Ska-flavored pop-punkers Slightly Stoopid played their first paid gig in 1994 at Soma. They call themselves the masters of the “stealth groove.” That’s when you sneak a melodic hook or two into a long-winded jam. Otherwise, the laid-back Jack Johnson imprint abides. More skatepunk in their early days, the band has grown a dub bottom over the years and matured into a weedy mix of reggae, hip-hop, and funk.
They're not an "intellectual" band, as their name would imply. They don't have to be; they're a dumb beach-party band, and for what they are, they're really good.
The group formed in Ocean Beach to create a fusion of acoustic rock, blues, reggae, hip-hop, and punk. While still attending Point Loma High School in 1995, band members Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald caught the attention of Sublime singer Bradley Nowell, who signed them to his own Skunk Records label and released their first two CDs. But their success was really mom-powered.
“Me and Kyle’s dad and my mom and a few other people had seen Sublime play at Dream Street. This might have been ’93? I was 16. And, somehow, my mom got Brad and Miguel [Michael Happoldt, of Sublime] to come back to our house the next day. We started jamming. From there, they kind of took us under their wing and brought us into, like, the Skunk Records family, which was pretty rad.”
Their eponymous debut Slightly Stoopid (1996) was followed by the surf-inspired Longest Barrel Ride (1998); distribution of the albums was mainly limited to Southern California.
After a long run of live shows, Slightly Stoopid put out a live CD, Acoustic Roots: Live and Direct, recorded at San Diego’s Rock 105.3 studio and released on their own Stoopid Records. The band's album Everything You Need (2003) came out on Bradley Nowell's Skunk Records after the Sublime frontman died; it was later released on Encinitas' Surfdog label.
Over Thanksgiving 2005, the band recorded two sold-out shows at San Diego's House of Blues, later releasing Live in San Diego as their first live performance DVD. In 2006, Slightly Stoopid was ranked in Pollstar’s "Top 50 Touring Bands" for the first quarter of the year, playing venues with capacities averaging 1,500 to 3,000.
In summer 2007, the band co-headlined the Summer Haze Tour with G. Love & Special Sauce and Ozomatli. The tour reportedly sold out 4,000 – 8,500 seat amphitheatres across the country, including the Pacific Amphitheatre in Orange County, Red Rocks in Denver, and the Santa Barbara Bowl.
Slightly Stoopid's fifth studio album Chronchitis was released August 7, 2007, on their own label Stoopid Records. It debuted at #55 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, selling close to 12,000 copies. Additionally, it ranked as the #2 Independent Album and #15 in digital sales. This is the band's sixth independent release and first official release on their Stoopid Records/Controlled Substance Sound Labs label. It features guest artists Guru (Gang Star), Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Money Mark (Beastie Boys), and G. Love.
Over a year after its release, in September 2008, Chronchitis won Album of the Year at the San Diego Music Awards. The track "2am" from that album won Song Of the Year. In 2009, the band won Artist of the Year, an honor they picked up again at the September 2010 SDMA show.
Also in 2010, the band did a remix of their song “No Cocaine” (from the 2008 album Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid), featuring reggae star Capleton released November 2 on Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 3.
After forming their own Stoopid Records label, the band signed the Expendables (based in Santa Cruz), and Outlaw Nation (from Louisiana). Their tours have grown enough to include several tour buses, a barbecue, dirt bikes, skate boards, and motorcycles they take on the road with them.
The band’s yearly “420 At The Greek” show on April 20, 2011, kicked off the Greek Theater’s 80th anniversary season. Also on the bill: Bad Brains and Jamaican dancehall icon Barrington Levy. Early 2011 festival appearances included the Hangout Music Festival on May 20 in Gulf Shores, AL, and Hookahville in Thornville, OH, on May 29.
As of summer 2011, Doughty and his wife and two-year-old daughter still live in the O.B. area. “I have a song called ‘Nico’s’ — that’s my favorite breakfast spot and Mexican-food place. It’s on Newport Avenue. I pretty much grew up in that spot.” He laughs. “We’re lucky to still be in this dope little community, O.B. and Point Loma. Once you grow up here, you don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Their Seedless Summer 2011 Tour began July 21 at Big Sky Brewery in Missoula, MT, hitting San Diego’s Cricket Amphitheater on July 30 before wrapping up at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado on August 6. Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald spoke at the SF MusicTech Summit IX music and technology conference in San Francisco on September 12, alongside fellow local Karl Denson, with whom they also performed a pay-per-view concert with guest player Don Carlos of Black Uhuru.
Having finished construction on their new San Diego recording studio, they began recording and performing new songs into 2011 and 2012, sometimes accompanied by Karl Denson (Tiny Universe, Greyboy All-Stars), both live and in the studio.
Their 7th full-length Top of the World, released in late summer 2012, debuted at #13 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Songs from the eventual release Top of the World were debuted live in late 2011, during the webcast performance Slightly Stoopid & Friends Live At Roberto’s TRI Studios, recorded at Bob Weir’s studio. The broadcast included collaborations with Weir, Ivan and Ian Neville, Karl Denson, Don Carlos, and host Tommy Chong.
Their 7th full-length Top of the World was released in August 2012, on the band’s own Stoopid Records, with guests including Barrington Levy and Don Carlos of Black Uhuru, Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore, Karl Denson, G. Love, and Dumpstaphunk’s Ian Neville. A four-song sampler download contains a radio edit of the title track, plus album songs “Don’t Stop,” “Just Think” (featuring ex-Jurassic Five emcee Chali 2na), and “Pon Da Horizon.”
The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 13, Billboard’s Independent Albums chart at number 3, and the Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts at a peak position of number 4.
They appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 12, 2012. Around the same time, a new video was released for “Top of the World” starring Tommy Chong and Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) and they closed out the year and began 2013 on a western states tour featuring Karl Denson on most dates, beginning in New Mexico.
Celebrating marijuana’s newly legal status in Colorado, the band teamed up with Cypress Hill to stage Slightly Stoopid’s 420 Hot Box on April 20, 2013, at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. They followed up by playing Alabama's Hangout Music Fest (May 17 through 19), headlined by Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, and Kings of Leon.
In October 2013, the band won Best Music Video by a San Diego Artist (“Don't Stop”) at the San Diego Music Awards. The following year, they headlined Jungle Jam IV (January 16-19, 2014) in the jungles of Jaco, Costa Rica, with a bill that included G. Love & Friends, Dumpstaphunk, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the Expendables, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, and Max Creek.
They played the First Annual Blaze 'N' Glory Festival on May 15 and 16, 2015 in San Bernardino, alongside fellow locals like Pepper and others, including Rebelution, Iration, Method Man, Redman, Ice-T's Body Count, and more. Their summer 2015 album Meanwhile...Back at the Lab was preceded by a single called “The Prophet,” written by the band’s co-frontman/bassist/guitarist Miles Doughty when he was 16 years old.
“The Prophet” initially started as an early collaboration with the late Bradley Nowell of Sublime, while the group was signed to his Skunk Records. Nowell than recorded an early version of the song called “Ain’t No Prophet” which was released on Sublime’s posthumous Everything Under the Sun rarities box set. The composition came full circle for Slightly Stoopid during their Meanwhile...Back at the Lab studio sessions.
They headlined the second Closer to the Sun music fest (December 5 through 9, 2015) at Now Sapphire Resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, for a bill that also included SOJA, Iration, Pepper, Ozomatli, G. Love, Don Carlos, Karl Denson, and Ian Neville. They returned for the 2016 Closer To the Sun fest in Puerto Morelos, Mexico (December 14 –18), alongside Dirty Heads, Matisyahu, Tribal Seeds, and Stick Figure.
In early 2017, they reportedly pressed their single “Dabbington” onto a slab containing $6,000 worth of smokable hashish, to promote a brand of hash being marketed by Stoopid manager Jon Phillips. That summer, an animated video for “One Bright Day” debuted, featuring singer/songwriter Angela Hunte and comprised of animated stills procured from large canvas paintings donated by Hawaii-based artist and aspiring pro-surfer Danielle Zirk.
Their 9th studio album Everyday Life, Everyday People released in July 2018, features guests Ali Campbell (UB40), G. Love, Chali 2na (Jurassic 5), Don Carlos, Yellowman, Sly Dunbar (Sly and Robbie), and more. The first single “If You Want It” features Alborosie, with a followup single, “Higher Now,” featuring Chali 2na.
Their Closer to the Sun music festival ran November 30 through December 4, 2018 at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, with UB40, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Thievery Corporation, G. Love & Special Sauce, Pepper, Hirie, and more.
A video for “One More Night” released in summer 2019 collects vintage footage of the band over the last 20+ years, from early days with Bradley Nowell (Sublime), Snoop Dogg, Bob Weir, Sly and Robbie, Half Pint, and locals Karl Denson and Pepper. They followed up by touring with Matisyahu, Tribal Seeds, and HIRIE, and playing Germany's Summerjam Festival, before restarting a U.S. tour on July 11 in Bonner, MT and running through August.
Their Party at Fivepoint, staged October 12, 2019 in Irvine, included support from local reggae act Hirie, as well as the Interrupters and J Boog.
The band's Mexican Concert Vacation series Closer to the Sun ran December 5 through 9, 2019, at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, featuring fellow locals Stick Figure and Tribal Seeds, as well as Dirty Heads, SOJA, Stephen Marley, Toots & the Maytals, Fortunate Youth, and Don Carlos with the Soul Syndicate Band