Mark McGrath Reveals Nirvana’s Key Role In Sugar Ray’s Breakthrough

Mark McGrath recalled in a new chat with No Jumper Clips how Sugar Ray signed their first record deal and rose to fame in the ’90s. He highlighted Nirvana’s influence on his band’s success:

“Nirvana is directly responsible for the success of Sugar Ray, and I know you’re laughing at me, and people watching this are. In the early ’90s, Nirvana came out of nowhere and exploded a revolution in rock n’ roll. Exploded, and nobody knew, less than the labels, that this was going to happen.”

They Were Hired Thanks To Nirvana

McGrath explained that the unexpected rise of Nirvana led record labels to sign many rock bands in hopes to capture similar success. He shared:

“Now, the labels go, ‘Wait, guys that played three chords. They can’t really play that well,’ and no [disrespect] to Nirvana, but the ethic was that no solos, no rippers, and just no big pomposity in rock and roll. ‘We’re signing everybody. We’re not going to miss this again.’”

The singer continued:

“So, in the wake of Nirvana, Sugar Ray got signed. ‘Cuz we had a couple Les Pauls, Marshall stacks, and we could barely play. We fit the narrative. It was an easy time to get signed if you’re in a rock n’ roll band, and luckily, we got signed, and they took the time to develop us, meaning we got to make a second record, which had ‘Floored’ on it. But that first record, ‘Lemonade and Brownies,’ took us around the world with bands like Korn, the Deftones, Monster Magnet, and the Sex Pistols.”

Sugar Ray’s Success In The Music Scene

Sugar Ray’s debut album came out in 1995, but they got their first chart success with 1997’s ‘Floored.’ The single ‘Fly’ from this album topped several charts worldwide, including Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 and RPM’s Canada Top Singles.

The band’s latest work, ‘Little Yachty,’ arrived in 2019 through BGM Rights Management. There are no official plans for a follow-up record right now, but a new tour is on the horizon. Sugar Ray will hit the road in the US on August 2.