Sugar Ray Singer Mark McGrath Says ‘Dark Side of the ’90s’ Has Secrets That Surprised Even Him

The ’90s were a good decade for Mark McGrath. His band Sugar Ray had its first hit on the music charts, “Fly,” in 1997 after a decade of jamming. In 2021, McGrath is now Vice’s guide to The Dark Side of the ’90s. McGrath narrates the docuseries and says they found things even he’s never seen before, and he lived through it. 

Mark McGrath singing on stage
Mark McGrath | Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

McGrath spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone about The Dark Side of the ’90s. We’ll have more with McGrath about each episode, including the Viper Room episode coming soon. Dark Side of the ’90s airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Vice.

What you’ll see in ‘Dark Side of the ’90s’

The premiere episode of Dark Side of the ’90s covers Trash TV, the daytime talk shows that thrived on conflict. Subsequent episodes address The Viper Room and River Phoenix’s death there, the unknown pressures put on Baywatch stars, and even violence associated with the Beanie Baby craze.

Mark McGrath at the Viper Room
Mark McGrath | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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The Dark Side of the ‘90s really digs deep and there’s really got to be some real levels and complexities into the dark side of the episode,” McGrath said. “When you’re talking about The Viper Room, you’re talking about Trash TV, you’re talking about Baywatch, Hip Hop, those are some substantial subjects.”

Mark McGrath says he’s in some of the ‘Dark Side of the ’90s’ footage

The ’90s was a well documented decade. Some of the episodes of Dark Side of the ’90s are even about the publicity surrounding ’90s icons. McGrath said Vice dug up some brand new material.

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“What’s so great about the Dark Side of the ‘90s series is there’s so much footage,” McGrath said. “They’ve got so much wonderful paparazzi footage that you’ve never seen before. It’s not like they just took a stock Wireimage photo and it spins around a few times and some sort of graphics and goes, ‘The Viper Room in 1993.’ They got so much amazing footage.”

Mark McGrath spotted himself in archival footage 

Although the footage was new to him, McGrath said Vice found footage from events he attended in the ’90s. However, only McGrath himself would recognize himself in The Dark Side of the ’90s.

“Half the stuff that I’m in,” McGrath said. “You can see my elbow in one. 30 seconds later you would’ve seen me walking down the street so it was a real trip down memory lane for me personally.”

The Dark Side of the '90s
The Dark Side of the ’90s | Vice

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So could there be a Dark Side of Sugar Ray episode?

“A rock n’ roll band that could barely play and you send them around the world and give them multi-platinum records and more money than they deserve and there’s alcohol backstage, what could possibly go wrong?” McGrath said. “You’d have to throw in a couple bands. I think us, Smashmouth and I’ll throw in maybe Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock there, we might get a little story out of that. We might get an episode out of that. I think there’s strength in numbers.”