You Won't Catch Slightly Stoopid With Cottonmouth Anytime Soon
No, I'm not fucking with you. Those lessons exist, and are yours for the taking. Slightly Stoopid, with their mellow reggae-punk stoner roots, might have drum lesson-ed their way into becoming the most fan-friendly band out there.
From easily accessible free downloads to those badass live drum lessons -- conducted via Skype -- these guys are dead-set on making sure their fans feel connected, despite the distance between them.
In anticipation of Friday's Houston show at House of Blues, Rocks Off spoke with Ryan Moran, or RyMo, as he's known within the band, to wax poetic about cookouts, Cypress Hill, and just how the hell these drum lessons came to be.
"You know, I taught lessons for years," Moran says. "I studied music in college and have a degree in music. I've had tons of teachers over the years, and I respect what they taught me and want to pass it on."
The lessons, he continues, have "been a way to embrace the fans collectively, and interact with them when you're nowhere close to where they are. If someone's interested in learning, there's a way now to get to us directly and for me to transfer what I can offer to the student."
Moran is quick to point out how important social media has been to keeping up Stoopid's longevity -- connecting with the fans has been how the band has survived at a time when the music industry's climate is changing.
"Record labels are shrinking, record stores are shrinking, and yet everything is going towards social and online media -- everything's closing and something's happening," he says.
"Anyone who thought social media and connecting with the fans wasn't relevant is dealing with that choice now," adds Moran. "I think we've always embraced it and all those avenues.
The San Diego-based band has made it a point over the years to keep a level playing field, and stay accessible to the folks who support their music. Sometimes that even means giving their music away for free.
"We're not major multi-multimillion-copy-selling artists, so for us it's always been about touring and live shows," says Moran. "You can stream our music and if you do that, you might go download it and maybe come to our shows."
And oh, how notorious those Stoopid shows are.
As well-publicized supporters of medical and recreational cannabis use, the guys from Slightly Stoopid have always proudly displayed their stoner badges of honor, dubbing tours with names like "Legalize It" and "Blazed and Confused." It has created a kicked-back culture at shows that encourages the (gasp) taping and sharing of the fans' concert experience.
With an upcoming tour that touches down in Houston tomorrow and (of course) Colorado at the Hot Box Concert with Cypress Hill on 4/20, the band will be sharing plenty of that pro-cannabis attitude. Don't expect them to punk out over a little thing like cottonmouth, though.
"We've been dealing with that for years," Moran laughs. "We're pros at this point."