Slightly Stoopid at the Santa Barbara Bowl (July 25, 2014)
Paul Wellman

It’s healthy in the summertime to get a little bit stoopid every once in a blue moon (or every day — who I am to judge anyone?). Luckily, Slightly Stoopid is performing at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Sunday, August 16, for their Everything is Awesome tour with Dirty Heads and Stick Figure, so if you haven’t received your fill of summer stoopidity, now is your chance. The band, formed in 1995, has its roots in Ocean Beach, California, and their sound grows with each new album. Originally formed as a punk band, Slightly Stoopid morphed into one the most influential ska bands of the millennial era. Now, their creations still push the boundaries, as they invent completely new genres of blues-rock, reggae, and ska punk. I caught up with Miles Doughty, cofounder of Slightly Stoopid, to get the inside scoop on the concert and their brand-new album Meanwhile… Back at the Lab. Here’s what Doughty had to say.

This album plays around with exciting new sounds and styles. What is different about this album compared to your other albums in your view? We tried to experiment with different styles: blues, different hip-hop rhythms, reggae, and acoustic music. I think for us, it’s about staying close with the band, trying new sounds, and just having fun. That’s the best thing about having our own studio. You’re able to unwind and create at your own pace and on your own terms.

Do you have a specific song that reflects your maturity the most? Songs like “Life Goes On [Rolls OnTK],” “Time Won’t Wait,” “Rolling Stone,” and even the instrumental “Dabbington.” And songs like “Come Around,” that one was engineered by Jerry Wonda (Fugees) on the East Coast. It was pretty sick, man. We’re excited to keep creating music and having fans that come out to the shows and give us some love to create the madness that allows us to do what we do.

You’ve described Slightly Stoopid as a touring band. After all of these years of touring, how does that affect your personal life, and do you have any songs reflecting those struggles? Yeah, we just did the whole East Coast in the past three weeks with the Dirty Heads, The Expendables, and Stick Figure. Now I have two days off to recharge and see my kids, and then I’ll head back out to Red Rocks this weekend. Obviously, we have families at home, and the song “Fades Away” is all about that. It’s about everything going on in the world at home. When I get home and I see my family, everything else just fades away, and it’s all good. Everything translates — life is inspiration. It’s not always about music and necessarily certain influences. Life is inspiration. It’s about what you see when you travel, your experiences, things like having kids, being around your family and friends, just like everyone else — but we have a microphone and a guitar to express that.

Reggae is known for its positive messages. What do you express on this album? Yeah, I think it’s just love life, you know? Life is special. It’s a gift. I think the more you love it, the fewer problems there would be in life. You have to embrace your moments and take the challenges as they come and rise above everything.

What can people expect at the Bowl? Oh, yeah, it’s always a night of madness at the Bowl, so tell ’em to get ready; get ready to party all night. I’d just like to say thanks to the fans and all their support. We’ll see you soon.


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