For over 10 years, I have been spinning an album that has never gotten old to me. I know, we each have a few in our discography that we can count on to uplift our spirits and get the party started. This record for me would be …Is A Real Boy by Say Anything, that insanely amazing band that we all know and love. Having seen them a few months back at Starland Ballroom with a local favorite, The Front Bottoms, I didn’t think it was better to top their set, as they performed all of the hits, including songs from their new album, Hebrews. This time around, they have embarked on a tour with another throwback favorite of mine, Saves The Day, and to add even more flavor, Reggie And The Full Effect. Say Anything are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of …Is A Real Boy, and this will certainly be one for the record books.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Say Anything lead singer Max Bemis about the tour, what life is like now as a band, and so much more. Check it out below, and for the record, he’s one of the realest dudes in the business.
First and foremost, I want to talk about …Is A Real Boy being 10 years old. Does it feel as if that much time has passed?
(Laughs) It really does, to be honest. It’s been a long 10 years. I’ve developed a lot as a person, personally and musically. We’ve all been through so much, and it may sound weird, but it really does feel that long!
Well, I think I can speak for many that it doesn’t feel like that long to us fans! Many critics may say this is the record most fans know Say Anything from. Out of curiosity, with so much new music since then, do the fans still react strongest to this CD?
Definitely, but it’s more about the songs on the record. You know, there are a few tracks that always get the crowd going the most like “Alive With The Glory Of Love” and others, but yeah, tracks off the record always get received well. There are certain tracks that always cause a riot in the venue, and know what to expect before we play them. So yeah, it always gets a strong reaction.
That’s understandable, especially with songs like that! You are hitting the road with Saves The Day and Reggie And The Full Effect—such an amazing lineup, and most of the dates are already sold out! How did this lineup come about? It seems so random yet awesome!
Yes, we are so excited! It is, but it’s not as random as it seems. We in fact have toured with Saves The Day a bunch of times in the past, and I am really close friends with Chris Conley. He’s a great guy. One day we were discussing the fact that our record was turning 10 years old, and it so happened that their record, Through Being Cool, was in fact turning 15 years old! How crazy is that? As crazy as this sounds, it was that simple to make it happen. I can honestly say it was one of the most stress-free touring plans we’ve ever had. We knew it made sense.
Now, that being said, we wanted to make this a tour that brought everyone back to a certain era in their lives, and what better band to help do that than one of my personal favorites, Reggie And The Full Effect? They were one of the first bands that immediately came to mind, and it all worked out. This tour is going to be awesome!
I can’t wait to see it. For a band that continues to tour so often, do you find that you are still seeing a young generation of fans that are almost new in the crowd?
Yes, absolutely. That’s what’s crazy, and I couldn’t be happier about that. We’ve always had this weird range of older kids and people in their 30s, but then we have such a large audience of kids in their teenage years. It keeps us motivated, for someone must be telling the younger kids about us. It’s such a good feeling to know that we can keep it going and see it in the crowd each and every tour.
Now, I saw you guys are releasing …Is A Real Boy full album acoustic CD. Will this be available on all dates of the tour?
Absolutely. We think fans will really like that one.
Say Anything are very active with fans on social media. A question that I always ask bands that have been in the scene for some time now, how much do you think social media has changed the business, and is it for better or worse?
It has completely changed the game for us at least, 100 percent for the better. Before social media, there was still album pirating (which still exists), and I’m not completely opposed to it; however, of course as a musician you want people to support your band enough to buy your records.
Before Twitter and Facebook, you could still get all of the music for free, but you weren’t able to put a face to the name of the band. These outlets actually give us the opportunity to chat with our fans, get their feedback and insight, and really let us know what they are feeling about what we are doing. I love it. Let’s say it really evens out the scales.
I also want to talk about Hebrews, since it’s still new in my mind. Have you found a great reception to this record since it’s very different for you guys?
Absolutely, it was all positive. I am thrilled with it. It was a huge risk, and it was really well received. The fact that fans recognized what we were trying to do with this record means a lot, and it’s awesome that our fans stick with us.
Now, you guys will be hitting Starland Ballroom in Sayreville on Nov. 27, and this may sound odd to you, and I may be biased, but there is something about New Jersey that loves you guys more than any other state on the planet, am I right?
New Jersey has always had so much love for us, you’re right. When I was a teenager, so many of my favorite bands were from New Jersey, and I always wished we could successfully play there. New Jersey always had a scene, instead of L.A., which was a little different. Any time we play venues there, the shows are unforgettable, and we hope it stays that way this time around. It’s sold out!
Hell yeah, it’s going to be insane. Now, this may be too far out, but what are your plans after this tour? Anything in particular?
Yes, actually. We have a lot of stuff planned for next year—can’t talk much about it other than that. I personally have a lot of stuff planned as well, and you will all find out about it eventually (laughs).
I hope Say Anything continue for as long as I can hear music, but if you did choose a different career path, what would it be?
I think I would be a full-time writer, writing books or comic books. Right now, I write comic books. If I had more time, I’d do even more. It’s always been a big passion of mine, and I love to write!
You are a man of many talents, so keep it moving! See you at Starland, Max!
Thanks so much!
You can catch Say Anything with Saves The Day and Reggie And The Full Effect at the Theatre Of Living Arts in Philadelphia on Nov. 26 and 28, the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on Nov. 29, and Irving Plaza in New York City on Dec. 2 and 3. Hebrews is available now. For more information, go to sayanythingmusic.com.