"It's the right time for a record like this," says Gatfield, president of Atlas Records. "It's not in-your-face Seattle shit. In fact, I think grunge can really be just an excuse not to write good songs.

"This is the best record Rich and Dave have ever made." The band's manager wants to go even further.

"I began working with this band because I thought I could take them to another level, move them out of alternative and into the mainstream," Lembo says. "We want to work this record to AOR radio and even Top 40."
@body:At Back Alley Studios, Hopkins rolls his eyes at the mention of Top 40.

Onstage, vocalist Slutes is clowning. "Now we'd like to cover a tune by that extinct Arizona band the Sidewinders," he says, all smiles. "We're about to sign with K-Tel any day now."

The Sand Rubies laugh--something they haven't done in a long time.
"The new record is coming to life again, because we're coming to life again," Slutes says. "It was associated with so much negativity that who wanted to listen to it?"
Hopkins agrees. "The creative process had stopped. We stopped writing songs. We still haven't written any new music. When it comes out, I'll believe it. We've been strung out so long.

"At least now there's a chance that something good could happen again.

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