It may have been nearly four years since the release of Slightly Stoopid's last studio effort (2008's Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid), but the group has not been sitting idle, keeping up their jam-packed touring schedule during that time. Soon the wait will be over for their next studio offering, as Top of the World will drop on August 14th, on their own label, Stoopid Records.
"The main thing between albums was more based on our touring schedule," singer and multi-instrumentalist Miles Doughty tells Rolling Stone. "And also, we started families – me and Kyle [McDonald, the group's other singer/multi-instrumentalist] both have kids. And we started our own studio in San Diego, which took us a couple of years to really get up and going.
"What was nice about that was we were able to take our time and make the music that we wanted to make, and really dissect the songs. We put 21 tracks on the record, so we had plenty of music to pick from. I think it's going to be a nice treat for the fans."
Fans will be treated to plenty of guest appearances on Top of the World, as one-third of the album features drop-ins by the likes of G. Love, Fishbone's Angelo Moore and Don Carlos, among others. "One of my favorites is Don Carlos," says Doughty. "I've been listening to Don Carlos my whole life. So it's really a treat to not only be sharing the stage with him, but also the recording process. He's just one of those guys that can almost be like your grandfather – he has so much to teach you. You hear him speak, everyone in the room just shuts their mouth and listens. He's got that energy, vibe and knowledge."
Listening back, Doughty can chart the band's musical progress on their latest. "With this new album, it's more growth from the band. I think as you play together over the years, you almost know what each other are going to do. You can jam anything, and anybody can sit in and play."
And it turns out that the album's title track is a personal favorite of Doughty's. "Me and Kyle co-wrote the song together, and it was really cool to be singing on the same track, kicking back verses together. We've been friends and musicians for so long, it's fun for us. I like the songs when me and Kyle are collaborating and singing. I think it really brings out the most in the Stoopid tracks. I'm also happy with the cover of 'I'm on Fire' by Bruce Springsteen. I was really stoked with the way it turned out. Lyrically, it's one of the greatest songs ever written, and just the vibe."
For fans who can't wait until the album's official release date, the group will be offering a sneak peek of new material during nearly two months worth of dates playing alongside 311 on the Unity Tour, which is underway. "We're going to be playing a lot of the songs from the new record, plus a lot of the songs from all the other stuff. What's cool is just joining forces with 311 really opens the window to so many different fanbases at the shows. Because we have the Stoopid fans, and now we have the 311 fans. Together, it's basically going to be the biggest backyard barbecue you've ever seen."
And if your summer schedule doesn't jibe with Slightly Stoopid's summer tour dates, you're bound to have another chance to catch the band live. "We'll be headlining again in the fall and the winter, and then even going into spring and summer of next year. And going overseas as well. We plan on staying on the road, as always."
Top of the World track listing:
"Top of the World"
"Way You Move"
"Ur Love" (featuring Barrington Levy)
"We Don't Wanna Go"
"Ska Diddy" (featuring Angelo Moore)
"Just Thinking" (featuring Chali 2na)
"Deal With Rhythm"
"Pon Da Horizon"
"Mona June" (featuring Angela)
"Hiphoppablues" (featuring G. Love)
"Underneath the Pressure"
"Marijuana" (featuring Don Carlos)
"I'm on Fire"
"Intro to Organics" (featuring Dan Papaila)