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Slightly Stoopid playing solstice show at Moose's Tooth

Matt Sullivan
Jeff Farsai

When you name your band Slightly Stoopid, you probably need to deliver in other areas. To that end, the Southern California band dabbles in as many areas as possible, blending ska, punk, reggae, folk, blues, funk and hip-hop into a seven-layer burrito of genres.

The group also maintains a relentless tour schedule, and given that the band is playing its second Anchorage show in a few years, Alaska might become a regular fixture on that schedule.

"The last time we came, that was most of our first times there to Alaska," drummer Ryan "RyMo" Moran explained over the phone as the band geared up to travel to Tennessee for the Bonnaroo festival. "We hung out in town for a couple days and got to meet and hang out with some locals. We had a good time."

Slightly Stoopid's first big break came when Sublime's Bradley Nowell signed the band to his own Skunk Records imprint. The band's first two records didn't deviate far from the early songs of its benefactor's band. When Moran joined the group for 2005's "Closer to the Sun," the range of influences widened.

"We're all a bunch of music nerds, really," offered the drummer. "Over the years all of our listening has broadened considerably, to the point where we listen to jazz; we listen to classical; we listen to rock, Afrobeat, everything in between."

The band members' growth as listeners has guided Slightly Stoopid's progression.

"Naturally, that music goes in our ears and then comes back out as us emulating those styles and the styles that we enjoy," said Moran. "We try to recreate as all musicians really do. You hear something cool that inspires you, and you're like, 'I want to try that.'"

The band's last studio album was 2012's "Top of the World," but Moran said that work is well underway on the eighth Slightly Stoopid record.

"We started working on some stuff at the end of last year into the early part of this year, and we've been so busy traveling and doing shows that we haven't really had a chance to get back to it," he explained. A release date is tentatively set for the later half of this year or early 2015.

And given the variety of styles the band covers, Slightly Stoopid collaborated with a wide range of artists on the last record, from G. Love to Jurassic 5's Chali 2na to Fishbone's Angelo Moore. As for dream collaborators, Moran is quick to mention Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. "I'd love to work with Dave Grohl. We're huge fans of Nirvana, of course, and Foo Fighters. We've got a good list of bands we're inspired by that we'd like to collaborate with," he added.

What new style would he like to see the band move into? "I love the funky stuff and the kind of Afro-pop, Afrobeat vibe, so I'd like to keep pushing that direction a little more," he said.

"When we start trying to write in another style, it's not like we go, 'OK, we need this sax to sound like this,' or 'Let's make this sound exactly like this band.' We just listen to it and go, 'Oh, that's cool. Now let's do it our way.'"

 


By Matt Sullivan
Daily News correspondent