Gin Blossoms & Sugar Ray

About the Band:

In late 80’s Gin Blossoms started to grow a huge following as the #1 local music draw in Phoenix and certainly were the hometown hero’s of their favorite hang, Tempe, Arizona. Gin Blossoms indelible jangle-pop sound was evolving during radio’s diverse mix of hair bands and grunge music superstars like Nirvana. After the Phoenix New Times chose them the cities best rock band, they qualified to play at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin Texas in 1989. That same year, College Music Journal dubbed them the “Best Unsigned Band in America” and added an invitation to perform on MTV’s New Music Awards in New York City.

Taking their name from a caption on a W.C. Fields photo, Gin Blossoms signed a record deal with A&M and recorded their first EP “Up And Crumbling” in 1991. But, it was not until their breakout record “New Miserable Experience” in 1992 that their rise to fame began. “New Miserable Experience” kept the band on the charts for almost 3 years with singles “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” “Until I Fall Away,” “Mrs Rita,” and “Found Out About You.” The album took the airwaves by siege and held MTV hostage with multi cross-over hits in 4 different radio formats. It was this record that rocketed the band into the mainstream going on to sell over 5 million copies making the band a 90’s radio mainstay. In 1995, Robin Wilson, Jesse Valenzuela and veteran composer Marshall Crenshaw wrote the bands 4th of 9 sound track inclusions; “Til I Hear It From You.” The smash hit was released as a Gin Blossoms single and it appeared on the platinum sound track for the film Empire Records.

1996 saw the final record of the decade for Gin Blossoms “Congratulations I’m Sorry.” The album brought two more hits; “Follow You Down” which spent ten weeks in the Top Ten and “As Long As It Matters” which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by a Duo or Group. “It was pretty cool to lose a Grammy to the Beatles. Who else would you want to lose out to” say’s Jesse. The album rocketed into Billboard’s Top Ten and a year of touring helped push the record past 1,500,000 in sales. In 5 years, the band released 2 EP’s, two LP’s and over 12 singles that fuel today’s record sales to over 10 million. Their blend of Pop & Rock, now known as Jangle-Pop, became a musical force that helped define the sound of 90’s radio.

In 2005, former A&M president Al Cafaro resigned the band and partnered to record their 3rd full length album in over 10 years. “Major Lodge Victory” landed on Billboards 200 and was the # 10 Indie album of the year. Released on August 8th, 2006, it included hits “Learning The Hard Way” and the appropriately titled “Long Time Gone.” Billboard magazine called this gem “an effortless triumph of melodic perfection.” “This was a really fun record to make” say’s Scotty. “We assembled some of the old team together and recorded at Ardent Studios with John Hampton again. Ardent is a legendary studio, and were comfortable there – it was a lot of fun.” Back in chart bloom, Entertainment Weekly reviewed “Major Lodge Victory” by saying; “Hardly a half-hearted cash-in, this comeback LP marks a solid addendum to Gin Blossoms multi-platinum peak output.”

“In the old days, we used to joke that there was something for everybody in this band,” says Wilson. “There’s just something about the way we play and sound together, but in the end, it’s really about the quality of the songs. If you’re a band and want to sustain a career, no matter what you look like or how you play, you’ve got to have great songs. So it’s those songs and the sound we make…my voice, the guitars, tempos, that add up to something indefinable.”

Over the years, Gin Blossoms have toured over 25 different Countries including a five city tour of Iraq in 2010. “It was so much fun to entertain our troops. It’s really insightful to see first hand how our troops live in a combat zone. It really helped widen my understanding on the sacrifices they make to protect us at home and abroad. I hope all Americans understand how important it is for us to extend our thanks” says Robin.

The road has also proven exceedingly fertile ground for both Valenzuela and Wilson, with each talented tunesmith promising the inevitable arrival of new Gin Blossoms material. As they approach their third decade, Gin Blossoms remain a rare breed – rock ‘n’ roll lifers, destined to continue creating, crafting, and performing for audiences ever rapt by their glorious catalog of material.

The band performed in over 100 cities in 2017, and with additional promotional stops 2017 was one of the busiest touring years since the early 90’s. 2017-2018 laps the 25th anniversary of the bands 5 times platinum album New Miserable Experience. 25 New Miserable Years Tour will be stopping in over 40 cities in November, December and in February 2018.

Official Website: www.ginblossoms.net

 


About the Band:

When “Sugar Ray’s” breakthrough hit song “Fly” put them on the map in 1997, lead vocalist Mark McGrath was thrust into the public eye.  It’s no doubt the band maintains its momentum due in no small part to the good looks, charisma and talent of its front man, Mark McGrath.
McGrath first appeared with Sugar Ray (then known as the Shrinky Dinx) when he jumped on stage and grabbed the microphone.  Two years later, in 1994, the band changed its name and landed a deal with Atlantic Records.  Shortly after, in 1997, the band’s collaboration with reggae artist Super Cat resulted in the song “Fly,” which dominated the airwaves.  Later that year, and following the success of their number-one hit, Sugar Ray released its second album, “Floored,” which went double-platinum.  Sugar Ray’s success rocketed McGrath to pop-star status, as he graced the covers of “Rolling Stone” and “Spin.”  He even made People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, named “Sexiest Rocker” in 1998.

After “Floored,” Sugar Ray released “14:59,” in reference to its fading “15 minutes of fame.”  Ironically, the CD wound up outselling its predecessor, going triple-platinum with hit singles “Every Morning,” “Someday” and “Falls Apart.”  Their success continued with the release of the self-titled album, “Sugar Ray,” which garnered the band it’s first-ever top-10 album.
The band has appeared numerous times on the Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Carson Daly, and The Today Show’s Summer Concert Series to name a few.  In addition, McGrath has made guest appearances on the hit television dramas “Las Vegas”, “North Shore”, The Neighbors, The Office, Law and Order SVU and The Drew Carey Show to name a few.  He has been featured on a number of MTV and VH1 programs, including the “Teen Choice Awards,” “My VH1 Music Awards,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Jeopardy,” the “American Music Awards” and the “ESPY Awards.”

McGrath has hosted VH1’s “I Love the 80’s” and “The Greatest: 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock and Roll,” and the primetime specials “The World Music Awards” and “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”, as well as Extra, Don’t Forget the Lyrics and Killer Karaoke on the Tru Network.  He also appeared with Sugar Ray in the 2002 feature film “Scooby-Doo.” And has gone on to co-star in last summers Si-Fy thriller Sharknado 2.
Sugar Ray continues delivering the hits live and with the Summerland tour which
combines great bands from the 90’s and their top 10 hits, a big hit.  Sugar Ray
has a robust schedule of live dates scheduled and look forward to seeing everyone
out on the road.  “This is my life’s work,” he notes.  “People say, ‘You’re still in the
band?’ This is what I do!  I’m gonna be in Sugar Ray till I die!  I’ve been lucky enough
to fit a uniform, I’m gonna wear it till the wheels fall off!”

Official Website: http://www.sugarray.com/