Once again the walls at Slim’s rattled and vibed Oct. 15 with the Los Angeles-based pop rock act Say Anything, returning to the touring circuit to promote a new album. This tour also features singer Max Bemis’ new wife Sherri in her family band Eisley, the Canadian hardcore act Moneen, and indie rock openers Moving Mountains.
Say Anything played and insisted that they would keep the music coming so long as the audience could keep up. The band ended their set with an old crowd favorite, “Admit It,” off of their hit record “Is A Real Boy…” They also played three new songs from their upcoming self titled release and others from their double disc album “In Defense of The Genre.” I had a chance to speak with Bemis about married life, Los Angeles, and what fans should expect from their new release.
San Francisco Foghorn: On this tour I saw that your wife Sherri’s band Eisley is opening up for you guys, how did that come about?
Max Bemis: It’s always been an option and we though about going on tour with them before we even knew each other and it’s cool now because we wanted them to be main support for us.
SFF: According to Wikipedia it says you’re living in Texas now; how is that compared to the L.A. culture that you grew up in?
MB: Well, Wikipedia is correct and I do live in Texas now. To be honest, I’ve been moving a lot and I was never too tied to the L.A. culture here. I met some awesome people there but most were pretty spoiled…I had to sort through to find people who were real and nice, but I felt alienated from the culture and I wanted to rebel from the culture and took it out in music and moved out to New York for college. I’ve also never been too rooted in city culture, there are only a few things I need, like going to Starbucks and the movies. Now I’m in a nice town that has everything I needed in other cities, without the lifestyle I didn’t want.
SFF: What do you usually do that last week before tour?
MB: We rehearse very vigorously, which is often easier for me because I sing and the guys are playing their instruments for hours. Also get a lot of packing done with clothes, books and stuff like graphic novels. I spend a lot of time picking out all the graphic novels I want to read on tour and it’s something I do a lot on my spare time in the bus. I also noticed I tend to do as many nice things I can on the road.
SFF: So I know you have a thing called the “Song Shop” where for $150 you write a full song for any fan and before you write the song you have them write a paragraph or two about the subject they want to have conveyed in the song. Some people in the industry have seen you as an innovator for making personalized music; how did you come up with this idea?
MB: I’ve never been seen as an innovator before! The thing about it is I had an idea for the song shop and was starved for cash at the time, for money to splurge on things I wanted, but I didn’t want to sell an amp or anything like some musicians do and I wanted something to be special to a kid and something that I would buy from one of my favorite bands. I also wanted something that can’t be pirated so I decided to write personalized songs.
It’s been successful and definitely a labor of love because I spend so much time on them. I want them to be so great because I know they’re for my fans and over the past week I worked on ten. After this tour and album promotion I’m still and always going to keep it around for the fans.
SFF: For a final question, what should fans expect on the new self titled release? Will it have many guest appearances like your last album “In Defense Of The Genre” and will Sherri be featured?
MB: My wife is the only guest appearances in terms of vocals on the album. This disc is such a different record and maybe the best Say Anything record to date. It’s about Say Anything and not concerned about what others say. It’s about what we do and it’s a record that’s an example of us at our purest form of us going back to what we loved when we were 14 and what got us to love making music.
Be sure to check out Say Anything’s new self titled release “Say Anything” out Nov. 3!