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Say Anything


Starting as Sayanything in '01, Max Bemis (vocals) and Coby Linder (drums) formed the nucleus of the group's original line-up that consisted of L.A. high school friends. Members came and went before Jake Turner (guitar), Jeff Turner (guitar) and Alex Kent (bass/guitar) arrived.

Say Anything's recording career began with a couple self-released EPs ("Junior Varsity" and "Baseball"). Their full-length debut, "... Is A Real Boy," a stab at Rock opera, with a storyline and assorted characters, was produced by Tim O'Heir (whose credits included All American Rejects, Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Hot Rod Circuit and The Starting Line).

Say Anything and O'Heir's paths had crossed and continued to do so. Bemis sang on The Starting Line's "Ready" (from "Based On A True Story") and Hot Rod Circuit's "Inhabit" (on "Reality's Coming Through"). He also did a vocal turn on New Found Glory's "Crazy For You" (yep, the Madonna cover on "From The Screen To Your Stereo Pt.II") and was an extra in the film Face/Off. Meanwhile, the Turner's were part of Safety In Numbers, a side project of Hot Rod Circuit's Andy Jackson. Keeping busy, Case was a member of the duo Jamison Parker, with Jamison Covington.

"... Is A Real Boy" was originally released on the Doghouse imprint (O'Heir also had connections with the label) in '04. Say Anything's next project was another EP, "Vs AIDS Demos." The EP consisted of songs allegedly recorded for an abandoned AIDS benefit.



Picked up by BMG's J Records "... Is A Real Boy" was scheduled for re-release in late October, '05, as Say Anything was about to launch a supporting tour. But Bemis suffered a nervous breakdown - his second. That forced the cancellation of the tour and delayed the album's re-issue for a few months. Bemis was diagnosed bi-polar.

When the album did land it featured a bonus disc "Was A Real Boy" that was seven of the eight "Vs AIDS Demos" tracks. The TV show Scrubs used "Alive With The Glory Of Love." The show seemed to have a knack for finding 'just under the radar' tracks. So that was probably some sort of validation.

'07's "In Defense Of The Genre," produced by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters), featured the single, "Baby Girl, I'm A Blur."

While working on the "In Defense Of The Genre" Bemis said, "I want [the record] to be "The Joshua Tree" (U2) with balls on laughing gas." Alternative Press claimed the album was "a truly magnificent sophomore effort."

So what's with the title? "Whatever 'genre' (or music) one loves needs a defense, because half the world is too ignorant to really understand something before they dismiss it," said Bemis.

Bemis said "In Defense Of The Genre" was a "homage to sort of a lot of the bands that we liked and respected" and that their next effort would be "more concise and would be a bit more original." After kicking around possible titles for the group's third album the decision was made to call it "Say Anything."

Signed by Equal Vision Records and O'Heir back at the controls, Say Anything recorded "Anarchy, My Dear. But toward the end of '12, Linder left "on good terms." He was not replaced largely because Bemis had other ideas.

"Say Anything on record will now be identified in the same way Nine Inch Nails is, in that it's pretty much me and whoever I choose to play with at the time," Bemis posted on Facebook. "Live shows will continue to have their own identity including Jake, Jeff, Parker, Adam, and whoever plays drums for us live."

The first album under this structure was '14's "Hebrews." It was also the first set produced by Bemis. Among those contributing was Tom Delonge (Blink-182/Angels & Airwaves).

"I Don't Think It Is," co-produced by Bemis and Darren King, who also played drums and percussion, dropped two years later.
Bemis stated his intention to "sort of, kind of end" the band, prior to the release of "Oliver Appropriate." However, Bemis hedged by adding that Say Anything was likely to return at some point to record and/or perform.

Viewed as a sequel to "...Is A Real Boy," an adult version of the narrator fictionalized on that record "struggles with his own sexuality, leading to a violent conclusion" which mirrored Bemis' grapples with his own sexuality and drug use.


Say Anything Discography

Albums:

2001 Baseball: An Album By Say Anything
2004 ...Is A Real Boy
2007 In Defense Of The Genre
2009 Say Anything
2012 Anarchy, My Dear
2014 Hebrews
2016 Don't Think It Is
2019 Oliver Appropriate

Drawing from Indie Rock, Emo and Post-Punk, Say Anything proffer a sardonic sense of humor. Bemis' bipolar disorder results in lyrics that are surreal, bleak, irreverent and highly autobiographical.


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