the return of the cypress hill smokeout

October 11, 2010
Back in 1998, in an effort to celebrate the release of their fourth disc, Cypress Hill decided to turn their own record release party into an all day, outdoor festival with some of their favorite rap and rock artists and djs. Thus was born, The Cypress Hill Smokeout, an all day “mind opening experience” with a diverse mix of artists and a ton of resources and workshops centered on the joy and functionality of marijuana. On October 16th The Cypress Hill Smokeout finds its way back to San Bernardino California with possibly it’s most eclectic line up in years. The veteran rap group will perform their debut, ground breaking disc in it’s entirety and the masses will also get a chance to sample a wide variety of sounds including international (Manu Chao, Maldita Vecindad), indie rock and hip-hop (MGMT, Atmosphere) 80’s and 90’s heavy rock (Living Colour, Incubus) and even some reggae (Damien Marley w/ Nas, Slightly Stoopid, Collie Buddz). During the festival there will be panel discussions, informal talks and a plethora of information regarding the many uses of cannabis. The festival may have special significance this year, as California heads towards an election that could see the legalization of the aforementioned herb, in November.

The Return of The Cypress Hill Smokeout
Words David Carr

Before the fire gets lit on this year’s Smokeout, I had the chance to chat with two of the artists who will be hitting the stages at the festival. Slightly Stoopid’s Ryan “RyMo” Moran, and Living Colour’s Corey Glover got a chance to wax poetic on the all day “mind opening festival”, the legalization of marijuana and how they both intend to keep the party alive and smokin’ when they take the stage.

It’s a Family Affair with Slightly Stoopid

Reggae/Punkers Slightly Stoopid just wrapped a successful summer tour with Cypress Hill. How will they celebrate? By getting together with Cypress Hill again, to play the rap group’s Smokeout festival. Drummer Ryan “RyMo” Moran is gearing up to hit the main stage at the festival and he let me know how the “Stoopids” keep the party going and keep it “family” all summer long.

Ryan how did your summer tour go with Cypress Hill and how did you guys
get on the Smokeout bill?

The tour with Cypress was great! We actually met the guys in Cypress Hill earlier in the year before we started planning the tour. Once we got them on the bill and the tour began, it was a blast. We barbecued every night with them after every show. Whenever we go into planning a tour we go into it with a family approach in mind. We want to be able to hang out with and get along with whoever we are on the road with, and it worked out well with all the guys in Cypress. Half-way through the tour, B-Real basically said he was having a lot of fun with us and then we started talking about being
on the Smokeout festival.

Are there any bands in particular you want to see?

Incubus was a huge band for me back in the day and I never got to see them live! I am really looking forward to seeing and hopefully meeting them. Living Colour was also a really big influence for me so it will be great to see them too!

2010 Smokeout lineup

Now part of the Smokeout is of course, the educational discourse that goes on with regards to legalizing marijuana. I may already know the answer to this question but I’ll ask it anyway. Are you hoping to see the legalization of marijuana in California?
We are 100% hoping for the legalization of marijuana this November. I guess it’s no secret that we are recreational users, but we also want to see it legalized for folks who use it for medicinal purposes. When we were on tour in Detroit, we met this fan who had cancer. This guy had tried everything to alleviate his pain. The only thing that worked was marijuana. Also, the taxation of it could possibly help the economy in California. We are definitely hoping this happens.

It really seems like on your big summer tours, the goal is to create a family vibe and a party vibe with who you tour with. Is that the case?
Yeah, definitely! We really try to pick bands whose music we are into and who we think we will have a good time with on the road. I mean when you are on the road you are all in it together. You are all missing your family and friends so the goal is to have a great time and a good vibe while being on tour.

You have been able to play massive amphitheaters and tour with Snoop Dogg, Bad Brains, Fishbone and Cypress Hill. How have you been able to do this without being on American Idol or Dancing with the Stars?
HA! We have done it on our own two feet! It’s all about relentlessly touring! We have been touring non-stop for fifteen years. We have made it this far because we have put our blood, sweat and tears into this. We started out playing small clubs, college towns, ski towns…we played with other like minded acts. We got to open for bands we really admired and respected. We tried to model ourselves after other acts that had the same type of underground vibe; groups like The Dave Mathews Band or The Grateful Dead grew their audiences by word of mouth and touring. We made sure we were on the road 180-200 days a year. We used to play six nights a week with one night off. The internet has also been a huge help. Basically we have been able to do this and keep it going by making sure we play good shows.

You say you modeled yourselves after a few bands but with your success, is it safe to say Slightly Stoopid has become the model?
In a way you are right. We have become the model. A lot of folks are starting to take notice. A lot of bands are starting to do their thing the way we do it. A few years ago radio wouldn’t deal with us and now we are starting to get some descent radio airplay.

The band has its own record label. Are you working with any acts who share your DIY attitude?
We are working with The Expendables and The Agrgolites. Both bands have discs coming out soon on our label. We are always looking for bands to work with that have our same road dog mentality.

With the amount of touring the band does, is it tough to be away from family and friends for so long?

Actually, this winter we are looking forward to taking a break. A couple of the guys in the band are married and have had kids. We are gonna finally have some downtime this winter and focus on family for a while.

It has been a while since there has been new Slightly Stoopid music. Will the band be hitting the studio anytime soon?

Absolutely! Our last disc “Chronchitis” came out about three years ago. Like I said, this winter we will take some time off but early next year the goal will be to hit the studio to record a new disc, in order to get back out on the road next summer.

Be sure to check out The Cypress Hill Smokeout October 16th at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino. You can also check out the Lift Off (Pre-Smokeout show) On October 15th at the Pozo Saloon in San Luis Obispo.

Check back on this Friday, Oct. 15th for my interview with Corey Glover of Living Colour about performing at the smokeout!