Slightly Stoopid Prove Deadicated
Speaking of tours, you’ve got a big one coming up with Atmosphere.
Yeah man, every summer we do an annual tour and that package just seemed right. We’re big fans of Atmosphere and we’ve been trying to put that package together for a few years. There were kind of just scheduling conflicts so it didn’t work for both of us, but now it finally came together. We did try to bring something that’s good for the fans. People pay a lot of money to see shows in the summertime and it’s good just to give them something that’s going to be enjoyable. Between Atmosphere and the bands that are gonna be supporting, I think it’s going to be a good time for the fans and us musically. You know I can’t wait to jam with him. We’ve never personally—we’ve done a show at the same festival together but we’ve never really done shows together—so I’m looking forward to jamming together and doing some collaborations.
So how did the Nevilles, Karl Denson and Tommy Chong get involved in the TRI affair?
We’ve done a lot shows with all the artists that are on there. We’ve played a lot of music with them, and we just thought it added so much to the element. Karl Denson is one of the greatest saxophone players in the world and he happens to be from San Diego, and we’re all from San Diego, so it was cool to put that collaboration together. Over the last five or six years, we have become pretty tight with Ivan Neville, and we do a lot of stuff with them so it was kind of a no brainer. When we were playing with Bob Weir we thought “what better thing to do then bring these Neville boys and take it to the next level.” And then Don Carlos is one of the greatest reggae musicians in the world. His vocals and his lyrics are just incredible, and we’ve been touring with him the last few years. We just asked if he wanted to do it because we thought it would be a dope experience and something cool for fans. Because at the end of the day, we’re not just making it for ourselves, we’re making it for the world to see, and it’s dope when you get to bring all these guests in with you.
Prior to the TRI gig, did you have any connection with Bob Weir?
No that was the first time we had met him and it was awesome. When we were hanging out it was kind of like we had known each other for fifteen years. It was really cool. He was really open and just one of those guys that made you feel like you could do anything. It was just— all his people that were there were great. His staff and the people that were running all the rigs, it was amazing, the whole thing. When we were first there—as a musician you’re still in awe at some of the guys you’re around—you just think, “Whoa, what’s going on with all these guys right here? What did we do to deserve to be so lucky?”
Can you elaborate a bit on the technical setup at TRI Studios. I hear its pretty state of the art.
Well I’ve just never seen anything like it. It was mics all over the ceiling and walls, like ambient mics that would just pick up everything. It had some crazy blend of reverb and delays that you could actually control from the center of the room. It was just amazing. You would sing in there and your voice would sound perfectly mixed. It was nuts. I don’t understand it myself, I’d never seen it before. I was just amazed to be there and it was one of those experiences where you didn’t have to try to do anything, you just sat down and played and it sounded good. It was just one of those situations—it was just that perfect of a room. And if you were a guitar player or any musician you would understand what I’m talking about—in the studio, some rooms just sound amazing. It’s just one of those days where you’re setting up just like you would in a little coffee shop jam room, and everyone’s nice and tight together and the vibe is good. They should clone that studio across the country.
Kyle and OG stopped by the office somewhat recently to play a song called “Rolling Stone.” Was that a new one?
Yeah, that’s a brand new song. It hasn’t been released, Kyle just wrote it and just started playing it.
Will we be hearing anymore new material soon?
Yeah, as soon as the summer tour is over we’re going to get back in the studio. We’re always kind of recording. We have our own studio in San Diego and we’re always just making tracks. We’re going to start recording the next record and get something out in early 2014. It’s crazy how fast time goes by. It’s already a quarter of the way through 2013. It’s crazy. Time just goes by so quick and you lose track of it and at the same time we always stay busy on the road. I think after tour we’re going to just dig in and spend three or four months recording the record and get it done.
Is it a lot of work balancing Stoopid Records with the band? Is it ever difficult?
No, because I let my manager and people deal with kind of stuff. We stick strictly to making our own music and being on the road. We don’t really worry about Stoopid Records. Stoopid Records is always going to be there because Slightly Stoopid puts their own records out on it and we try to pick up acts that we think we can help out. But as far as that goes, we’re always going to release our records through that so we just let our guys run the label and run our business in general. It lets us do what we need to do to be on the road and bring the music to the people.
Does Slightly Stoopid have big festival stops planned for this summer?
We’re doing Hangout Festival and I’m sure we’re doing a few other festivals. We’re doing JamBase, and that’s going to be pretty sick. Robert Plant’s playing, Robert Randolph, G-Love, Michael Franti. It’s going to be pretty badass—it’s going to be up at The Gorge outside Seattle. There’s a few more but it’s hard for me to remember the schedule all the time, when you’re on the road forever.
Any festivals in particular over the years that have stood above the rest?
Honestly, we just played Hangout Festival a few years ago and it was unbelievable. I was blown away; I didn’t know what to think about it. We were doing the festival with the Foo Fighters and CeeLo. Motorhead was there, and a bunch of other bands. But we played right before CeeLo and the Foo Fighters and it was just ridiculous. There were 25,000 people and the show was right on the beach, so it looked like there was the ocean on the right and then there was the sea of people. The people were moving like the ocean almost. That festival blew me away; I had such a great time.
Another one was when we played a festival in Portugal, in the Algarve, like Sagres area. It was right on a cliff where there was an old navigators point castle. It was pretty badass.