Slightly Stoopid Stirs Up a "Melting Pot of Madness"
In a culture that tends to pigeonhole practically everything for the sake of convenience, Slightly Stoopid defy any notion of easy categorization. They even defy their own branding, with an adept combination of reggae, funk, hip-hop, rock, and punk that's far from what their goofy name might imply. Unlike other bands who don't dare to step out beyond their self-prescribed boundaries, Slightly Stoopid wander willingly, and frequently, in fact, into varied terrain, allowing themselves to be taken wherever their muse might carry them.
A favorite on the festival circuit, their freewheeling populist appeal has brought them an ever-increasing following -- unapologetically dubbed "the Stoopidheads" -- since the release of their eponymous debut in 1996. Their latest effort, a CD/DVD combination entitled Live at Roberto's Tri Studios 9-13-11 shows them in their natural setting, with guests like Bob Weir and Ivan and Ian Neville in tow. We asked singer, guitarist and founding member Miles Doughty to share some insight into the Slightly Stoopid MO.
New Times: First off, please give me a backstory. How did the band come together?
Miles Doughty: Kyle (McDonald, guitarist, bassist) and I started it when we were 15 and 16 years old, only sophomores in high school. We grew up together in San Diego -- brothers from another mother -- and we always dreamed about starting a band together. It's been a long journey. It's our 18th year in the band, so its pretty crazy.
Who came up with the name?
I think Kyle came up with it. We were throwing around a bunch of ideas for a name. "Slightly something," "that was stoopid," then we just came up with "Slightly Stoopid." Back then, when you're punk rock kids, you don't really care as much. It's a funny name that always sticks in people's heads and makes people laugh.
How would you describe your sound and style?
I like to call it a "melting pot of madness!" A little of everything. We play so many styles - acoustic, reggae, hip hop, funk, blues, punk. You can't really put it in one zone because there's so much going on.
Who influenced you early on?
We grew up listening to heavy metal and punk rock. Our first influence was Mötley Crüe. Watching their videos made us want to be in a band. Growing up, we listed to Operation Ivy, Minor Threat, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, the Descendants, and Sublime. Bradley from Sublime took us under his wing and brought us into the Skunk Records crew when we were just teenagers.