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Say Anything’s Max Bemis Announces Band’s Hiatus

Say Anything frontman Max Bemis has announced an ending of sorts for the band in a nine-page manuscript titled “A Goodbye Summation,” posted on the Say Anything website. In the document, Bemis announced a new album, OLIVER APPROPRIATE, before getting into specifics about his reasonings for stepping down.

“Our plans as a collective are to, kind of sort of, end Say Anything,” Bemis wrote. ” Or ‘the first era of Say Anything’. Whatever you want to call it, it’s that thing.” He added that the band would eventually return “to play festivals and scoff at our career.”

Bemis also said there will be no full US tour in support of the new album. “I’m done with traditional music stuff as of a few weeks ago, and though it’s sad for my label that it coincides with the album’s near-release, I won’t put myself in harms way for anything now,” he wrote. “Say Anything will probably make music again, and I’m not claiming this is our actual last record, but it may be. Who knows. That’s up to me and my family.”

The letter then gets into how Bemis came to be comfortable with his queer identity. “I have always been bi-ish or queer or a straight guy who can also like boys,” Bemis wrote before detailing his early days of being bullied or dismissed when sharing these feelings, particularly when he found his “soulmate” who was a woman. Bemis also wrote about his spiritual journey from being born Jewish to making his own sort of radical Christianity, where he followed the faith but still believed “in gay soulmates, a woman’s right to choose, civil rights and everything left-like under the sun.”

Bemis also talked about his mental health struggles and coming out of what he calls “a year- long Heath Ledger-esque descent into pain and darkness,” involving snorting anti-depressants. Bemis said he was able to get out of this painful cycle because of his separate work of writing comic books and the birth of his son: “The day I stopped snorting said drugs all day, stopped gorging on Kratom, stopped disappearing into the abyss, was the day of the birth of my son Charlie. It really happened THAT DAY. That same morning. I looked into his eyes and I knew I was done with that chapter and things had to change, though it would be painful.”

The confessional document ties back to the new album, which tells a story of the character Oliver who spirals due to the pains of life, love, and the wrestling of his own masculinity and fear. Near the close of his letter Bemis wrote, “Say Anything achieved its own goal. And I’m proud of that. My prediction is that I’m going to live a fulfilling, happy life with my family until my universal, all loving, all-inclusive spirit chooses to take me home.”