Hello, my name is Max and this is the bio I had to write for my band. We are called Say Anything. We have existed since Coby started playing drums over the horrible songs I wrote about girls while attending high school in Los Angeles, California. Being the egomaniacal singer type, I proceeded to kick out and\or drive away pretty much anyone else who joined the band, so there were a ton of lineup changes, yet somehow Coby and I ended up selling a lot of our self released\recorded cd. Soon, all these strange children started to repeatedly attend our live shows and tell their friends until we garnered a motley crew of a fan base.
Being fresh faced teenagers, as well as the fact that we were playing with bands like the Promise Ring (and, like, Rooney), it wasn't a surprise that all these big scary labels saw us as a safe bet and tried to get us to sell our souls to them. They also told us we could be the next Blink 182 if we gave them our first-born children and agreed to do whatever the wanted. That didn't sound so hot so we chose to be totally "underground" and sign to Doghouse Records. They've put out such obscure, borderline D.I.Y records as.....The All American Rejects. We were stoked at this point, but how we looked (goofy) and sounded (annoying) had us lumped in with a certain genre that was begging, begging for a backlash. I got really disillusioned and weird and went to college for a semester. Thus, I decided we needed to make "respectable" music.
During the lonely, depressing period of time when I dropped out of college to prepare for writing and recording our first record for Doghouse, I thought often about what the point of my life was. Was I doomed to remain yet another earnest, upper-middle class bred whine-rocker? After all, hidden deep in the recesses of my mind, I had hidden the notion that I could do something incredible and different, that I could be somebody like Warhol, or Jesus. I had to write an album that was revolutionary in its content and presentation. Finally, one night, it hit me. THAT was what my record had to be about: the artistic struggle, the fact that every creative person has this sick ambition to affect some sort of change in society with their art, to be more than just a guy in a band or a poet or a sculptor. I couldn’t decide if this ambition was a good or bad thing but I decided to parody that overzealous drive in human beings by crafting a truly over the top musical about...myself. The songs were jam packed with fairly blatant nods to bands I dig (Queen, Saves the Day, Pavement, Faith No More, Fugazi, etc).
Together, the songs formed a narrative arc that we wrote an entire script around. The plot centered around a neurotic collegiate punk rocker (based on myself) who is imbued with a strange power that causes his inner thoughts to burst out of his mouth uncontrollably, backed by full instrumentation. He becomes the unwilling superhero of all things rock.. However, the process of playing all the instruments except for drums and singing all day turned into such an intense, draining process that I ended up wandering the streets of Brooklyn in a psychotic daze and getting thrown into the looney bin for two weeks. Needless to say, that sucked, so we parted with the idea of the "plot" portion of the record and decided we could make a much more concise record if we focused on just the music; after all, the songs told the story themselves. So Tim O'Heir (produced Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Superdrag) and Stephen Trask (wrote the songs for\produced Hedwig and the Angry Inch) helped me create a debut record (entitled Say Anything… is a Real Boy) that I am truly proud of.
It had been out for a while, slathered in scene hype (not so ironically the very thing the album parodies) and was doing quite fine on its own but we and J records decided to partner up to see just how many kids we could turn on to this self deprecating mess of an album. My main motivation was to further my idea that no mainstream music fan is worth less then somebody who reads about our band on buddyhead or some livejournal. I am prepared for the chants of “sell out sell out sell out” and more than willing to literally spit back in the face of anyone who would desert me because I signed to a major label. My music is not something to be owned by a core audience. It’s made to be appreciated universally.
So now it’s us and J records, one of the biggest music companies ever, but I don’t mind. After all, indies these days aren’t much different except you can’t afford to go on tour.
With money and support from our parents, we were able to go out on tour for the past two years, sharing the stage with bands I have loved for a long time, from Cave In to Dashboard Confessional, from the Bronx to Straylight Run. I know now that tour is so rewarding yet draining that it was worth all those bands writing three albums each about how hard it is. Our live performance is sweaty, silly, bloody, chaotic and when I sing, I sing both with and at the audience. I try to both embrace and rage against the ridiculous barrier between “the rock star” and “the kid.” I try to show them we are one. With ease any one of them could be me because I rip off every artist I’ve ever seen perform and brew it all up in
a big stew of rock.
So here I am, at “so far so good.” It’s a hard place to be but it is a blessing. There’s so much hope for my future yet so much potential for me to become a) a coked up diva b) a bitter, penniless hack c) a cab driver. I don’t really care either way because there is that small chance I’ll get what I want; to be someone to relate to for anyone who is as alienated, awkward, spastic and passionate as me.
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