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Mark Mcgrath

Mark Mcgrath

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Email Address: Our Privacy Statement���Sugar Ray returns with Music for CougarsDavid J.

Prince, ReutersPublished: Saturday, May 23, 2009Sugar Ray, the Southern California band that was responsible for a string of breezy, reggae-tinged mid-1990s radio hits including the ubiquitous Fly, will release its first full album of new material in more than six years.Music for Cougars comes out July 21 on Pulse/Fontana/Universal, and the group will tour clubs and festivals throughout the summer.On the new album, Sugar Ray -- formed in Newport Beach and fronted by singer Mark McGrath -- returns to the lazy grooves, easy beats and catchy harmonies that proved a winning formula and propelled the group to sales of more than 12 million copies over a five-album run for Atlantic, plus a Best of Sugar Ray release on sister label Rhino, before parting ways with the label in 2006.Email to a friendPrinter friendlyFont:****But even after the relatively poor showing of 2003's In the Pursuit of Leisure, the group -- which still has all its original members including Craig "DJ Homicide" Bullock, drummer Stan Frazier, bassist Murphy Karges and Rodney Sheppard on guitar -- continued to play corporate parties and summer gigs while McGrath pursued a second career as host of the celebrity news show Extra."Back in 2003, the writing was on the wall for bands like us," McGrath told

"Radio was changing, music was doing what it does, it was just going through a cycle.

We weren't selling a lot of records, and we were like 'You know, maybe we should take a break from the grind of recording and touring and see what else is out there."'But last year, when producer and Pulse label head Josh Abraham suggested the band record a new album on a small budget with the goal of simply having some fun and seeing what happens, McGrath and his bandmates of more than two decades jumped at the chance."We got together 21 years ago to make music and have fun, and that was always the passion behind the band," McGrath said.

"I left Extra in September and focused full time on the band and making this record.

It's purely a passion, a labour of love basically, making this record."We have realistic views of how the music industry is today.

I know people aren't sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for a Sugar Ray record.

But that wasn't the point.

It was purely because we love to make music," he said.

"We're not going anywhere.

All of us have tried to sabotage the band one way or another.

But some divine intervention has kept this band together, and I think we all appreciate that.

I think the biggest success of Sugar Ray is that after 21 years and all the booze, drugs, women, money, having no money -- all those things have come into play and we're still together.

That, to me, is the biggest reward."Boardwalk, the album's first single, is an instantly recognizable summer tune."We tried to get away from the Sugar Ray sound on our last record -- we even worked with the Neptunes on a couple of songs -- trying to reinvent ourselves, but it didn't really work for us," McGrath admitted.

"But now we're like 'Let's give them a straight-down-the-centre, summer, sunny Sugar Ray song,' and I think Boardwalk really embodies that.


You're going to hear the song and go 'Wow, that's Sugar Ray for sure."'© The Windsor Star 2009
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