Slightly Stoopid is bringing a stellar lineup to Pier Six Pavilion this Thursday for the Legalize It Tour. Joining San Diego’s dopest and finest will be hip hop legends Cypress Hill; with Collie Budz rounding things out.
I caught up with Slightly Stoopid drummer Ryan Moran (aka RyMo) this evening to get an inside track on what Stoopid fans can look forward to.
Jeff Schad: Is Legalize It a revival of the last tour of Sublime with Brad, the High Times Benefit? Was that a motivation for this tour?
RyMo: I don’t think so. Miles and Kyle came up with the name a few months back. We were gearing the tour name towards the marijuana legalization movement in California. They were saying we should call it Legalize It, and Kyle has been using the vaporizer a lot, so it came up ‘yeah, hey let’s call it Legalize it.’ So I think it was really the California legalization movement behind naming the tour.
JS: Slightly Stoopid always lines up incredible acts to play with them on tours. How do you guys score such talented supporting acts?
RyMo: We have been pretty fortunate that we have had a consistently growing fan base for the last ten years that we’ve built by being on the road all the time. I think we’ve been able to get strong supporting acts by selling a lot of tickets. You know, a lot of top album selling bands can’t sell out a 300-500 person venue, whereas we may sell 100,000 or 200,000 albums but we can sell out a big venue. Also, we are on the road between 5-7 months a year, so I think a lot of acts, when they consider going on the road, they know we’re able to sell tickets, so that sells them on touring with us.
JS: There are lots of Pier 6 Pavilion pics on your Flickr page. How does that venue, and Baltimore in general rank among the cities you play?
RyMo: Honestly, we have been lucky, we have a consistent following in most cities now, so Baltimore is just like every other city where we have a good following. You know, it’s always nice to play the West Coast, our home, but the East Coast is great for us too. On the East Coast, Baltimore is right up there with Boston, New York, Philly, North Carolina and Florida. They are more or less even in terms of drawing. We like being there, having some good food and a good show, and it’s all good.
JS: You guys have been going at it nonstop for years. Where other bands take breaks or break up, you keep on keepin on. How do you keep things fresh and stay motivated?
RyMo: It’s a good question. We’re always doing something musical in terms of our own development and the band’s development. We do make some changes at the live show. We don’t always stick to our set list, we’ll throw in some improv, and that’s one way. We like to challenge ourselves instead of being inflexible in the creative process. We always try to play different tunes; we have some that we play every night, but then some that we play once every now and then. At times we’ll say “let’s not play this or beat it into the ground and keep [things] fresh.
JS: Some of your live shows are mostly jammy, others you play clear cut songs. What can fans expect in Baltimore this Thursday?
RyMo: A mixture of both. There’s always some spontaneity going on, we have some songs with open ended sections, but we’re going to approach [Thursday’s show] like any other with balance; with some jams, [lots of] spontaneity and some clear cut tunes.
JS: Can you give fans an idea of any upcoming new material, albums or collaborations?
RyMo: We’re looking to put something together for next spring. We just built a studio in San Diego, and we’ve been taking some time to do some writing and pre-production. There has been some really big collaborations, but I don’t want to let out who just yet. [We do have] a couple repeat offenders, but also some guys we haven’t done anything with yet. We have some reggae guys, some hip hop guys and some rock [artists]. We’re looking to get something going after this touring cycle, working on the next album. Up to now we’ve just been working on the pre-production thing, so we’re looking at spring of 2011 at the latest.
JS: Finally, how have the waves been out in San Diego? Have you gotten any water time?
RyMo: This spring was really fun, we had a lot of west, northwest, southwest and south swells; we definitely got some really fun days. Fortunately we haven’t done really long tours, we’ve mostly been flying out to do one-offs, so we’ve all had time to get out in the water. It depends on the schedule, obviously, but when were home I’ll usually be in the water 5-6 days a week.