Max Bemis

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Max Bemis
Max Bemis performing in Chula Vista, California on August 14, 2008 at Warped Tour.
Background information
Birth name Maxim Adam Bemis
Born (1984-04-06) April 6, 1984 (age 31)
Origin New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Pop-punk, indie rock, Emo
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin
Years active 2000–present
Labels J, Doghouse, A.D.D., Equal Vision Records (EVR)
Associated acts Say Anything, Two Tongues, Forgive Durden, Max Bemis and the Painful Splits, Perma, Eisley

Maxim Adam "Max" Bemis (/ˈbms/, born April 6, 1984) is the lead singer, primary composer and primary lyricist of the band Say Anything. He is also co-singer alongside Chris Conley of the supergroup Two Tongues, which features members from Say Anything and Saves the Day, and a comic book creator/author.

Early life[edit]

Bemis was born in New York City on April 6, 1984.[1] His family moved to Hollywood, California when he was a child.[1] He had minor roles in some films due to his father's work in Hollywood, including an uncredited role as an altar-boy in Face/Off. Bemis took piano lessons which he credits for the realization that he wanted to make music.[2][3] In addition, Bemis was raised "in a strong Jewish environment," which has influenced his music.[4] His maternal grandparents were survivors of the Holocaust, which was the inspiration for the song, "Alive With the Glory of Love."

Bemis attended high school at Windward School, a private school in Los Angeles.[1] He had also attended Camp Ramah in Ojai, California, where he met future band-mate Coby Linder.[1] In 2000, Bemis, Linder, and friends from Windward and Beverly Hills High School formed Say Anything. The band was described as a high school band, but they released a full-length LP and an EP. In 2002, Bemis attended Sarah Lawrence College. However, he spent much of his time recording his own music and left the school after only a few months.[1] Bemis has mentioned Tom Delonge of Blink 182 as an influence from a very young age, and was excited to work with him on Hebrews.[5]

Musical career[edit]

Say Anything[edit]

Main article: Say Anything (band)

Bemis is the lead singer, guitarist and primary lyricist of Say Anything as well as a founding member of the band. After the resignation of the original band members due to the low quality of music produced by the band, he is the only original member remaining in the band. In 2000, Say Anything released Junior Varsity. The band released its debut full-length album, Baseball, in 2001. Despite attending Sarah Lawrence College for a short time, Bemis kept the band alive, performing much if not all of the music that went into Menorah/Majora and the band's dormroom demos.[2]

Say Anything released ...Is a Real Boy in 2004. Bemis performed the vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboard parts for the album.[6] After the album's release, the band went through a rocky period lasting over a year due to Bemis's mental health. The band canceled at least two tours and lost several members.[7] By 2007 however, after going through rehab, Say Anything and Bemis got back on track with co-headlining tours with Saves the Day and Hellogoodbye.[8][9] In 2007, the band released In Defense of the Genre, on which Bemis sang lead vocals and played guitar and keyboard.[10]

Say Anything's self-titled album was released November 3, 2009.

On November 5, 2010 at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, Bemis announced a forthcoming Say Anything album. The album, called Anarchy, My Dear, was released March 13, 2012, which was followed up with their headlining spring tour. Their first single from that album is "Burn a Miracle". They released a music video for this single.

On January 22, 2013 Say Anything released a collection of older songs and b-sides called All My Friends Are Enemies: Early Rarities consisting of all of the material recorded by Say Anything prior to the release of ...Is a Real Boy. The band did a summer tour to promote the album.

On June 10, 2014 Say Anything released the album Hebrews through Equal Vision Records.

On February 5, 2016 Say Anything released their new album I Don't Think It Is without any prior announcement besides several teaser posts the day before.[11]

Two Tongues[edit]

Main article: Two Tongues

After recording In Defense of the Genre, Say Anything band members Max Bemis and Coby Linder worked with Saves the Day's Chris Conley and David Soloway on a side project named Two Tongues.[12] The new group has Bemis and Conley sharing the lead vocals and guitar duties while Soloway is on bass and Linder on drums. Thirteen songs were recorded in Electric Ladybug Studio, Conley's home studio in Chico, California.[13][14]

Bemis, Conley, and Linder have previously collaborated on a cover song of Bob Dylan's "The Man In Me" for the compilation album Paupers, Peasants, Princes & Kings: The Songs of Bob Dylan released by Doghouse Records in 2006. On November 7, 2008, a release date of February 3, 2009, was announced for the self-produced, self-titled, thirteen-track collaboration on Vagrant Records.[14][15]

In fall of 2010, Two Tongues made their first performances as a surprise in the middle of Say Anything's set each night of the Motion City Soundtrack, Say Anything, and Saves the Day tour. They performed the song "Crawl". Arun Bali (current guitarist of Saves the Day) played guitar, Kenny Vasoli (of The Starting Line, and Person L) played bass, Jake Turner (of Say Anything) played guitar as well, Coby Linder played drums, while Chris Conley, and Max Bemis sang.

Other work[edit]

Bemis has made cameo appearances on several albums. One of his earliest cameo appearances was with friend Andy Jackson and Hot Rod Circuit on "Inhabit," a song from the band's Reality's Coming Through CD.[16]

In 2005, Bemis had a small part on "Ready" from The Starting Line's Based on a True Story.[17]

Bemis worked with Armor for Sleep on a cover of "Today" for a 2008 The Smashing Pumpkins tribute CD entitled The Killer in You.[18]

In 2007, performs in two songs, "Maxim and the Headphone Life" and "Regional Community Theater," on LadybiRdS' debut album, Regional Community Theater.[19] Bemis sang along with Shawn Harris (The Matches) and Rachel Minton (Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer) on "Hello Helicopter" and "Point Of Extinction" of Motion City Soundtrack's Even if it Kills Me.[20]

New Found Glory's From the Screen to Your Stereo Part II and Down to Earth Approach's Come Back to You also featured guest vocals by Bemis on the songs "Crazy for You" and "See You," respectively.[21][22]

In 2008, Bemis sang vocals on Nightbeast's Inside Jokes for Outside Folks.[23] Also, Forgive Durden's second album Razia's Shadow featured Bemis as Barayas the Spider in "The Spider and the Lamps."[24]

Bemis also appeared on the opening track of You, Me, and Everyone We Know's 2008 sophomore EP, So Young, So Insane, entitled "I Can Get Back Up Now".

In August 2008, Bemis announced that he would be recording unique songs for individual fans written on their requested topics as a part of a project he hoped would decrease the growing gap between artists and fans.[25]

Bemis announced in September 2009 that he and his wife, Sherri, were working on a small project that "became something even cooler". They created a side project called Perma.

Bemis and Say Anything were also featured on the Punk Goes Crunk album with their cover of Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Got Your Money".

Bemis announced in late September 2010 that he had written and recorded a 10 song album of acoustic songs that he called Max Bemis and the Painful Splits. Bemis stressed that this release was not an official solo record, but a collection of songs he had written that he was proud of and wanted to share with Say Anything fans. The disc could only be found and purchased by going to one of the show dates of Say Anything's tour with Saves The Day and Motion City Soundtrack October through November 2010.

On his Twitter in mid-November 2010, Bemis announced, "There WILL be a second Max Bemis and the Painful Splits record sold next year at a very special SA event that I can't reveal yet.... ", confirming that there will be a second Painful Splits record. It was later revealed that this event was to be a Max Bemis' solo tour. This tour is set to happen in February 2011. Max is set to tour ten different venues, beginning on the 11th and finishing on the 26th. Subsequently, Bemis has released several records under the moniker, usually coinciding with a specific tour.

Bemis created an imprint label named Rory Records in 2012. The releases of his label are distributed by Equal Vision Records. TALLHART is the first signed artist of the label.

Bemis announced his new comic book series Polarity, in 2013. The series has been followed up with work for Marvel Comics (A+X #14, November, 2013), and a second ongoing book with Boom! Studios, Evil Empire. In 2015 he teamed up with Logan Faerber for his third comic series, Oh, Killstrike". Also in 2015, he wrote a five-issue digital miniseries for Marvel Comics, X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever, first published weekly in January and February 2016.[26]

In May 2015, Bemis appeared as a guest vocalist on the track "Friends" for I the Mighty's album Connector.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Family and relationships[edit]

On April 4, 2009, Bemis married Sherri DuPree of the band Eisley and now resides in Tyler, Texas.

Max's current religious beliefs have changed as his relationship grew with his Christian wife, Sherri. Say Anything drummer Coby Linder has said that Max is now a Christian, a fact that Max confirmed in a Myspace Music interview.[28] He later clarified in a live chat on that he does not like to label himself in any specific religious sect and that he has a "new age, metaphysical view" about religion. He said he considers himself "A Jew who is also a Christian," in other words, someone who has recently delved spiritually into certain beliefs of Christianity but who remains culturally Jewish and very much attached to his Judaism. This is similar to Messianic Judaism.[29] He again identified himself as being Jewish in an online fan chat during The Bamboozle fest in 2010.[30]

On July 25, 2012, Max Bemis and his wife Sherri DuPree-Bemis announced that she was pregnant with their first child.[31] Sherri DuPree-Bemis posted the first sonogram of the baby on her Flickr account on August 1, 2012.[32] Bemis announced the baby will be a girl on August 27, 2012, named Lucy Jean Bemis. Lucy was born on February 11, 2013.[33] As of August, 2014, they are expecting their second child, due in February, 2015, named Coraline Mae Bemis. Coraline Mae Bemis was born on February 25, 2015[34]


In 2004, Say Anything released its breakout record, ...Is a Real Boy.[2][35] Around this time, Bemis' mental health problems began to surface. "I'm like, totally f---ed up, yo," stated Bemis regarding the breakdown. Anxiety caused by recording and writing the album, and what would later be diagnosed as bipolar disorder landed him in a mental institution. The breakdown centered around a mockumentary discussed by Bemis and producer Tim O'Heir. Bemis' state of mind led him to believe he was being secretly filmed for the mockumentary; the situation culminated in him walking the streets of Brooklyn thinking he was being filmed while encountering friends (who were actually strangers).[36]

Bemis' health problems continued into 2005. While touring with Armor for Sleep and Recover, Say Anything's management firm had olanzapine delivered to Bemis daily. However, this did not work as Bemis began substituting olanzapine with other drugs, which began to occupy an increasingly focal position in Bemis' life.[37] In June 2005, Say Anything was forced to cancel a six-week headlining tour with Circa Survive and Emanuel on the third day of the tour due to Bemis' health problems, including full-on paranoid delusions in Austin, Texas.[38][39]

He moved back home to California and was cared for by his mother, Shifra.[40] On October 3, 2005, Bemis had another breakdown; this time, it involved harassing children, spitting out food at an outdoor cafe, spending a "half-hour pouring a bowl of soup onto the floor, one spoonful at a time," engaging in a street fight, and finally being admitted to a mental hospital by an off-duty policeman.[40] This incident forced Say Anything to cancel their tour with Saves the Day, Senses Fail and The Early November. After returning from his stay in the hospital, Bemis' mother and the remaining members of the band selected the Menninger clinic in Houston, Texas, to rehabilitate Bemis. Eventually, Bemis improved and he has reportedly not had a relapse since.[2][7]


With Say Anything[edit]

With Perma[edit]

  • Perma EP
  • Two of a Crime (2013)

With Two Tongues[edit]

With Max Bemis and the Painful Splits[edit]

  • Max Bemis and the Painful Splits (2010)
  • Max Bemis and the Painful Splits 2 (2011)
  • The Painful Splits Destroy (2012)
  • The Painful Splits are Multiplying (2013)
  • Max Bemis and the Painful Splits Stripped Down (2014)


  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^ a b c d "Say Anything biography". The Tab World. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  3. ^ Meyle, Alli (2006-07-22). "Interview with Max Bemis". Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  4. ^ Garrett, Jonathan (2008-02-25). "A Jewish Kind of Pop Song". World Jewish Digest. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ ...Is a Real Boy (Media notes). Say Anything. Doghouse Records. 2004. 
  7. ^ a b Kelley, Trevor (December 2007). "Live Through This". Alternative Press (233): 164, 167–168. 
  8. ^ Bemis, Max (2007-02-02). "Say Anything and Saves the Day Announce Tour". The Official Say Anything Site. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  9. ^ Bemis, Max (2007-08-30). "MySpace Co-headline tour with Hellogoodbye". The Official Say Anything Site. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  10. ^ In Defense of the Genre (Media notes). Say Anything. J Records. 2007. 
  11. ^ Haskoor, Michael (4 February 2016). "Say Anything Streams Surprise Album 'I Don't Think It Is' Ahead of Friday Release". Music Times. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  12. ^ Futterman, Erica (2008-05-08). "Say Anything/Saves the Day Side Project to Debut Summer ‘08". Rock & Roll Daily. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  13. ^ Zemler, Emily (September 2008). "Two Tongues". Alternative Press (242): 136. 
  14. ^ a b Bemis, Max (2008-11-07). "Two Tongues Release date". The Official Say Anything Site. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  15. ^ "Two Tongues on Vagrant". Vagrant. 2008-11-06. Archived from the original on January 3, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  16. ^ Reality's Coming Through (Media notes). Hot Rod Circuit. Vagrant Records. 2004. 
  17. ^ Based on a True Story (Media notes). The Starting Line. Drive-Thru Records. 2005. 
  18. ^ The Killer in You (Media notes). Various artists. Reignition Records. 2006. 
  19. ^ Regional Community Theater (Media notes). LadyBiRdS. Creep Records. 2007. 
  20. ^ Even if it Kills Me (Media notes). Motion City Soundtrack. Epitaph Records. 2007. 
  21. ^ From the Screen to Your Stereo Part II (Media notes). New Found Glory. Drive-Thru Records. 2007. 
  22. ^ Come Back to You (Media notes). Down to Earth Approach. Vagrant Records. 2007. 
  23. ^ Inside Jokes for Outside Folks (Media notes). Nightbeast. Tragic Hero Records. 2008. 
  24. ^ Razia's Shadow (Media notes). Forgive Durden. Fueled By Ramen. 2008. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Tj Dietsch (Nov 2, 2015). "Max Bemis Creates the Worst X-Man Ever". Retrieved Feb 13, 2016. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Kelley, Trevor (December 2007). "Live Through This". Alternative Press (233): 168. 
  36. ^ Kelley, Trevor (September 2004). "Crazy Days". Alternative Press (194): 104. 
  37. ^ Kelley, Trevor (December 2007). "Live Through This". Alternative Press (233): 164. 
  38. ^ "Say Anything Guy Goes Nuts". Aversion. 2005-07-13. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  39. ^ Kelley, Trevor (December 2007). "Live Through This". Alternative Press (233): 166. 
  40. ^ a b AP Magazine, December 2007

External links[edit]