This week's serving of "Albums That Changed My Life" goodness comes from Max Bemis of Say Anything!
The band, who just released their fifth studio album, "Anarchy, My Dear", will kick off their first headline tour of 2012 next week with support from Kevin Devine, Fake Problems and The Front Bottoms. Check out the full tour routing here.
The Beatles - The White Album
Probably the first "refined" piece of music I ever digested. I had the cassette tape as a very, very young boy and somewhere amidst the constant listening of my M.C Hammer discography, this record was subtly teaching my fresh little mind about tasteful, complex arrangements and experimental avant-garde rock.
This one got to me twice: Once as a really young kid when it first came out, and later about two or three years into being in Say Anything, when I revisited it and realized how truly awesome, heavy and brilliantly written and performed this record is. Huge influence on how I choose to present our music and really go for those balls out moments without shame.
Saves the Day - Through Being Cool
The bridge between listening to hardcore and skater punk to a deeper understanding of underground music. Really, this was my gateway drug as a 14 or 15 year old boy into truly going out and FINDING all kinds of amazing, harder-to-find rock music. I remember listening to it for the first time and being stunned that someone could actually sing intelligent, melodic poetry over heavy guitars and fast beats. I was hooked from the moment I heard it and it continues to be my favorite record of all time, even in these jaded pre-30 years.
When I left college to do Say Anything full time, I revisited this record as a (marginally) better guitar player and realized how truly awe inspiring the musicianship was. This was a big game-changer for me, but the real reason it hit home, was it convincing me that Say Anything should have an almost ironic sense of humor to the whole proceedings, in the way Queen did. This (hopefully) saved us from becoming more overly self indulgently angst ridden than we could have been, had I not rediscovered it. I will always love the songs on this record.
Tupac - Greatest Hits
Tupac was one of the first lyricists whose words I began to learn and fathom at a very young age (scary but true). Not to mention that he taught me how to rhyme and be an angry, sensitive guy. It's hard to think of many modern rappers who have his charisma, and he relatedly taught me to inject a personality into how you deliver as a vocalist.