Slightly Stoopid smart in managing
Slightly Stoopid, an eclectic band founded in 1994, makes its Penn’s Peak debut at 7 p.m. Nov. 17.
“Most of the guys still live in the San Diego area,” says drummer Ryan “Rymo” Moran, who has been with the band since 2003, says in a phone interview. “But we have a few band members who live in the Northeast, one in Connecticut and one in Boston. So, we’re kind of bi-coastal at this point.”
Of comparing the band’s ninth studio album, “Everyday Life, Everyday People,” released in July 2018, to its previous recordings, Moran says, “They all have a similar vein because it’s us. Every album truly is a snapshot of time, in a way, so the lyrics tend to capture wherever the writers are in that moment. Of course, there’s going to be some variation.”
The band collaborates with other muscians to supplement its sound. The latest album includes Ali Campbell from UB40, Chali 2na from Jurassic 5, G-Love and Special Sauce, Yellowman and Sly (Dunbar) of Sly and Robbie, “plus, Don Carlos, an unofficial eighth member of the band,” says Moran.
“The thing that separates us from some other bands is that we’ve always been a grassroots, DIY type of band. We’ve never really been on a major label or had any major financial support. It’s always been sort of home-grown,” Moran says.
The band created its own label, Stoopid Records, and maintains artistic control.
“Creatively, we can do whatever we want,” says Moran. “We’ve kept our own formula and kept everything in-house in terms of writing and creating music. We can put a record out that we’re proud of, and we own the masters and the rights to the music, as opposed to having to answer to a record label and do what they want to do and then forfeit some of those publishing rights.
“Our whole business is built on the newer model of the industry, being on the road and putting music out that we created ourselves. Staying true to what we want to do. We’ve never had that huge multimillion album-selling thing, but we’ve also never stopped and never had to change.
“We base our business on the Grateful Dead, the Dave Matthews, the Widespread Panic [type-bands] and those bands that are more about longevity than a quick flash in the pan.”
As a testament to the band’s popularity, Slightly Stoopid’s fans sometimes travel hundreds of miles to attend the group’s concerts: “We’ve had fans [see us in] Florida and follow us to Maine.”
Slightly Stoopid supports the pediatric cancer organizations Grind for Life and the Sheckler Foundation. The band teamed with legendary skateboarder Danny Way for a limited-edition custom skate deck and CD fundraising project. In 2017, another of the band’s fundraisers helped the Global Brightlight Foundation, a charitable organization that provides third-world communities with affordable energy solutions and solar power.
The band’s album covers are veritable works of art, depicting unique or quirky themes. “This latest [cover] art is by a friend of ours from the East Coast, Jay Alders,” says Moran.
Moran says the band members are products of their environment. They enjoy the beach, surfing, skateboarding and music, and they use those things as forms of escape. Their laid-back, peace-loving vibe easily translates to concerts.
“We have some of the best fans a band could hope for,” says Moran. “We want people to come out and party and have some fun and be safe and have a good time. That’s what it’s all about.
“We don’t have all the answers to save the world. We don’t want to be considered a political band, by any means. We want our shows to be an escape from that.”
With so much tension and political separation today, plus media and information overload, Slightly Stoopid wants its shows to be a panacea, “Turn it off for a couple of hours, let it all go. Enjoy the moment,” Moran says.
The name of the album refers to the band itself, “People have this notion of music success [that means] you’re on a pedestal, your life is perfect, you’re married to a super model, etcetera, when the reality is that we have a great job and we love playing music, but we’re just everyday guys. What you see is what you get. We’re jeans and t-shirts guys. We’re not three-piece suit guys. We travel and we make music.”
Slightly Stoopid consists of co-founders, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald, guitars, bass and vocals; Oguer “OG” Ocon, percussion; Ryan “Rymo” Moran, drums, Daniel “DeLa” Delacruz, saxophone, Paul Wolstencroft, keyboards, and Andy Geib, horns.
Tickets: Penn’s Peak box office, 325 Maury Road, Jim Thorpe; pennspeak.com; ticketmaster.com; 800-745-3000