Ocean Beach, Calif. band Slightly Stoopid got their start in 1995 largely due to an influential friend that recognized the band's talent -- Bradley Nowell, a founding member of Sublime who signed the band to his own record label, Skunk Records, while the band was still in high school.
Prior to Nowell's death at age 28 in 1996, he helped to produce and even played on the band's first record for Skunk, entitled "Slightly $toopid." The first full-length from the band pushed the band into notoriety, partly because of the association with Sublime (who had achieved a fair bit of success in the mainstream), and partly because the album went out of print after selling the original run of 1000 copies.
In the time since, an eternity in modern rock terms, trends and hype, anything could've happened to the members of Slightly Stoopid. But instead of landing day jobs or part-time gigs in bar bands, the band soldiered on, releasing six studio albums, a selection of live albums, and gaining a worldwide following that landed the band live dates throughout the U.S., Europe and South America.
The band, a mixture of rock and blues fusion that includes elements of hip-hop, reggae and funk, also gained critical acclaim for their inclusion on the soundtrack of many action sports videos, as well as even playing live sets at the X Games.
And now, poised for a mid-August release, Slightly Stoopid is back with their seventh studio release, entitled "Top of the World." Recently, amid the Unity Tour with 311, Slightly Stoopid's guitarist, bass player and vocalist Miles Doughty spared some time to discuss the new record.
ESPN.com: Predictable first question. Can you tell us about the new record?
Doughty: It's our seventh studio release, and there are about 21 tracks on the record. We have a lot of great guests, from Don Carlos to Barrington Levy to G-Love, Ian Neville, Carl Benson. There's just a lot of great cats playing on the record, so we're excited to release it. It's out on Stoopid Records, and we're just gonna be touring to support the album.
That's the band's own label?
We started our own record label back in 2001. We've been releasing our own music since, and it's been pretty great. We've been fortunate enough to take the grassroots independent way of making music, taken it out on the road and continue to have fun.
I know the band's music has been used as soundtrack for surf and ski videos. Can you tell us about the band's connection to action sports?
For us, we've always been involved in action sports. We all grew up at the beach (Ocean Beach, Calif.), skating, snowboarding -- all of us have done those types of things. There's always been that Southern California culture that's been ingrained in the music and the style of action sports. We've played X Games, played during ski seasons through Colorado, and it's been a blessing to be a part of all that. The fact that some of the athletes are bumping the music that's in the videos is really cool.
We've played X Games and it's been a blessing to be a part of all that.
How hard it is for the band to recreate the sounds of the studio live on tour?
We've got it down through rehearsals. That's what cool about having the time before we went on tour to rehearse and really iron out the songs the way we want to play them. Obviously, some songs will sound a little different in the studio when played live. When it's live, you need to have the freedom to improvise. You don't know what's going to happen during a particular song, so you have to be able to go with it. That's what I love about the live show -- you're gonna get the foundation of the song, but in essence, you're gonna get a flow of what's happening on the vibe of the night. It's pretty cool.
Once the initial rush of promotion for the new record ends, what does the band plan on doing?
We just plan on keep touring to support the album. We're going back overseas, down to South America in November, and we have a fall tour in October. For the band, we obviously never stop touring. The biggest thing for us is to be playing the new songs live, and opening up a whole new realm of Stoopid jams for the fans. Continue to do what we do -- having fun making music and living the dream.