Slightly Stoopid Interview
Chillin’ with Miles from Slightly Stoopid
Miles Doughty and Monty “Moe” Wiradilaga
Friday, August 3, 2007
Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois
Miles: Yeah man, it’s good to be here! I love Chicago.
Moe: Man, I gotta say… Are you wearing those sunglasses ’cause you got a little Chronchitis or what? You hiding ‘em? (Laughs)
Miles: Yeah. (Laughs) That’s how I roll, you know. We always roll with the red-eye.
Moe: When’s the album coming out? Is it this week?
Miles: It comes out the 7th, yeah. I think it’s like four days.
Moe: Yeah, I heard some of the tracks from it. It’s badass.
Miles: Thanks man. We’re stoked. We got to work with a lot of cool cats too. It’s pretty sweet.
Moe: Mario C!
Miles: Yeah. The name says itself, you know what I mean. I mean, that guy’s legendary. So it was pretty awesome to work with him. We got to work with Money Mark too, from the Beasties. And Paul Leary from the Butthole Surfers. Miguel from Sublime, and Chris D. from the G. Love crew.
Moe: How was the influence with working with the guys from the Beasties? Were you guys going more towards a little more beats?
Miles: No, it actually… We kinda wanted to roll with just a different vibe, you know what I mean. That was for us, we always try to make every record different. And obviously we’ve been a fan of the Beasties since we were younger so… I mean those guys were legendary you know. Mario C, it came to the table where we could work together, and we jumped at the opportunity. He’s a very chill-cat too. I mean, one of the most chillinest producers I’ve ever met. So it was pretty sweet.
Moe: Did you put a (Mario C) “You can’t front on that…” little byte in there? (Laughs)
Miles: No, we didn’t put that in there… (Laughs) But I mean it was really cool. We did get to work with a lot of really cool beat stuff and he does have a lot of cool ideas. So he really let us just do our thing and he kinda added his little presence in the mixing. So it was pretty cool.
Moe: You guys work with a lot of guest artists right?
Moe: Like G. Love…from Philly… That’s where we’re from…
Miles: Oh, you’re from Philly? Nice! G. Love’s my boy!
Moe: Who you guys are going on tour with…
Miles: Summer Haze…
Moe: Leaving tomorrow right?
Miles: Yeah, it’s tomorrow it starts, Costa Mesa.
Moe: With Ozomatli, and …
Miles: Yeah, Ozomatli, G. Love, that’s gonna be sweet.
Moe: So how’d you and G. hook up?
Miles: Well, we’ve been friends for about eight years, so… It’s been pretty cool. One of the guys in their crew got a hold of our Acoustic Roots record and he played it for G. Love and G. Love was just ‘Yo, what’s up with these cats?’ And then we started talking, and we became friends and started touring a little bit and did some studio…
Miles: We haven’t surfed together, but we done some serious partying together.
Moe: You guys don’t party do you? (Laughs) No, I’m kidding…
Miles: No, I don’t really party. I’m G-Rated! (Laughs)
Moe: Me neither. (Laughs)
Moe: But you got G. Love… You got Angelo… Angelo Moore from Fishbone.
Miles: Yeah. Angelo is incredible. That guy’s one of the greatest voices that I’ve ever heard, really.
Miles: Yeah, I mean, he’s amazing. We were very privileged to play with them. It was kinda crazy, like seven or eight years ago, we went on a tour with them, opening up for them, and they were releasing a new record at the time, it was like their comeback kinda tour, then like a year and a half ago they came on tour with us, it was kinda like a full-circle thing. And for us, it was just like, Norwood, Angelo, I mean these guys…
Moe: Did he break out the theremin?
Miles: Oh yeah, he always has it. He’s a cool-cat, man. He came down to the studio for this record, you know, he’s always got his top-hat on, his suit…
Moe: Oh I know… Crazy…
Miles: Yeah, he’s just really a cool guy to work with man, so it’s nice.
Moe: Going towards this record, does it seem like your going back to the roots? Going more organic?
Miles: I think for us it’s like, the most important thing for us is the sound has either gotta be evolving or just different, you know. If you listen to any one of our records, none of them sound the same. For us it’s just like, as musicians and as people, we don’t wanna play just one style of music. We like it all. And we have so many different influences within the band because, you know, we got jazz guys, we got blues, you know, so everybody is kinda, presents everything to the table. It’s a mellower record, but I think it’s like the Acoustic Roots, but with the full band.
Moe: Nice, yeah, I dug the Acoustic Roots album.
Miles: Thanks man, I appreciate it.
Moe: Yeah definitely. You guys got signed by one of the people you grew up listening to, right?
Miles: Yeah, we got signed by Brad when we were like sixteen.
Moe: And you got signed to Skunk right?
Miles: Yeah, Skunk Records.
Moe: How was it hanging out with those guys?
Miles: It was cool, man. You know, we were friends. So it was nice, you know. Brad would come over the house, we’d jam, acoustic guitars, record stuff at the pad… He really kinda opened the door for us to get our foot in there, you know what I’m saying. Without that I don’t know what would have really happened. We’ve always been a band, a hard-working, touring band, and he kinda really made it so people would go ‘Hey, take a look at these guys.’ And through the Skunk name, people were like ‘Okay let’s check these guys out.’ And through constant, just two hundred days a year traveling, we’ve been able to turn that into a success. So it’s been nice.
Moe: Yeah, Sublime’s definitely been one of my favorites for as long as…
Miles: Yeah they’re great…
Moe: Yeah, absolutely. You guys have any crazy Sublime/Slightly Stoopid stories that…
Moe: You gotta think, there’s no censorship on this podcast. So you can go as hardcore as you want. I don’t give a shit, it’s cool. (Laughs)
Miles: (Laughs) You know we’ve had some pretty crazy…I think the coolest thing was when we actually first got signed by Brad and Miguel and we played the Foothill Tavern in Long Beach, which is no longer a bar. But it was this kinda old, like redneck kinda bar, but a punk rock bar at the same time and we did the set there and Brad came up and jammed with us on stage. And as soon as we got done jamming, we just had a cocktail, and shit, I was just so young at the time, it was kinda crazy. And he’s just like, ‘Yo, let’s go make a record, man!’ You know, and we were kids and as kids we were obviously huge fans, so it was just like that was kinda like the turning point, where we were just like ‘Wow, man!’
Moe: ‘It’s finally happening, yeah.’
Miles: It’s cool, you know. But I mean, like people, obviously people look into it more, you know when you get signed to a label, everything’s fine. But that’s not the case. You really got bust your ass, you know what I’m saying. You gotta get out there. I think a lot of people’s problem is they try to rely on a label. And what you really have to do is… The most important thing is touring.
Moe: Well, you guys are constantly touring. You’ve been touring ever since you started right?
Miles: Yup, always on the road.
Moe: What are you playing 150 shows a year or something like that?
Miles: Yeah, we go like 150 to 200 shows a year. So, we’re always on the road.
Moe: That’s insane.
Miles: Now we’re doing international stuff. We’ve been to Europe a couple times. Japan, Australia, Guam…
Moe: And how’s the reception from those guys?
Miles: It’s incredible really. We played in Portugal, and we played in front of about seven thousand people, which was just like amazing. And they were singing the songs, and you’re just like, ‘How in the hell do these people know this?’
Moe: Hey, music is universal.
Miles: Yeah it is. And the internet really has opened up a lot of people’s minds. Where like the bigger bands, who have sold like 150 million records, bitch about how downloading songs is effecting their millions of dollars… For independent bands, it’s very important. Because the music industry, honestly, the record business, that’s a thing of the past almost, you know what I mean. The new, with digital downloads, the file sharing…
Moe: You can get it everywhere!
Miles: You can get anything. So it’s just like, you need to embrace it rather than try to push it away. And that made it possible for us to do east coast, Europe… Our first time in the east coast, they were like, ‘Yeah, we found you on the internet,’ and we were just like, ‘Killer, man. Thanks for coming out!’ (Laughs)
Moe: Talking about being independent, you were with Skunk, and now your Stoopid Records right?
Miles: Yeah, we have our own label.
Moe: So how’s that? How’s that working for ya?
Miles: It’s sweet, man. We have, throughout our whole career, we’ve had complete control of our music. And that’s the most important thing to us. I mean we sat in front of almost every major label. We’ve sat with Jimmy Ivy, and you know, it doesn’t really matter, those guys always wanna tell you what they think the record should sound like, when they honestly have no idea what the record is supposed to sound like, they just want to hear that one hit. They don’t care if you have fourteen shitty songs on the record and one hit, they just want that hit. But we try to make a record where you hit play and it goes through for the hour and twenty minutes. You can just listen and roll. So that’s what we always try to do, you know. We’re musicians, but we’re fans of music, so we’re trying to make stuff that’ll flow nice.
Moe: How was it working with Barrington Levy?
Miles: Ah man, that guy’s insane.
Miles: He kinda just rolled into the studio, it was cool, my managers brought him down. He just rolled into the studios like, ‘Alright, play me a few tracks.’ And we played him like three different jams, and he just picked one and was like, ‘Alright, I wanna rock on that one!’ And we just rolled him up a spliff, and he fuckin’ hit the…
Moe: (Laughs) Big, fat one?
Miles: Aw man, Jamaicans, you know, they only roll the personal spliffs. There’s no pass… No puff-puff-pass. So, he got in the vocal booth, just chilled, rolled a spliff, and ran a few passes and then that was what came out.
Moe: Really? Yeah, that’s an awesome track.
Miles: Oh yeah, he’s awesome, man.
Moe: I know you guys smoke like fiends…
Miles: We like it!
Moe: Okay, when I was walking in, there was someone who was talking to about who they wanted to see, and he said you guys. So I said to him, ‘If you could ask them any question, what would it be?’ He said, “What’s your favorite strand?” (Laughs)
Miles: Aw man… I have a few favorite strands, man! I like the “O.G. Cush,” which is always good. My friends gotta strand called “The Ogre,” back in southern California. It’s always sweet. But the stuff that I always think is the bomb, we like to call it “The Kevorkian.”
Moe: Oh shit.
Miles: And we get it out in L.A. It’s like the “one-hitter-quitter,” you know what I mean…
Moe: (Laughs) Laying unconscious, on the ground, all fucked up…
Miles: Yeah, it’s like the straight four bills a ounce kinda stuff, you what I mean. It’s like you take one hit, and you’re like, ‘Ahhhhhh….’
Moe: Well, on your (tour) rider, you have, what is it, you have to have an ounce per…
Miles: Yeah, we ask for a, I mean, not everybody complies with that, obviously. Not everybody…
Moe: Well they don’t comply at first, but some way afterwards, they find a way to sneak it in…
Miles: Nah they do. A lot of times what they say is, ‘Aw, well, you know I can’t run this by my boss!’
Moe: There’s always some way to get it.
Miles: Yeah, weed is easy to get. It’s a universal thing, so it’s like, all those people who say it’s a gateway drug are just the people who have never really tried it. (Laughs) You know, cuz when I smoke weed, I don’t feel like going and doing other drugs, you know what I mean.
Moe: Just be like keep smoking…
Miles: Yeah, I get high and I drink. That’s what I do. Yeah, I’m a vodka-man so…
Moe: Me too. Hey, let’s go do some shots! (Laughs) I’m ready.
Miles: (Laughs) And the Jagermiester…
Moe: Ah, bring on the Jager! You were sponsored by the Jager’ tour right?
Miles: Yeah, we’re sponsored by them, so it’s like, it was killer, man. You know those Jager-rator machines where you can put like three bottles in?
Miles: They sent me one for my birthday this year.
Moe: Ah, no shit!
Miles: And it was like, killer, man. And it was kinda cool ’cause we had a birthday party, like a couple days before my birthday, so I got all kinda whatever presents from my friends, and actually they made sure that it was delivered on my birthday so I would have like a gift. And they sent a case of Jager’ bottles with it, so it was like, ‘Wooo!’
Moe: How’d that night go?
Miles: It was a hell of a night. We drink a lot Jager, man. With the Jager-rator, we honestly probably hook it up like four days a week.
Moe: Aw, no way.
Miles: Yeah, and we go through about two bottles a night when we do it.
Moe: They have any around here?
Miles: I don’t think they do.
Moe: Ah, that’s poor!
Miles: We have to bring our own liquor in. All they provide here really is beer. So we roll with the Grey Goose…
Moe: Ah, you’re talking my speed! The Goose, Jager’, that’s what it’s all about!
Miles: (Laughs) Dude, I’m tellin ya! Why hurt yourself with like Absolut with a hangover in the morning. When you drink the good vodka its like, man, it’s nothing but heaven!
Moe: Chilled Jager… (Yeah)
Miles: Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.
Moe: You were talking about the weed, what do you think about the dreadlock rastas doing the music, doing the reggae, while smoking? What do you about that with writing your music, does it free your mind? What’s the thing, is it a ritual? What’s your…
Miles: Well, I think for us, we’re so used to smoking weed, it’s like, that’s how we write our music. You get high and you’re kinds just in that vibe. Once you start jamming, everything just kinda flows along. So for us, I guess you can call it spiritual, but it’s more like an everyday thing of life.
Moe: Think back, mid-nineties, ska was huge.
Miles: Yeah, Skeletones… all those kinda cats…
Moe: Oh yeah. Do you think it’s ever gonna make a comeback?
Miles: I don’t know if it will ever make a comeback the way it did in the nineties, ’cause the nineties it seemed like there was all these little ska kids, punk-rock kids, rollin with their Doc Martin’s on…
Moe: I was one of them… Yep… wing-tips…
Miles: Yeah, you know, their skankin’ boots.
Miles: But I mean, I think everything always goes in patterns. Everything has, every few years everything comes back or goes. So, I think it’ll probably make resurgence again; it’s just a matter of the age group it was brought up with. You know, I think as kids get older they change their style, they change their mindset, and then the younger kids will roll into that same mindset that those ones were in.
Moe: What do you think about the state of music right now?
Miles: I don’t really know what to say about it.
Moe: Honestly, me neither, and that’s why I’m asking…
Miles: I’m not really into the emo kinda vibe, I’m not really into that. Myself personally, I know a lot of people love it. I like the hip-hop, the reggae, and I like the old school rock, you know what I mean. I like the Led Zeppelins, you know that kinda stuff, Steve Miller Bands, Lynard Skynard, Motley Crue…
Moe: Crue! (Laughs)
Miles: Those are bands, like me and Kyle grew up listening to them and stuff all the time. What was actually cool, the guy from the Jagermeister tour, Jack Carson, the tour manager for Vince Neil…
Moe: Oh, no shit!
Miles: And he would tell us all these Vince stories, and we were just like, ‘Aw, man, this is great!’ Cause me and Kyle have been to like four Motley Crue shows.
Moe: Oh really?!
Miles: Incredible, we saw them back in the heyday, in the middle, when they had a chick drummer, and when Tommy Lee was back… So it was pretty sweet.
Moe: Besides Sublime, who else did you listen to? I started off with old school rap, and then punk, and then the reggae stuck…
Miles: When I was growing up I was listening to Yellowman, obviously Marley was an influence, but Yellowman, Pinchers, Half Pint… We were listening to Guns ‘N Roses, Motley Crue, all that kinda stuff, of course that stuff was killer…
Moe: Are they ever gonna release that album? (Laughs)
Miles: I don’t think… You know what? It’s not the same though. If you wanna hear a rocking band, listen to Velvet Revolver.
Miles: You know what I mean, that’s incredible. Their last record Contraband, I thought was great, and their new record they said is even better, I haven’t heard it yet but, I mean that’s a rock band. That’s the closest you’ll get to hearing Appetite for Destruction. I don’t think Axel will ever be able to regain that form. He’s too crazy, you know. And I wanna support him, but it’s just like…
Moe: He’ll just walk off stage… He won’t show up… All that shit…
Miles: He’ll show up two hours late. I’ve been to a Guns N Roses concert where he showed up, literally, three hours late. And it was like 1:00 in the morning when they hit the stage, I think I was like thirteen, at the time… fourteen? I was just like. ‘What the fuck?’
Moe: Yeah, my friend went to the show in Philly where they didn’t show up at all. And they rioted… Ripping all the seats out, throwing all the shit all over the place…
Miles: Well it’s not fair. The guy, he’s got a responsibility. That’s what I always think is funny about bands that have that certain level of success, and they say, ‘Oh, my throat is sore. I’m gonna cancel the tour.’ I’ve never cancelled a show. I haven’t been able to talk before. And I’ll do a bunch of shots, and all of a sudden your voice warms up, drink some brandy to tighten it up…
Moe: Aw, yeah…”Rock ‘N Rye”… Something like that…
Miles: Yeah, the fans will understand. If your throats a little sore, they’ll understand, you know what I’m saying, they still wanna hear you rock. All these people that don’t go out there, “no holds barred,” just rolling, you gotta do it. These people give you the respect to come out to your shows, you gotta go out there and rock it, you know what I mean.
Moe: Well, I kinda find that’s rock star mentality that, you know, ‘Oh, my throat hurts,’ or ‘my leg hurts…’
Miles: That’s some pussy shit!
Moe: That is some pussy shit.
Miles: To me, that’s some Bammer, you know, we like to call it Bammer, like the Bammer weed, that’s some Bammer shit right there, cause it’s just not right. I mean, gimme a break, your throat’s a little sore. Don’t smoke three packs of cigarettes before you go on stage! You know what I’m saying, or whatever! (Laughs)
Moe: The fans are gonna be there. They’re gonna be there no matter if your hurting, or like that. How about the Stoopid Heads?
Miles: Ah, they’re amazing. Honestly, the follow us all over the country. So it’s crazy dude. We’ve been to so many places where people have been, ‘I just drove fifteen hours to see you play, and I don’t have tickets!’
Moe: Ah yeah, they just show up! That’s great to have a following like that.
Miles: Ah yeah, it’s pretty incredible. What we’ve been able to do is… I mean it’s mind-blowing you know. You go places, doing two to three thousand people a night, on our own, it’s like, ‘Whoa, man!’
Moe: How long’s your tour?
Miles: This tour? We’ll be on the road until December, but the Summer Haze tour ends the first week of September. Then we take ten days off, and we go back out for another four weeks. We’ll have the CD release tour until December. When the G. Love stuff ends… We like to break everything up. We’ll do four weeks on, two weeks off, four weeks on, two weeks off… Just so you’re not… You know when you grind it out six days a week…
Miles: Party until four in the morning, it’ll catch up to you, and it does.
Moe: You need those ten days, just to chill.
Miles: Honestly, it lets you get back to “tour fresh.” You kinda get piece of mind, you know, go home, jump in the ocean. We live on the beach in San Diego so, go and just relax and…
Moe: You don’t wanna just go through the motions at that point. People can tell…
Miles: Yeah, well, we love what we do though. I honestly love being on the road, no matter what. I don’t really need that much rest, I honestly love what I do and I love it. When I’m home I actually feel kinda weird because everything stops. Everybody’s still doing the same shit they were doing when you left.
Moe: So are you gonna stay and party tonight and cruise out tomorrow, what’s your deal?
Miles: Honestly, we have to fly out immediately after we play.
Moe: Ah, that sucks!
Miles: Yeah, ’cause we fly out, land in San Diego about 11:00, go straight to the bus, get on the bus and drive up north. Cause we have to be at the load in tomorrow at 10 in the morning for the first show.
Moe: One more thing, if you could be in front of Congress, and you could plead your case to why marijuana should be legalized, what would you say?
Miles: Ah! God, that’d be hard to approach. What I would honestly be thinking in my mind is that the government distributes so much drugs in this country that for them to sit there and say that smoking weed is this negligent thing, is pretty hypocritical, because, do you think they throw away all those drugs that they confiscate from people?
Moe: Yeah right…
Miles: They recycle that back, it’s a filtration process, because that gives them the upper hand. They distribute the shittier drugs in bad parts of town and that kinda keeps the scale, it keeps cops busy. It gives them a reason to do things. And honestly, there’s so much money in the weed that since they can’t control it… Which would be smart, just think if you could go down to the 7-Eleven and buy a dime-bag, or whatever, an eighth, a quarter… But you know, government controlled, they could tax it, then what’s the problem? You know what I’m saying? Honestly, what is the problem? You got people, our people that are running our country, who are getting richer while this country is getting poorer. We dump 250 trillion dollars overseas? We can’t even take care of our own people, you know what I’m saying, to me that’s stupid.
Moe: It is poor.
Miles: Honestly, they need to get new money inside the government to run it. They got these people that are eighty years old making decisions for people that are…
Moe: Like us.
Miles: Yeah, we’re a different breed of people. It’s a new generation. People that are eighty years old, they’re talking about stuff when you’re getting barely even an automobile; you know what I’m saying?
Moe: Oh, I know… I know.
Miles: So, to me I just think it’s kinda funny. The government is very hypocritical about that and if they can’t control it, they think it’s bad. Personally, I just think they need to get off their high-horse and let it ride.
Moe: There you go. All right man, thanks a lot for the interview.
Miles: Hey, thanks for having us.
Moe: I appreciate it. We’ll see you later on tonight. And we’re gonna bring a crew up to see you and G. when you guys come to Philly. At the Festival Pier right?
Miles: Yeah, Penns Landing I think it is?
Moe: Yeah. That’s it.
Miles: I’ll see you around brother.
Moe: Thanks a lot.
Miles: Yeah, thanks.