After releasing its last two albums on major labels, the modern rocker troupe Say Anything are back in the independent world with its latest release, "Anarchy, My Dear." And it's all for the better according to frontman Max Bemis.
"We always wrote from our hearts and made the music we enjoyed. We never sold out to any extent," explains Bemis, 27. "But there was added pressure from being on a major label to, in an ideal world, sell millions of records. Even if you're Nirvana or Foo Fighters or Green Day or U2 and it's amazing music -- and some of those are my favorite bands -- there's some part of it that involves mass consumption.
"We really went into this one having that not be a concern, which we hadn't been able to do for awhile."
Bemis -- who's also in a band called Perma with is wife, Sherri Dupree of Eisley and an "Anarchy, My Dear" guest -- says Say Anything juggled a large number of songs and "could've gone in several directions on the new album. But a very basic theme about non-conformity ultimately presented itself.
"I basically wanted to say that rebellion and subverting society, it happens, and it can happen in a less traditional way and still be extremely valid," Bemis explains. "It comes down to little choices you make in your everyday life as well as bigger issues like our government and who you vote for.
"When punk bands sing about changing the world they often speak about those issues. It's a different ballgame when you talk about how you feel on a day to day basis. So what I had to say was think for yourself and don't let the way the world works shape who you are. It's a pretty jacked-up world, so you should find joy in your life and your individuality."
Say Anything, Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band, Fake Problems and the Front Bottoms perform Thursday, April 5, at Clutch Cargo's, 65 E. Huron, Pontiac. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $16.50. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.
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