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Interview:
Say Anything Sings Happier Tune On New Album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Say Anything frontman Max Bemis says the group’s forthcoming third album was “inspired by pretty heartfelt thoughts.”

That’s been the case for its critically acclaimed predecessors, too, but while those thoughts were generally dark, caustically (though amusingly) self-deprecating and influenced by bipolar disorder that landed Bemis in a mental institution, the songs on “Say Anything,” which comes out Nov. 3, are drawn from considerably happier emotions.

“The story that’s told on this record is about becoming the type of guy who is able to get married, besides the fact that I actually did,” says Bemis, 25, who married Sherri DuPree of the band Eisley in April and now resides with her in Tyler, Texas. “I had to let go of a lot of things on my own before I was able to really love someone in the truest sense of the word.

“Finding someone, that ultimate companion for the rest of your life, is obviously a huge step in any human being’s life — probably the most important — even though people like to underplay it as artistic inspiration. I think it’s an important thing to write about.”

Bemis laughs as he acknowledges that “some people who are fans of my band are scared” of the positive turn he takes on “Say Anything.” But he assures them that “there’s still conflict in my life;” he just deals with it a little differently now.

“I identify my empowerment a little more acutely,” Bemis explains. “I think what people liked about our old songs, even the crazy ones, was that they would find some hope in the chaos. Our most popular songs are songs of hope, or at least identifying the flaw in yourself rather than glorifying it.

“I never wrote a song that said, ‘It’s so cool to smoke weed.’ It was, ‘This is destroying my life, making me lazy and stupid and despondent,’ never, ‘This is cool.’ It was, ‘This is me trying to mask my insecurity and pain through drugs and sexual deviance ... ,’ but always wanting to find a way out of it. I think that trying to get rid of the pain connected more than being in pain.”



Say Anything, Eisley, Moneen and Moving Mountains perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 25) at Clutch Cargo’s, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Tickets are $15.50 with a $54 four-pack. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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