Photos by Farsai
(Published in the July 2010 issue)
They’ve played packed shows in Japan and just wrapped up a sold-out European tour, but the members of reggae-punk band Slightly Stoopid will never forget their local roots.
Born and raised in Ocean Beach, founding members Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty started the band back in 1995 when they were 13. They signed their first record deal with Skunk Records (the famous underground label owned by the members of Sublime) while still attending Point Loma High School.
The band still calls San Diego home and has no plans of going anywhere anytime soon. “I’ll never leave here,” says singer Miles Doughty . “When you’re from here, you don’t leave. I’ve been everywhere in the world worth going to and I still think this is the greatest place to live.”
We sat down with Miles to hear about his band’s rise to stardom in his own words.
PacificSD: You’re on the road a lot. Are you ever actually home in San Diego?
Miles Doughty: Probably like a third of the year. We spend the rest of the year out on tour going all over the world. If you have two months off in a row you start to get antsy, you want to be out there playing as much as you can. It’s awesome to come home because we get to go surf, chill, hang out with our friends and see family. But we’re road dogs now.
What’s your favorite venue to play in San Diego?
Doughty: There are so many great spots around here. I really like the Belly Up in Solana Beach just because of the vibe. It’s one of the best small venues around because it’s more intimate and the sound is killer. It’s like being at a backyard party. Of course, anywhere we play in San Diego is great because of the hometown love.
Do you have any favorite local surf breaks?
Doughty: I’ve always been a fan of the OB jetty, except there’s a million people there now. We grew up surfing that spot when there was like four people and we’d have it to ourselves for hours.
You guys have always surrounded yourselves with a lot of great musicians. Who have been some of your favorites to work with?
Doughty: Honestly, I’ve liked working with all of them. We’ve gotten to tour with some really cool people, like the Dave Matthews Band, Sublime, Pennywise, all the Marley Brothers, Snoop [Dogg], and this summer we’ll be touring with Cypress Hill.
Do you think being signed to a deal having that much support early on helped you be a successful band?
Miles: We did an independent deal with Skunk Records, and what was cool was that the Skunk name was out there because of Sublime and the Ziggens. So people would come out to the shows just because a Skunk Records band was playing but they wouldn’t even know anything about us. We were already a local band in San Diego playing Soma and backyard parties, wherever we could get a gig really. But Brad and Miguel (of Sublime) found out about us and took us under their wing and explained to us what it takes to be successful.But a lot of people have this notion of what it means to be signed to a record deal, but we didn’t have a major label buying us air-time or making music videos for us. At that point there was no ‘making it’, having a record deal was just a starting point. We were still playing shows were there were only like ten people there.
Is there anything outside of the band that you want to get involved with one day?
Miles: I already do take off some time every year from November to February to coach the wrestling team at Point Loma High. We do a lot of stuff like that, a lot of benefits and charities around town. I think it’s really important to help the people around you. But I plan on playing in this band my whole life, there’s not really a second life that I have planned out this one’s already crazy enough.
When you were first starting out, did you think playing in a band was going to be your career?
Doughty: We’d always dreamed of it as kids, but nobody ever expects it to become a reality. We were just another high school punk-rock band like so many others, playing parties for our homies. We didn’t know it would work out like this, but even before we knew how to play the guitar, me and Kyle wanted to be in a band. If you tried to script the perfect life, I don’t think there’s really much more that we could ask for.
Slightly Stoopid performs July 17 at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre with Cypress Hill and Collie Buddz as part of the Cauzin’ Vapors Tour.