Slightly Stoopid's Miles Doughty on playing at Red Rocks on 4/20 and couch-lock ganja
Next week, stoners across the Front Range will converge upon Red Rocks to celebrate 4/20. Two acts will be on hand to help raise a
toast roast commemorating the occasion, and you can hardly find a pair of more fitting acts, the hemp-hop icons of Cypress Hill and their SoCal-based punk rock, reggae funk counterparts in Slightly Stoopid. We recently linked up Stoopid frontman Miles Doughty with one of the city's more high profile connoisseurs, our very own marijuana critic William Breathes, for a chat about the event, playing with members of the Grateful Dead and what strains he's been smoking lately.
William Breathes: Hey Miles, thanks for taking some time on your few days off here to talk with me. How's things?
Miles Doughty: Good man, how are you doing, Will?
Irie. So you're on a break right now in the Spring tour. How was the first half of your tour gone?
Oh, man, the first pass was actually epic. Every night was sold out and we've been out on the road with this band Tribal Seeds -- another southern California band -- and honestly, the vibe has been great. The crowds have been awesome, and the energy levels have been off the chain. You know, you just have to make sure you rise to those levels and occasions.
A lot of musicians talk about that symbiotic nature between what the crowd puts out and what the band gives back.
Yeah, the crazier the crowd the more you can go nuts on stage. You can tell when they are feeling the energy.
You guys are the first show at Red Rocks for the season. You're playing with Cypress Hill, it's the Cannabis Cup and it's April 20th. Any extra pressure on you guys?
I don't really feel any extra pressure. Colorado is like our second home. That was one of the states we've toured the most in -- from when we were coming out until today. It's something that feels just like going home and playing. The fact that [marijuana] just got legalized in Colorado and Washington and having that big event, 4/20 with Cypress Hill, it just makes it that much more exciting. I don't think it's pressure at that point. More like, 'how much fun can we have.' You know? [laughs]
I think it's going to be a blast. This is the second time you guys have done an event around the High Times Cannabis Cup, right?
Yeah, I think that's right. We did the one in Amsterdam. And we should be able to make it down to the cannabis cup in Denver, too. It's going to be fun. What's nice is to be on our home turf now, and that everyone can have a good time, and nobody can really get in trouble, you know? It's going to be fun.
And that's the way it really should be. It's a harmless drug, as far as the propaganda they put out there of the negativity on it. Not only can the tax revenue help sustain a state's life support, it could be the revenue that the state needs. That way you don't have to cut the school teachers, the fire departments and the police departments.
It's crazy. They just did a quick mockup in California and they came up with -- on the low end -- something like two billion dollars. That was just on the low end. I mean, you're talking millions in tax dollars a year here. And then you walk into a school -- I work at a school here in San Diego, and I feel so bad seeing the cuts that have to be made, the teachers that have to be fired. They cut the music program at the school! It's like... Jesus, man... you know? They take arts away from these kids, and that's our future. It's sad.
People find the negatives and say, "Well, we'd be getting this money off marijuana." But I've been very productive with my whole life and used marijuana consistently. It's just a matter of your work ethic. They can't control it, so they can't profit off of it. That's why they try and condemn it and use the war on drugs to stop it.
So this is your seventh time at Red Rocks. I assume you like getting to play there as much as we all love seeing shows there?
I mean, the venue itself? Dude, it's one of the greatest outdoor venues in the world, if not the greatest. We have such a great relationship with them, and we've been playing there since 2001. I don't know -- it's just a special place. The way people from Colorado are, the way the venue is, the way the sound is -- sometimes it can be stormy and misty and rainy and moody; others, it's clear as can be with the moonlight... It's the kind of venue that puts you in awe every time you play there even if you've been on the stage before.
I saw that you recently [in February] released the DVD of your 2011 show with Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead at his studio. I know it was a few years back now, but what was that like for you all? You're a California guy, were you into the Dead growing up?
Well, honestly, it's another one of those situation where you're like: "Holy shit. This is incredible." I mean, we're doing a session with Bob Weir, Ian Neville, Don Carlos, Karl Denson... it's one of those things that, as a musician myself and as a fan of music, you're just not only humbled but sitting there like a kid in a candy store going "Woooooo!"
Obviously, any musician has to respect the Dead, in the touring world and musically. I remember a moment backstage in Bob Weir's dressing room practicing harmonies for "I Know You Rider" to figure out how we were going to sing it. I remember looking over while I'm playing and looking over at him thinking: "Holy shit, that's Bob Weir." It was really special. He had a great time.
So back to the cannabis thing, this is about the 4/20 show and all. What are you smoking on right now? Any strains in particular that have found themselves in your bong or joints?
I'm a fan of the regular OG Kush. Something about it always brings a smile to my face. We've also got this southern California strain I really like called the Wet Dream. [note: Wet Dream is a San Diego elite cut, likely a cross between Ocean Beach Haze and Blue Dream]. It's that type of bud that you just blaze all day. You know certain buds are just put-you-down buds, you know? Like, you get so high that I can't even get off the couch. Then there's some bud that you can function all day. Go surfing, go skating, get your jam on and still function.
Awesome. I'll keep my eye out for some of that Wet Dream. Alright man, I've kept you long enough. Anything else?
Nah, man. That's it. I'm just pumped to get out there and have a good time.
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