Interview with Max Bemis, lyricist/vocalist of Say Anything
Um, well we were like a local LA band when we were in high school, and then we kind of worked at it really hard, we put our own records and stuff like that, and sold it to our friends and on the internet. And eventually, we sent a record to Dirk from Doghouse records. He liked it a lot, he signed us, and then we were on Doghouse for two or three years. And then J-Records bought us up, and we've been on tour for three or four years since we've signed to Doghouse.
What music are you personally into right now?
I don't know. I listen to a lot of the same stuff I listened to when I was growing up, kind of. I uh, what was I listening to today? I like Wilco a lot. I think they're really good. Um, I like At the Drive In. I listen to them a lot.
Who would you want to go on tour with, realistically or in your dreams?
In my dreams, Nirvana or the Beatles, but realistically it would be really cool to go on tour with Green Day. It'd be cool to tour with Smashing Pumpkins or something like that.
What made you record the song "Died a Jew?" What was your inspiration behind that?
Well, I mean there's not really that many songs about Jewish culture, and how it's been sort of like talked down on for many years. There's lots of songs about every other culture being like discriminated against, but there's not really any about Judaism. So, I thought it'd be cool to make a song about that.
Do you think writing controversial lyrics attracts more fans than it drives away?
I think it probably does both, you know what I mean. I think that whoever likes us probably likes us because of the lyrics, partially at least. And then whoever doesn't like us is put off by that. But, I don't know, I've never really heard that much of people…not getting it, or not being into it. I've never heard that much about it, but that's probably because they don’t care about it.
How do you arrange so many guest vocalists?
Our manager had a lot to do with it, and most of the people were our friends, and bands we knew and stuff, so I just had to call up a bunch of the people I know, and stuff like that. Our manager kind of helped coordinate it with our producer and stuff.
(From a guy friend) Is Hayley Williams (vocalist of Paramore) really that attractive in person?
Is Hayley Williams that attractive in person…Yes!
Is it easier to write songs like "Alive with the Glory of Love" or songs like "The Futile"?
Like, verses each other, which one's harder? It depends…They're about the same, it's really just whatever mood I'm in. Sometimes a really simple song will actually be harder to write, and sometimes the other way around—the crazy songs will take like years to write, you know what I mean…
What's on? [looking at TV]
Diehard, sorry. I love this movie.
Would you consider re-releasing fan favorites like "A Walk through Hell?"
We actually did re-release "A Walk through Hell." We recorded it and released it on this compilation that came out a few months ago. Uh, the other songs probably not. We might do rarities like a B-side collection CD or something like that, but I don't think we'll ever re-record them or anything 'cause they're pretty old. It's cool that people like them, but we have a lot of new material to work on.
How much convincing did it take to get Henry Winkler to cameo in the video for "Wow I can get Sexual Too?"
He's a close family friend, so he just did it—we just asked him.
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