from major record labels throughout the years, the band has made a conscious choice to remain independent and true to their brand of music and lifestyle.
Slightly Stoopid tours heavily, averaging over 200 shows a year. “We tour all over the country, we’ve been selling out shows everywhere,” said Miles, “we just like to do it independently. We have more control, we can put out the music we want to, we don’t have that outside source telling us what they expect out of us.”
Miles loaded a new bowl, apparently changing his mind about being too stoned, and informed me that they are preparing to release at least one, possibly two, new albums this spring.
“There may even be a couple of new songs in Spanish.” The band’s percussionist, O.G. (Oguer Ocon), grinned from behind a bouquet of bud sprouting from his hands. I don’t know about you, but the promise of Spanish ska makes my mouth water.
“As far as Stoopid shows, it’s from like ages 10 to 50. It’s crazy, I think it’s dope! I’m glad our music reaches that many people? It’s cool because we do every kind of music, so we’re gonna have something that you’re down to listen to.” Myles stated with all seriousness. “We do the acoustic jams, the hard [stuff], reggae jams, blues. I think that’s what keeps the people intrigued, just ‘cuz we do so many kinds of music, but that’s the only thing we really know how to do, ‘cuz we like so many kinds of music.”
As promised, the club was packed with a diversity of wanting fans, and Slightly Stoopid delivered in full. Part mosh-pitt frenzy and part psychedelic ska, the band played to a backdrop of surfing scenes. Shirtless and mohawked, Ryan Moran offered us a sick performance on drums, and O.G. bounced between harp, percussion and hard-core vocals. Kyle McDonald effortlessly traded Miles for bass, guitar and mic, extending their infectious good vibes well past Arizona curfew.
After our photo-shoot, I offered to drive the band to their hotel. Kyle hugged me and called me “mamas,” his outrageous on-stage demeanor transformed into quiet and laid-back. I later heard that they finished an entire chocolate cake, not even saving a slice for the photographer.