Music News

Say What?

Say Anything frontman Max Bemis was diagnosed three years ago as bipolar, which, he says, made absolute sense considering the manic episodes he had been experiencing for some time. If that wasn't enough, he was also trying to survive a volatile breakup with his first love, an experience that, along with his diagnosis, drove him to admit himself to a mental hospital. When the Los Angeleno finally came up for air, he put his life back together and hauled his band into the studio to record its sophomore release, In Defense of the Genre.

We chatted with him recently and realized, in retrospect, that our goal of getting him to "say anything" in response to words related to his life and career also seemed strangely like a psychological assessment — an entirely unintentional coincidence. He didn't seem to mind, and dealt nothing but unhesitatingly honest, revealing answers to our battery of prompts.

How I prefer things to be.

Neurotic frontman.

The devil.

Pretty irrelevant classifications.

Sophomore albums.
Pressure. But I'm proud of it.

Means as much as the term "rock 'n' roll" does.

Concept album.
Any good album should be strung together in some way.

Rock star.
A subjective term.

Powerful, and you have to be selective about them.

Change as you get older, and you figure out what you have.

Regret, complete isolation.

A good thing, but only in healthy does.

Freddie Mercury.
Probably the best singer of all time.

Not something negative.

They're fun.

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Cole Haddon