Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald have known one another since they were in diapers. It wasn’t long before they were playing music together and Sublime’s Bradley Nowell signed the childhood friends to Skunk Records while they were still in high school.
Their band, the reggae-influenced Slightly Stoopid, is now only a year and half away from a 20-year anniversary and stands as one of San Diego’s most successful musical exports. The Ocean Beach duo released their seventh studio album, Top of the World, last year and is currently back on another blockbuster summer tour.
“The formula we learned from Brad [Nowell] was to just get on the road,” Doughty recently told SoundDiego from the band’s new recording studio. "He said to us, ‘Don’t be scared to tour. Get on the road.’ So as soon as we finished school, we got in a van. And we’ve seen it all: We’ve played to no one but security, and we’ve played in front of 50,000 people.”
Making a stop at Chula Vista’s Sleep Train Amphitheatre on Saturday, Slightly Stoopid’s Kickin’ Up Dust Tour pairs them with the Minneapolis indie-rap duo Atmosphere, L.A.’s Grouch & Eligh and San Diego’s own Tribal Seeds.
Local stops are always special; Slightly Stoopid have embraced San Diego in many different ways since its inception: In addition to always naming Ocean Beach as the band’s home base, Slightly Stoopid’s first live recording came from an appearance at radio station Rock 105.3, and their 2003 breakout album, Everything You Need, was released by local label Surfdog Records. Doughty and McDonald are staunch Chargers fans, the band routinely brings acts from the region with them on the road and San Diego sax legend Karl Denson is a permanent fixture on their albums, as well as their touring band.
And for a group that has never had major radio airplay, never been signed to a major label, and still managed to play sold-out shows across the globe and tour alongside everyone from rap legends Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill and The Roots, to reggae legends Sly & Robbie, Toots & The Maytals and Don Carlos – Slightly Stoopid is truly one of San Diego’s greatest (and most unlikely) success stories.
“I’ve lived here all of my life,” said Doughty. “And honestly, I’ve been everywhere (else) many, many times. Although there are other nice places, to me, this is the greatest in the world.”