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Say Anything to punch punk into Columbus

Courtesy of Big Hassle

One band is bringing its own take on Queen’s theatrical-style music to Columbus this weekend.

“I think we sound sort of like a louder version of Queen,” said Max Bemis, frontman of Los Angeles-based band Say Anything. “It’s chaotic, but in a good way.”

Say Anything is scheduled to perform Sunday at Newport Music Hall alongside bands Murder By Death, The Sidekicks and Tallhart. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The six-piece indie punk band has had nine lineup changes since it first formed in 2000. Lead vocalist and guitarist Bemis and drummer Coby Linder are the band’s only original members.  

Say Anything is touring in support of its latest album “Anarchy, My Dear,” released March 13, which Bemis said is more confident than the band’s previous albums.

“I think this one is a little more self-assured, being that I wrote it coming from a more confident place,” he said.

For Bemis, the record is all about the power of anarchy as a positive force, and one song in particular demonstrates that well.

“I like the first song, ‘Burn a Miracle,'” Bemis said. “I just think it sums up everything on the record.”

Bemis said the band had specific goals for its fourth studio album and feels they have been met.

“The reaction has been great. I mean we had certain goals that we sort of had when we went into making this record, which was to really inspire and excite our fan base more than anything,” Bemis said. “More than getting bigger or getting on the radio or cross over into some mainstream audience, and I think that record’s definitely done that.”

Bemis said that while he can’t remember the last time the band played in Ohio, the band is excited to be back promoting its new album.

“We do play in Ohio quite a bit, but I don’t remember the last time we were there,” he said. “(But) I always have a good experience. I just hope people enjoy themselves.”

Mike Hunter, promotions manager at PromoWest Productions, said it had indeed been a while since the band had played in Columbus and the fans seem to be excited about Say Anything coming back.

“They haven’t been around in a long time and we’ve actually been surprised at the reaction that we’ve gotten to the show,” Hunter said. “But their fans seem to be coming out of the woodwork for it and we just haven’t had them in a while, so it’ll be a great show.”

Madison Boyer, a second-year in linguistics, who is attending the show, said she is a long-time fan of the band because of Bemis and his lyrics.

“I have been listening to them for a really long time so part of it is a nostalgia factor and I also think that Max Bemis is just a fantastic writer,” Boyer said. “I think it’s important in songs when they really have meaning in the lyrics and I think Say Anything does a really good job of that.”

Tom Shannon, a sales clerk at Used Kids Records, located at 1980 N. High St. said that while the store carries the band’s album, he’s not very familiar with the band.

“I don’t know much about the band, I would say that we do not do a lot sales-wise with that particular band,” Shannon said. “We’re much more of an underground, I know a lot of people would think that, that type of music is underground, but we’re even farther underground than that and the bands that we tend to sell here are very obscure.”

Bemis is hoping to make people more familiar with the band’s music and for the audience to forget about their daily troubles at Sunday’s show.

“I just hope that they can kind of lose themselves in the music,” he said. “And just are able to let go of whatever they deal with and just kind of unite and enjoy the music.”

Tickets for Sunday’s show are available at the Newport, located at 1722 N High St., for $16.50 in advance or $20 the day of the show.

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