One week before Say Anything is scheduled to appear in Salt Lake City, drummer Coby Linder is calling Ink 19 from his Los Angeles home to discuss the band’s opportunity to headline the first-ever MySpace tour, and their much anticipated sophomore album, released October 23rd.
It has been almost three years since the band released its debut album and found itself in the throes of rabid fans and eager suits wanting to make them the next big thing. Say Anything has spent much of its time touring in and out of the country, performing songs from their first album to the point of near perfection. Throughout the course of touring, the band experienced a significant amount of change both as a band, and as individuals. Lead singer, Max Bemis, experienced a bout of psychological episodes that resulted in his being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bemis’ experience happened over a year ago, but it was this experience that largely influenced the songs that appear on their newest album, In Defense of the Genre. When asked about how Bemis’ disorder affects the band, Linder acts as if nothing is out of the ordinary. “Max’s bipolar [disorder] affects the music because it affects his head. He has received a lot of support from our fans because kids can feel for it and relate to it, and that has almost strengthened our fan base”.
As a band, Say Anything has evolved most obviously in the bringing in of a new bass player. Though this transition may seem like a big deal to most, Linder explains that it was quite the opposite for the band, “It was very natural the way we brought the bass player in, it worked out very well for us”. Say Anything has grown beyond the change of a bass player. The band has developed into a group of more mature guys that are not afraid to express their feelings. While most band members tend to shy away from a particular genre classification, Say Anything has embraced the fact that they are defined as an emo band. “We are not pretentious, we are cool with being called emo because it is not bad to be emotional. People don’t want to labeled as emo because of the stereotypes that are associated with it but it’s not pussy punk” declares Linder. The album’s title, In Defense of the Genre clearly backs this statement up.
Linder is proud of the experiences that the guys of Say Anything have had over the course of the past three years because it has resulted in an album that was already receiving rave reviews before its release. “The songs on this album are more concise. We sound like more of a band at this point. We used real amps and did a lot of improv in the studio and the songs are more down to earth rather than dreamy like on the last album” says Linder.
Say Anything is scheduled to make appearances all over the U.S. for the next month as a co-headliner for the first-ever MySpace Tour. Though the band has toured consistently for a few years now, they are especially excited to be a major part of this particular tour. “I love that we are on this tour” says Linder, “MySpace is the new way to find out about bands. We each have our own MySpace page but our manager updates the band’s page. We are constantly adding new songs to it but we don’t do it as often as we should” Linder reveals. According to Linder, the band has been practicing day after day, eight times a day, to prepare for the MySpace tour. Say Anything will be touring the U.S. through Thanksgiving when they will travel to Europe to play shows there. Check the band’s MySpace page to see if they will be making a stop in your town. If not, you can check out tracks from their new album, which Linder describes as a “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious clunk of songs”.