Reggae fusion legends Slightly Stoopid have been laying down the feel-good vibes for more than 20 years. We recently got a chance to catch up with the band’s drummer Ryan Moran, AKA Rymo, and chat about their Return of the Red Eye Tour, which has reggae fans across the country ready to get irie.
TM: You’re hitting the road this summer on the Return of the Red Eye Tour, which kicks off in mid-June—what do you have planned for this tour?
Rymo: We are looking forward to bringing a high-energy show to our fans all over the US.
TM: SOJA, Zion I, The Grouch, Eligh, and Fortunate Youth are all joining you on tour for select dates. How do you select your opening acts and why do you love these acts in particular?
Rymo: We enjoy touring with acts that we like. We are fans of these bands and are looking forward to getting back out with them. We have done shows with most of these bands at one time or another and we know everybody gets along and shares a similar vibe.
TM: Are there any cities or venues you’re particularly excited to play?
Rymo: Red Rocks is always a highlight for us, but really any venue can be a standout on tour. It’s all about the energy exchange between the band and audience. Any time the crowd is going off, the potential for us to rise to the occasion is there.
TM: You just performed at Pot of Gold Music Festival in March. Who were your favorite bands to check out when you weren’t on stage yourself?
Rymo: We love festivals and always look forward to checking out other bands. The lineup was great for that festival and we’ve actually toured with the majority of the acts on the bill. Fishbone! I love the bone. Best live show of all time. 311, Reb(elution), Atmosphere always kill it…We have done some full summer tours with those acts also. Dirty Heads! We just did a full tour with them last summer. Super cool dudes, great musicians, they kill it live. Yeah, very fun lineup on this festival.
TM: Some fans might not know that you were originally signed by Sublime’s Bradley Nowell while the band was still in high school. Who were your biggest influences starting out and who influences you now?
Rymo: In the beginning (before my time), the band was super influenced by punk and ska bands. Operation Ivy, Pennywise, NOFX, Fishbone, RHCP (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Minor Threat, Sublime, LBDA (Long Beach Dub Allstars) and many more. Over the years other bands and musical genres have shaped our sound, including Yellowman, Barrington Levy, Bob Marley, Don Carlos, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, Inner Circle, Gladiators, Skatalites, Jackie Mittoo, and many, many more.
TM: Describe your strangest onstage moment.
Rymo: I saw a girl stage dive in New Jersey and not clear the barricade. She jumped from about 12 feet up and hesitated right before launching, and her knees landed on the barricade, but her body went beyond it. Luckily people caught her so she didn’t get too worked, but man! We all thought she had broken her knee caps. Moral of the story, DON’T STAGE DIVE, unless you know the crowd is going to catch you and you are going to clear the barricade.
TM: What was the first live event or concert you ever attended? Can you tell us a little about it?
Rymo: I saw The Who in 1989 doing their 25th anniversary tour. It was great. They killed it. I went through a big Who phase when I was young. They played all the cuts that night. A few months later I saw, Mötley Crüe on their Dr. Feelgood World Tour, with Faster Pussycat opening. All-time best: Tommy Lee! In my mind I was saying… “I wanna do THAT!!!”
TM: Can you share one picture with fans that’s on your phone right now?
Rymo: I just took a surf trip down to the Mentawai Islands, just off the coast of Indonesia. It was amazing. This is a shot from below that is a shark’s-eye view of a surfer. I’m hoping I never actually get bitten.
TM: Can you give us a link to a YouTube video that you like or that means a lot to you?
Rymo: This is “Life Rolls On”, one of my favorite tracks from the new album.
TM: Are there any future plans or upcoming projects you’d like to share with fans?
Rymo: Come see us on the Return of the Red Eye Summer Tour. We will be all over the US between June and September.