Sublime discovering Slightly Stoopid as teenagers in the mid-90’s is the script inspirational movies are made of. The way Stoopid continues to pay homage to their early mentors and long time collaborators makes for a great second act to such a script as Slightly Stoopid’s Miles Doughty dishes to The Pier.
Sublime’s late front-man, Brad Nowell, discovered Slightly Stoopid before his untimely passing in 1996. What you may not know is exactly how Brad came to discover Slightly Stoopid’s Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald.
In a previous interview with Sublime’s Miguel Happoldt, he tells The Pier: “We were homeless and Brad had a real bad drug problem. Miles’ mom was a nurse and her boyfriend at the time was a doctor and they were interested in getting him off drugs. And so Brad lived with them. Then Brad woke up one day, heard this crazy shit going on in the garage and went out there and he was like: ‘You guys got a band?’ And the rest is history.”
[Related: Interview – Miguel Happoldt (Part 2 of 2)]
And by history, Miguel is alluding to Slightly Stoopid’s 9 Studio albums, a game-changing acoustic record, not to mention headlining music festivals around their massive nationwide tours with the ever present Stoopidheads movement. But Miguel and Brad were involved and hands on from the very beginning. Even Opie Ortiz, who designed the infamous Sublime sun, would draw the cover of their very first record, Slightly $Toopid, and did the whole layout at Kinkos! That first album was produced by Miguel Happoldt and featured a hidden track with Brad Nowell on bass, playing with Miles on the song, “Prophet.”
“‘Producing’ would be a real slanderous term for what I did,” Miguel tells The Pier. “I set up 4 mic’s on the drums and put it on 8 track. ‘Captured it and recorded it’ would be more akin to what happened. The second record, ‘Longest Barrel Ride,’ was produced with the great Eddie Ashworth, who was a house engineer at this great studio called, Total Access. Me and him kind of did that side by side. Stoopid has never stopped impressing me.”
Miguel continues to work with Stoopid having produced their hit song “2AM” as well as being a part of the production for their most recent record, Everyday Life, Everyday People. When Brad first discovered them, “They didn’t even play reggae,” Miguel says. “I mean they could play it, they liked it, but they just played hardcore punk. They were hardcore man, they were like Minor Threat and the first song I did with them I was completely impressed.”
Everything we know about Brad Nowell tells us he had exceptional taste in music with a sensational knack for discovering talent. And how graciously compassionate of Miles’ mom to help Brad and allow him into their home to recover. The bond that was formed there was enough to ignite a musical legacy that started with Sublime and has continued ever since with Slightly Stoopid. Without these two groups, it can be argued that most of what we enjoy now in reggae-rock wouldn’t exist. We may be able to trace much of today’s success for this genre back to the day Miles’ mom opened their home to Brad.
Miles tells The Pier: “We pay our respects to Brad by touring the way that he told us to tour, recording the way that he told us to record back when we were kids. Sublime took us under their wing. They basically said you need to get your ass on the road and tour as much as you can. It don’t matter if there’s just a bartender there or a security guard. Just keep grinding, grinding and grinding and it’ll pay off cause you’re going to build that grassroots style of fans, and they were right! That’s what we did and that’s all we’ve ever done. We tribute that to Sublime, so its cool.”
To this day, Slightly Stoopid has yet to officially release or perform a song covering Sublime. We’ve heard Slightly Stoopid cover everyone from John Denver to Wyclef Jean to Bruce Springsteen to as recently as the late Tom Petty. But as for Sublime? Miles shares: “We were actually working on a song for this new record, but we just didn’t finish it so I think maybe we’ll do something in the future… We grew up such big fans, I remember going on surf trips to K-38 in Mexico when there was cassette tapes of ’40oz to Freedom.’ They’ve always been special to us and meant so much to Slightly Stoopid. There will probably be something in the future.”
We happen to know of at-least one Sublime song that Stoopid has tracked and covered that is stored on a hard-drive somewhere with “Slow Ride,” but of course it has yet to be released. “[Haha] Ahhh yeah, there is a cover of that one on there for sure and a few others,” Miles confirms. “I don’t want to name them all out there just in case we start using them.”
Miles indicated that if and when they decide to release a cover of Sublime, they want it to be special. They’re known for their tribute covers and I imagine fans would absolutely lose their minds to see and hear Slightly Stoopid cover Sublime. In the meantime, we’re loving each release and tour we get to see Slightly Stoopid announce. Knowing that it comes from a place of depth in their tribute to Sublime makes it all the more special.
You can pick up Stoopid’s latest album Everyday Life, Everyday People by clicking HERE!
Watch: Slightly Stoopid – “The Prophet”
Watch: Sublime – “Slow Ride”