discovering and sharing music, films and art with fans around the world

Say Anything Make a Triumphant Return with “Psyche!”

Photo provided by Say Anything

Say Anything has released a new single and made a grand return to the stage after a hiatus that started in 2019. The band has lined up a series of shows that will undoubtedly leave their fans begging for more.

Their tour kicked off with a four-night sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on April 28th. The band will then head to Los Angeles for three nights at The Regent, beginning on October 18th, before wrapping up with two highly anticipated performances at the sold-out When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas on October 21st and 22nd. They were originally slated to perform at the Bamboozle Festival which has since been cancelled.

“Psyche!” Details

To coincide with their return to performing, Say Anything has released “Psyche!,” via Dine Alone Records. This is the band’s first new music as a group since their 2019 swansong, Oliver Appropriate.

“Psyche!” features Max Bemis, the band’s mouthpiece and mastermind, reuniting with the original drummer Coby Linder. Former bandmates Alexander Kent appears on bass with Parker Case on synths and programming. Additionally, Brian Warren (Weatherbox) and Fred Mascherino (The Color Fred, Taking Back Sunday) offered additional production on the track alongside Case.

Single Artwork

The track opens with Bemis’ signature snarl as he declares, “We are born again. We’ve died and sprung to life, so wet and fresh.” The song is an almost six-minute stream-of-consciousness piece that is full of self-referential lyrics and attitude. It is a triumphant return for Say Anything, who was one of the most beloved bands to come out of the early-oughts alternative rock scene.

The track also pays homage to the band’s contemporaries in the pop-punk scene with lyrics like “I will sing the requiem” (Saves the Day), “Blink and you’ll miss” (Blink-182), and “To the crucifix with Twin Fucking Forks” (Chris Carrabba). Fans of the band will undoubtedly find the new track to be a treat, as it showcases the same raw energy and passion that have endeared them to fans over the years.

In a letter from Max Bemis, he shared his thoughts on the new track and what fans can expect from the band in the future. With Say Anything back on the scene, it is clear that they are not going anywhere, and fans can expect more great things from this iconic band.

Read A Letter From Max On The Return Of Say Anything

Say Anything’s (public) career began with a record where I stretched my superego into a character that could define everything I hated about myself and my generation, and how that mess of bohemian pretensions and wide-eyed conviction could one day, perhaps, be a real, redeemable boy.

Almost two decades later, after marinating in both the toxic sludge of artistic industrialization and the actual spiritual good this incredibly dubious notion was doing for real people in emotional pain, I realized I stood at a crossroads where I could literally become that character (i.e. keep snorting things and chasing my teenage dream), or cease defining myself by being “Emo Beck” and throw myself into life as a father, a husband and someone who truly cherished the process of writing, my first love as a creator.

Five-ish years went by and I went broke, went through a jarring mid-life crisis, got sober, and almost lost said wife and kids to a combination of my own naivete and rubbing up against a few sick fucking people who probably just needed a hug but instead took it out on the nearest bastion of innocence they try to skullfuck.

I stopped giving a shit about the Bowie-like conceit of Say Anything being a dead character named Oliver who I metaphorically drowned in order to escape a false image of myself I had accidentally imprinted on my art…

…because I live on Planet Earth and that kind of makes no sense to anyone not obsessed with Grant Morrison and the film Adaptation.

After spending almost a decade shunning it, I simply needed to play grating emotional hardcore music because I was sad, tired, and wanted to scream and cry a lot. Maybe I’m an emo late-bloomer in that while I was jerking off to film class in West Hollywood, my fans were going through real-life traumas that I really feel like I’ve only experienced recently.

And specifically, I missed lighting up the skeptical eyes of Coby Linder, who founded Say Anything with me, with just an acoustic song, too many time changes, and the need to excite my own personal Silent Bob on a deep level.

During the peak of said emotional mid-life entanglement, on very little sleep, probably during or directly following a good cry to Something to Write Home About, I sat on my porch as the sun rose, shirt off, sweating, spitting, drooling and improvised the song “Psyche!” in one take.

I sent Coby the acoustic demo and he got it immediately: Say Anything’s future (which is, in terms of the band’s meta-narrative, technically, some kind of sublimated afterlife, but again, very few people give a fuck) consisted of a project disembodied from my own personal bullshit. It would exist for what it was ever good for in the first place, to help people, to excite them, to drive around and scream along to with old friends or new ones you didn’t realize were also once emo, and, in sharing this moment, you now trust more on some weird level. In terms of its effect on me and Coby, we simply accepted we were now just fans of our own band.

The music we’re working on now is so meta it’s not. It’s a satire of everything our band was, and the idea of every emo band coming back after five years, going back to basics, and grasping for the fanbase they discarded so callously by diving headfirst into their fans’ wants and needs, instead of gorging on major label cash and then still trying to be the next Animal Collective or Strokes despite what their band actually sounds like, to be thwarted every time by indie gatekeepers.

“Psyche!” is probably the apex of this concept, full of easter eggs, sincere attempts at stadium rock, and an incredibly disturbing outro hinting at the real-life situation this new music revolves around.

For the first time since our first record, probably, the irony behind the concept comes full circle and becomes utterly sincere because this neurotic, cheesy, and excitable heartfelt music is what I needed to survive the hardest time of my life, a phrase I remain #humbledddddd to hear from fans of Say Anything to this day; again, Say Anything now serves the same purpose for me as it does for them, which, again ironically, actually has nothing to do with the generous money we’re getting from festivals to play shows again; this song only exists because of the strange brew of Saves the Day and Queen that I just needed to hear as much as I needed to make it… which is why we formed the band in Y2K in the first place.

It’s also actually played and sung by the people who will be playing it live, including Coby himself, the prodigal bass master Alexander T. Kent (of In Defense of the Genre and our self-titled LP), the beautiful enigma that is Parker Case, as well as two of my favorite musicians, Brian Warren (of the better version of my ow band called Weatherbox) and Fred Mascherino (of Color Fred, TBS, and generally just shredding). So, this would be a first in that what you’re hearing…is a real band, not me Princing it up.

All that remains is to look you directly in the fucking eye and make you sing it back to me…that is after I drag my middle-aged, hypothyroidal, hemorrhoidal dad bod out of the side of the bed where I’ve spent most of the last decade vaping and get ready to fling myself around the stage like Galifianakis deluding himself into thinking he’s Mick Jagger, as my five kids watch dumbfounded like “Who the fuck does he think he is?” and my wife smiles sadly knowing that even now, I think this bullshit impresses her.

Connect with Say Anything:

Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Twitter | YouTube

Are you enjoying MendoWerks Magazine? Receive updates each week directly in your inbox. Sign up for the newsletter here.

About Author