Bemis also discusses touring with wife Sherri DuPree as Perma
Say Anything is "about 80 percent done" with its next album, according to frontman Max Bemis, and though he's keeping specifics under wraps, he promises that it's "definitely something new" for the band.
"It's actually kind of a really special record for us," Bemis tells Billboard. "I can't exactly get into why, but it's definitely kind of a big shift for us in certain ways...some really crazy arrangements."
Bemis will talk about one change, however: "I produced the record, which I haven't done since the '...Is a Real Boy' record we did when I was in high school and using digital 8-track. We have our own studio now, so basically me and Garron (Eisley), who plays bass for Eisley and Say Anything and is engineering for me, have been able to spread out the recording over the course of five months or so. It's definitely giving me a lot of time to tastefully arrange things that I wouldn't have necessarily had the time to do if we were on a traditional schedule and paying a producer for their time. We're very, very proud of how it's coming out."
The new album will be the follow-up to Say Anything's 2012 album "Anarchy, My Dear," and Bemis says the group plans to tour when it's released. Meanwhile, Bemis is in the midst of a "solo" tour that wraps Dec. 12 in Dallas that's given him a chance and his wife, Sherri DuPree Bemis of Eisley, a chance to play material from their first full-length Perma album, "Two of a Crime," which came out in October.
Listen to Perma's "Little Light":
"I think that's what make this particular really special is that it`s the first-ever Perma tour," Bemis says. "The record's been out for a few weeks and people have gotten a chance to listen to it and this is the first time we're playing it on the road. I do think that's a big part of it. When we did a Perma set before it was literally these two songs we had written that were essentially demos for the sake that it would be fun and I know our fans enjoy seeing us sing together. Now we're actually supporting a release and people know the songs, hopefully. There's a lot more deliberateness to the fact Perma is on tour. There's actually a reason to be doing it."
Bemis calls Perma "refreshing" for both he and Eisley, and he expects the collaboration to be a going concern alongside their other bands.
"I don't consider any of the stuff I do to be a 'side project,' " he says. "I think the notion of a side project for someone like me is kind of pretentious and dumb. I don't see Two Tongues as a side project, either. If any of those took off in some way, I don't think it will hurt me as the singer of Say Anything. They can all exist with each other."