Max Bemis writes shrill confessionals that are aptly backed by wussified pop-punk choruses. But that's sort of the Say Anything shtick. The Los Angeles-based act formed in high school as an outlet for Bemis to pen sappy songs about girls. By the time he entered college, the group had a handful of self-released demos under its belt and had garnered a small devoted fan base -- despite continuous lineup changes spurred by Bemis's uncompromising personality. Say Anything signed to indie imprint Doghouse, which sent its volatile frontman into an existential songwriting crisis, during which the stress of trying to compose a mature commercial debut combined with inner band drama finally took its toll. Bemis reportedly started experiencing wild, self-destructive mood swings and was soon admitted to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. After taking time off for Bemis to seek treatment, Say Anything soldiered on and has since signed to J Records, which re-released its Doghouse debut, ...Is a Real Boy, earlier this year.
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