Sugar Ray Head For The Studio

Producer David Kahne replaced by Don Gilmore as band embarks on fourth LP.

After performing at a private party in Hawaii this week, the feelgood rockers of Sugar Ray will begin laying down tracks for their fourth album in an undisclosed L.A. studio.

The as-yet-untitled album is expected to be released in early summer, the band's publicist at Atlantic Records said. A number of release dates for the project have been reported previously, including late 2000, Valentine's Day 2001, and mid-May.

Director McG, a longtime friend who worked with the group on their hit singles "Fly" and "Every Morning," will collaborate with the band on its forthcoming album. McG's studio credits include co-producing Sugar Ray's 1995 debut, Lemonade & Brownies, with then-House of Pain member DJ Lethal, now with Limp Bizkit. His directorial credits are more well documented, as they include helming videos for Sugar Ray, Korn and Barenaked Ladies as well as last year's "Charlie's Angels" movie.

Before making their island getaway, the group relieved producer David Kahne of studio duties in favor of Don Gilmore (Lit, Pearl Jam). Kahne had worked on Sugar Ray's 1997 breakthrough, Floored, as well as the band's most recent album, 14:59. Reasons for Kahne's dismissal were not given by the spokesperson.

Last fall, 311's Nick Hexum recorded vocals for a possible duet with Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath. The track tentatively bares the name "Craiggae," an homage to Sugar Ray DJ Craig "Homicide" Bullock. However, it's not yet known where, or if, the track will surface.

Sugar Ray have been in preproduction for the forthcoming album since mid-summer (see "Sugar Ray Toils Away On New Album"), with much of the early work being done in bassist Murphy Karges' home studio.