Why do we listen to music?
Vague question, I know, but I believe the answer can reveal a lot about the genres and types of artists we end up listening to. Sometimes we want to hear something pleasant to the ears. Other times we need something to feel on a rhythmic level. Or just maybe we might be looking to find music that we can connect with on a personal level. Whether this be spiritual, emotional, or some other reason, music has the power to dig deep, right to the core of our being.
I love the sound of Say Anything. The band is real, gritty, and honest (sometimes maybe even a bit too honest–see ‘Every Man Has a Molly’ below). They have range in that their material can be presented in an acoustic set with lead singer Max Bemis, in a rock-and-roll show, or even a heavily-produced style that has been likened to the music of rapper Timbaland. However, all these reasons don’t begin to explain why I love and respect this band.
Lead singer Max Bemis has been open about his struggles with mental health, in particular his fight with bipolar depression. His state of mind influenced the tone of each album. Bemis admitted that he used drugs and alcohol to deal with his issues, but by no means romanticized these actions. His honesty was refreshing, and I could relate. I have personally dealt with serious anxiety since I was a child. At several points in my life, I have experienced crippling panic attacks that really bring me down. Life can be hard, but Max Bemis has shown me that it is possible to overcome its obstacles.