About Sugar Ray
The Southern California-based band's last album “MUSIC FOR COUGARS,” an exuberant reiteration of the band’s signature sound, with particular focus on songcraft and sonic invention. As ever, musical styles –from dancehall to disco, punk to pure pop – are mixed and matched, resulting in a celebratory, swaggering collection that is distinctively and delightfully Sugar Ray. Songs like the buoyant first single, “Boardwalk,” or the Rivers Cuomo-penned “Love Is the Answer” are fit to burst with the wit and energy that once saw the band rule over the Top 10. “MUSIC FOR COUGARS” sees this band of brothers operating at the very peak of its powers, with the skills, strengths, and smarts that only two decades together can provide.
“I’m not going to say we made the best record of our career,” beams singer Mark McGrath. “That’s just so clichéd. But we did!”
Since their 1995 “LEMONADE AND BROWNIES” debut, Sugar Ray became stuck in a biennial cycle of touring and recording, touring and recording. 1997’s RIAA double platinum-certified sophomore effort, “FLOORED,” and its smash follow-up, 1999’s triple platinum “14:59” were trailed by 2001’s self-titled collection and 2003’s “IN THE PURSUIT OF LEISURE.” By the time of 2005’s “THE BEST OF SUGAR RAY,” the band had well and truly earned a break.
Since their 1986 inception as The Shrinky Dinks, McGrath took the time to explore new creative terrain – staying in the spotlight as co-host of the nationally syndicated entertainment news program, Extra as well as hosting Don't Forget the Lyrics, while guitarist Rodney Sheppard teaches music to neighborhood kids. Perhaps more importantly, Sheppard, started a family, in their hometown of Newport Beach.
“It was just the natural course to sort of lay back for a while,” Sheppard says, “We had a good run up to that time and we’d gotten to the point where we welcomed a break. It just ended up being a bit longer than we thought.”
Sugar Ray was in fact quite active during their hiatus, busting out the hits at private corporate events, county fairs, and countless summer festivals. By 2008, the band was itching to get back into the studio. In July, McGrath left Extra in order to devote more of his time to Sugar Ray. At the same time, the band’s longtime friend, producer Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park), invited them to cut a new album for his just-launched label, Pulse Recordings.