Slightly Stoopid have matured from punk rock surfers into domesticated markers of culture, lead singer Miles Doughty tells Rip Nicholson.
SLIGHTLY STOOPID interviewed February 8, 2017
For Street Press Australia [VIEW HERE]
Gone are the days when the So-Cal boys of Slightly Stoopid toiled in the sand and skated their days away. Off-tour, the guys tend to go their separate ways these days, home to family.
Co-founded by instrumentalists Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty in 1994, the folk-rock and reggae-tinged funk seven-piece have amassed a catalogue of eight studio and four live albums and played the world over. The journey has matured the band, and Doughty, somewhat, “From being a 25-year-old maniac running around the bars and having that F-the-world attitude. You gain more perspective of life, which comes out in the music,” admits Doughty, phoning from home and awaiting his kids’ arrival from school. “I’m domesticated when I’m off the road, man. I’m house-broken.
“If we have days off we’re gonna try to surf and chill and probably hit up a couple of clubs.”
“That’s not to say we don’t still get crazy, don’t get me wrong,” he laughs, revealing plans for the sunny Californians during downtime while touring Australia. “If we have days off we’re gonna try to surf and chill and probably hit up a couple of clubs.”
Representing a lifestyle of boards and breaks, Slightly Stoopid have always had a broad cultural significance, showing up in just as many surf and skate mags as they have music interviews. Doughty, however, places Sublime at the head of the surf rock trend. “We have that allure of Southern California surf rock culture — growing up on the beach surfing and we all shared that element of skating,” considers Doughty. “Sublime really launched that kind of culture, changing the sound from grunge to that Southern California vibe. God, it’s been over 20 years really and I think that says a lot of how that culture has reached across the world… and it all started from Sublime bridging that gap.”
On their last studio album Meanwhile…Back At The Lab (2015) they bridged another gap with the heavy alt-rock standout Fuck You. Though features on the LP were minimal, Mickey Avalon’s running mate Beardo (aka Jeramy Gritter) strapped up for the track. “We wanted to put something heavy on the record and we knew that he would be perfect on it,” says Doughty. “It was great to have that moment of punk rock and have Beardo on there. He’s a phenomenal guitar player. He’s a cool artist, he has some crazy lyrics.”
With a long history playing huge sets, Doughty divulges the touring band’s love for reviving their recordings at live gigs before taking over Bluesfest 2017. “Everything in the studio is so perfect, where live sound you can leave open to breathe and do different things, from solos to different parts,” he explains. “That’s what I love about the live show is that it’s always open for a different interpretation,” he says. “A lot of times you can take an old song and just rework it a little bit and give it new life in the real world.”