BLANK NEWSPAPER &
Slightly Stoopid has long been touring across the globe, producing albums, and playing with some of the biggest names in modern reggae music. Only a week into their spring tour, the band performed at The Valarium for a crowd of almost 1000, playing their high-energy style throughout new and classic songs. I had a chance to speak with drummer Rymo by phone on the eve of their annual 4/20 show at The Greek and the beginning of the new tour.
Q: How has the break from touring been and are you prepared to start back up?
A: We’ve been home the last 3 weeks, which is long for us, as we are normally on the road pretty consistently. We’ve just been at home, working on the new album. Tomorrow’s 4/20 show with Bad Brains and Barrington Levy kicks off the new tour and we are excited to make our way to you guys in Knoxville.
Q: How has recording the new album been going? When can we expect a song or album release?
A: It’s been going really well. We’ve been taking our time. Last year we had the opportunity to get a studio of our own, and we’ve been building up and customizing that as we’ve gone along. It’s been a killer process. We’ve got to take our time, work on music and not worry about money. It’s a new step for us in terms of the recording process, and I think it’s going to really pay off. The music we’ve been working on has sounded more developed and planned, and we are really excited to get it done and out.
Q: How do you think that process will that make the album different or standout?
A: A lot of times we would have tunes already done (whether we wrote them on the road or whatever) and ready to record. We would go into the studio and just cut them down real quick. With our new facility, we can record stuff, then listen to it, discuss it, work on it it, etc. I think it ends up being a better end result.
Q: Will you be playing some new tunes on this road trip?
A: We are definitely mixing a handful of brand new material that no one has heard. We’ve kind of always done that in the past when we’ve been between albums. We are always tinkering with new ideas and working on new material. So we like to play music no one’s ever heard, along with the staples we play every night.
Q: You are touring throughout the spring and summer playing numerous venues and festivals, including Hangout Music Festival. How do you compare playing indoors and playing festivals?
A: At festivals, you get that perk of getting to hang out, play your show, and walk around to check out other artists or musicians that you’ve heard of, or you’ve never seen and want to. We get to see our friends who are also out on the road, which is a lot of fun too. It’s going to be really fun out at Hangout this year.
Playing live venues is great too. It’s just a different vibe. Your more playing for fans, where as at a festival, you have a chance to make new fans. Venues are also great as we have more time to set up and get our production together. They both have their pros and cons, but their both great.
Q: Is there any artist or musician that you would want to create music with, tour with, or just talk to that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
A: I would love to do some shows with Rancid. We grew up on all that punk rock stuff like Rancid and Operation Ivy. To be able to do a show with those guys, meet them, talk to them, would be great. We are open to working and touring with anyone as long as their cool people. We like touring with guys that are great musicians, but it’s equally important they are good, fun people.
Q: What does Stoopid Records mean to you personally, and what are the goals of that label?
A: We’ve been working on Stoopid Records for the past 4 or 5 years. We were fortunate enough early on to have bands like Sublime help us get started way back in the day around 1995 and 96. Now that we are able to extend a hand and lift up other artists that we really like, we want to do that. We’ve got a few bands, such as The Expendables, who have now put out two albums under that label.
Q: Slightly Stoopid has a very diverse sound and obviously draws from multiple genres of music. What would you describe the band’s sound as?
A: Reggae, rock, funk, punk. I think that’s pretty close. We try to pull from all of those elements and far beyond into hip-hop, ska and other influences.
Q: What can we expect from Slightly Stoopid in the future?
A: Slightly Stoopid is just going to keep on keeping on. We’re going to keep making music we want to make and maintain our own decision-making process in terms of recording and the business stuff too. Our shows will continue to be wild, high energy, and a lot of fun.