INTERVIEW: Ryan Moran of Slightly Stoopid
Slightly Stoopid have made their way to Summerfest several times within the past few years, and are known to be an entertaining live show at the festival. The band is releasing a new album, “Everyday Life, Everyday People” on July 13th, and will be playing the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse a little over a week prior the album release. We caught up with Ryan Moran, aka RyMo, to talk about the new record, touring, Summerfest and more. Check it out here:
B&E: You’re coming to Milwaukee in support of your new album. How did the material for this record come about?
RyMo: Typically it comes over time. We get together and we go over things, and we sort of build it out piece by piece. The collaborations usually happen later, when we have some stuff in place, and we can say to someone “hey, check this out”, a vocal or whatever. We have our own studio in Mission Valley, in San Diego, and so we have all of our gear set up 24/7. Any time that we are off the road, we’re down there working on stuff. Sometimes it’s one or two of us, sometimes it’s the whole band. So there’s a whole bunch of ways that we collaborate. Typically someone has an idea or a riff, then we throw down some drums, and some bass, and then guitar and keyboards, and that’s the beginnings of the tracks and we work from there.
B&E: You guys get a lot of featured artists. Is collaborating always part of the plan for an album, or does it come about naturally?
RyMo: I don’t know if it’s as much part of the plan, as much as it’s that we like to incorporate the inspiration of other artists. We’re super fortunate after being on the road so much that we know a ton of artists or musicians that we’ve worked with or are inspired by, or toured with. So we try to reach out and be like “hey would you like to do something on this”. We have that dialog with a ton of bands, and we try to pick the four or five that we like best, and those make the cut.
B&E: Who is your favorite collaboration on this album?
RyMo: Well, that’s hard to say. All of the artists on the record I’m a fan of. Ali Campbell of UB40 of course. G. Love, we’ve been working with him for years, he’s a dear friend to us. Sly and Robbie, we’ve been friends with and toured with. Charli 2na from Jurassic 5 was probably my favorite, just because I was there when they were there putting everything together. Some things now are easier to do long distance, like I haven’t met Ali Campbell, but Kyle and him have a good friendship and they emailed the tracks back and forth.
But as far as being involved in the process, Charli came down to Sound City Studios where we were recording. Oddly enough it was the day that Tom Petty passed away, and we were in the studio that he had recorded some of his best stuff. There’s a documentary that Dave Grohl did about the studio. It’s kind of like a who’s who that have been there; Fleetwood Mac, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded there. So we had gotten there and we were loading in, and Charli came down and just killed it on his collaboration. We were hanging out with him all day. Super fun.
B&E: That’s awesome. He’s got my favorite rap voice of all time.
RyMo: Yeah totally. He crushed it.
B&E: What do you prefer, getting to work in your studio or playing live?
RyMo: Oh, shows by far. I mean, I love being in the studio, because it’s peaceful and it’s relaxed typically, and there’s usually no rules. Some days you’ll get in and you’ll be really productive, and other days you hang out and you have a beer and talk story for most of the day and record a part or two. There’s less pressure, because we own our own recording studio, but the live thing is really where all of us want to be. Being in front of people, playing shows is really how we’ve made our living over the years, we just enjoy the experience of being in front of an audience. We take chances live, and sometimes we pull it off, and sometimes it gets a little weird (laughs). But that’s what live shows are all about for us.
B&E: You’ve played Milwaukee a few times. Do you ever get out to see the city?
RyMo: Yeah we’ve had a few shows in Milwaukee. For many years, we would play The Rave, almost exclusively. The hard part is, it depends on the weather, but typically it’s like hotel, venue, bus. But being at Summerfest a handful of times now, we’ve really had a nice experience on that side of town, getting out, and taking some runs around the city or riding bikes or whatever. It’s a really nice place, I really enjoy it.
B&E: We love a good tour story. What’s is the craziest thing to happen to Slightly Stoopid on the road?
RyMo: Man there’s too many to list. We’ve had a lot of crazy stuff happen to us just because of the amount we’ve traveled in the last 20 years. The ones that always stick in my mind are like crazy experiences, like close calls on the road or shitty flights or something. Those are always, for not the best reasons, memorable. Like “God, that was fucking nuts, we almost died on the airplane”. Some of my best memories are collaborating with people though. Like, playing with Snoop, or having Stephen Marley come up and collaborate with us, or getting Charli 2na up on stage. Those are my favorites, because you get a natural high from it. Like you have the crowd, and you probably have a couple of beers, so you’re already kind of buzzed from that energy. But having some of those A-list artists play with us are some of my favorites for sure.
B&E: Lastly, Milwaukee is a beer city. What’s your beer of choice?
RyMo: You know, everyone’s got their own flavor sort of. I was on a stout / porter phase for a while. I’m kind of back to more lagers now. Something that’s not too sweet, maybe with some bite. Not too hoppy, though. I’m not that big of a hopps guy. But we kind of run the gamut in the band. There’s a few guys that like IPAs in the band. Some guys like more of the green bottle, lager-y type drinks. Typically, for the summer tours, when it’s hot out, I like a nice, easy drinking light beer, with a good kick. But if it’s cold I’ll have a bourbon or something like that.
You can catch Slightly Stoopid at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse on Thursday, July 5th at 9:45 PM.