Slightly Stoopid is well-loved by fans for a laid-back vibe, not for stupidity. However, if one were to think about it -- or maybe overthink about it -- a line can be drawn between the two. No one is immune from stupidity. To truly be laid-back is to be laid-back in the presence of stupidity, because you're not going to get rid of it, and trying to eradicate stupidity from the world is not a very laid-back thing to do.
Anyhow, this year's Stoopid party draws near -- the band plays Sunset Cove in Boca on August 20 along with fellow chillers Rebelution, Shwayze, and Cisco Adler -- so we got drummer RyMo (AKA Ryan Moran) on the phone and chatted him up with some big questions about stupidity and his attitude toward it. And we also rapped a bit about pot.
County Grind: Hey, is this RyMo?
Ryan Moran: Yeah, who is this?
It's TraNew. I've got some long, weird questions.
All right, let's bang this shit out.
OK. In my view, being stupid is as big a part of being human as is being intelligent. Whether we like it or not, stupidity is part of the deal. And it seems that part of the wise approach to being human is to have a sense of humor about our stupidity. Do you have any thoughts on that?
I mean, I think you nailed it. Life's short. We're not here for very long, so, make the most of it. Do your best to make wise decisions, but laugh at yourself when you make foolish ones. You nailed it.
At first, I didn't like the name of your band. But now I do because of what was covered in the last question. It seems that all people are, indeed, slightly stupid, and your band owns that shit rather than trying to shy away from it. Have you found that calling yourselves 'Stoopid' has been liberating in a sense, or ever limiting, or both, or neither?
No, I mean, I don't really dwell on it that much, man. I mean, it's just a band name. It's not like our credo or anything like that. People that know us know that we're just regular dudes. And the name that came up, that was coming up on 15, 20 years ago. You picture a bunch of kids sitting around in a room throwing band names around and that was the one that everyone laughed at, so that was the band name. I don't really analyze the name and try to philosophize about it. It's funny, it is what it is, people like it, and those who don't, like, we don't care. So it doesn't matter, you know?
Do you think there are some bands that do not embrace stupidity enough? Another way of saying that would be to say that they take themselves too seriously.
I mean, yeah, I guess. I don't really, like, trip on the word "stupid." I don't know how that really pertains to the band. I mean, it's just our band name, you know?
Well, I was asking there about attitudes that bands in general seem to have in their approach to their art. For instance, I think that Bono could benefit by being a little bit more like Bozo. What do you think?
Yeah, of course. We take the music seriously, but we're just livin'. We don't take this shit so seriously. I mean, what you see is what you get with this band. See us before the show, we look the same as when you see us after the show. We don't put eyeliner on; we don't put on spiked heels and red leather pants. We're jeans-and-T-shirt kind of guys. That's how we are before, during, and after the show.
Your band is very public about your enthusiasm for pot smoking. In our culture, pot smoking has often been associated with stupidity. There is the "stupid stoner" stereotype. How do you feel about that association?
Don't really care. If people haven't seen the band and don't know what the band is about, they come to realize the depth in their own way. We're not trying to change the stereotype. Those stereotypes existed before us, they're going to exist after us, and maybe to a point we do embrace that. We just laugh at it. It's a joke, you know?
Do you feel like the popular attitude toward the ganja is shifting, opening up a bit?
Yeah, I mean we're not living in the stone ages anymore. People realize that there are medicinal values to weed and you can't lump weed in with heroin, crack, and cocaine and other drugs that kill people. You simply cannot do that. So yeah, I think that the stereotypes are changing, and, day in and day out, office people all the way down to people who don't have jobs, a lot of people enjoy smoking a little weed in every walk of life. Any kind of human being can enjoy relaxation and enjoying a nice vibe for a couple of hours. Kinda, press the reset button, so to speak. You know? Nothing wrong with that.
Seems like being as vocal about it as you are and talking about it like it's a natural thing is an action that helps to change the public perception. Is there any ever paranoia, though? Any fear of backlash for being so outspoken?
No. None whatsoever.
The cops seem to chase around Willie Nelson's tour bus and hassle him. Do you ever get any of that?
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We've had some runins, but we're not changing the way we are; we're not changing what we do. Sowe're not paranoid about it. We try to be smart. We don't purposely put ourselves in jeopardy. But no, there's no paranoia. That's just the way we live. That's what people like about the band.
Slightly Stoopid. With Rebelution, Shwayne, and Cisco Adler. 7 p.m. Saturday, August 20, at Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 12551 Glades Road, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $32.50. Click here.