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Interview:
Slightly Stoopid goes bi-coastal on latest album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Its new album, "Meanwhile...Back at the Lab," was a bi-coastal experience for California alt.rockers Slightly Stoopid.

The reggae/rock/hip-hop blending duo of Kyle McDonald and Mike Doughty worked with collaborators from both the East (Jerry Wonda) and Southern California (Michael "Miguel" Happoldt, Marshall "Ras MG" Goodman). The set also features appearances by saxophonist Karl Denson, who McDonald and Doughty consider an unofficial member of the band, rapper Beardo and singer-songwriter Angela Hunte.

"On our last record (2012's 'Top of the World') we had all our friends on it. It should've been called 'Stoopid and Friends,'" McDonald, says by phone from his home in San Diego.. "When we make music our musical family is so big it's just nice to have all those people to work with. It gives us a lot of options.

"And some of them are people we've looked up to our whole lives, so to be able to work wtih them is one of the highest blessings biggest honors we can have. It's all there for you at your disposal. Once you start jamming with one person, you don't jsut seem them as so-and-so who plays music for this band or whatever. It's family, just kind of like a family vibe."

McDonald and Doughty made the album -- which came out in late June -- at several studios, but as the title suggest the bulk of the work was done at its own facility, a two-story loft space that doubles as a storage space for the band's equipment.

"It's kind of like a headquarters or clubhouse," McDonald explains. "We've had it for about five years now and did this record and the last one there. It's cool and it's very convenient, since all our stuff is there already."

"Meanwhile...Back at the Lab" has put Slightly Stoopid back in its real natural habitat, however -- on the road. The group is currently touring with good pals Dirty Heads, and it expects to be out well into 2016 -- with no complaints from either of the principals.

"That's just what we do," McDonald says. "In '96 we graduated (from high school) and got in a van and have just kind of been hitting it hard, so to speak, since. We put in our college on the road. We try not to be like, 'Oh, yeah, we've been doing this for 20 years now,' but when we think back to when we were kids with our little karaoke systems in our bedroom and the mad scientist set-ups with equipment and drums and guitars and here we are now, it's a trip.

"I would say half of it is luck and have of it is hard work. After so many years we just look back and say, 'Wow, this is amazing...'"

Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads and the Expendables

Friday, Sept. 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., on Friday, Sept. 4.

Tickets are $39.50 and $29.50.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.


Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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