Local Music and Prop 19 with Ryan from Slightly Stoopid
With more than a decade of making music, Slightly Stoopid has gained a large and loyal fan base that embraces the band’s “fusion of acoustic rock and blues with reggae, hip-hop, and punk”. It’s no surprise that their chill, elusive sound originated not far from USD in Ocean Beach, California. With their last album two years behind them and huge summer tours coming to an end, we can only wonder what’s in store for the band next. Drummer Ryan “Rymo” Moran recently called in to discuss the band’s extensive past, the new album in the works, and even some politics.
You were signed to Skunk Records in 1995 but later started your own record label, Stoopid Records. How did that independence change the process of recording?
Rymo: Surprisingly not that much, we were working with Bradley Nowell and Michael Happoldt, and we still work with them today. Mikey’s a producer and we’ve been working with since way back then—its been both a friendship and partnership, but now we’re footing our own bills and putting our own stamp on the albums.
How did growing up in San Diego influence your music?
R: Well I’ve been here 16 years now, it’s been huge, and I love the lifestyle down here in San Diego. I moved down to go to San Diego State University and fell in love with the sun and surf and skate. Getting here was a dream come true; I always wanted to live down here. It definitely shaped our music; we all pretty much live the same kind of lifestyle, really relaxed.
What local San Diego venues do you like?
R: I love playing at Cricket, but we’ve played most of the rooms in San Diego, like House of Blues, Winston, Tio Leo’s. I just like going out and seeing my friends play in San Diego. This Sunday I’m going to see some friends at Belly Up.
You once said that constantly touring is an important part of what Slightly Stoopid is all about. What do you want your fans to take away from one of your shows?
R: I mean the vibe we kind of bring is you know, let’s party and hang. We don’t take it super seriously; we like to have fun, have a drink or two before we go on stage. I think people connect with us because we’re pretty honest; the way we are on stage is the same as offstage. It’s about playing good music and keeping it real. So many bands jump on the bandwagon, go with whatever is popular at the moment, but what makes us different is that we’ve been the same throughout the years, who we are and how we are.
Your last album, Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid, was released in 2008. Are any plans for a future album in the works?
R: Definitely, there is a lot of stuff in the works. We released our last stuff in 2008, and everything was back to back, we just made one album after another and we just decided that we wanted to cruise and tour. The focus lately has been doing big summer tours, and a couple guys from the band got married and had kids, which kind of has taken the focus off tour and let us take time off and go into the studio. We’ve had a couple weeks off, so we’re focusing on tightening up these recordings by spring or summer next year. Right now we’re leasing a studio down in the Mission Valley area so we can develop a lot of music and record them ourselves. Afterwards we’re going to go back to a legit studio and record them.
The “Legalize It” tour was both a musical collaboration and a means to raise awareness about your partnerships with NORML, Marijuana Policy Project, and Tax Cannabis. As the California Statewide General Election approaches, what do you have to say about prop 19 and the legalization of marijuana?
R: We’re hoping that prop 19 passes for medicinal purposes. We believe it’s a natural thing; there are so many crazy gnarly chemicals being promoted. I see like, three advertisements for drugs everyday and they’re nuts! They have ridiculous side effects, your stomach might fall out, you could cough up blood, all that. Marijuana is a natural plant that grows in the ground and people have always used in as a way to relax and deal with pain. On another level, the income raise from taxing it can help with deficit in California. There’s definitely a need, and people need to overturn the propaganda and old bias. This isn’t something that’s going to make you crazy. People die way more from drunk driving than driving high. This is something that people can use legitimately and safely. When you smoke a joint you just get hungry and giggle, you know? You aren’t going to go kill people when you’re high. Honestly, we just feel that its time for change.