Jeff Turner and Parker Case of Say Anything

In Interview on August 17, 2010 at 4:09 am

(Left, Guitarist Jeff Turner; Right, Keyboardist Parker Case)

       During the St. Petersburg Warped Tour I had the opportunity to speak with Keyboardist, Parker Case, and the Guitarist, Jeff Turner after Say Anything’s set.

      Honestly, I had intentions of speaking with Max Bemis, but he had left to go tend to some radio station business. I was then left to awkwardly stand for a moment with Case and Turner- when I realized this wasn’t a disaster- just a nice accident that happened to fall into place. There was more than just seeing a guitarist and a keyboardist- but two people with their own lives, projects, and personas outside of what they’re normally known for. These guys are creative, ridiculous, and very talented.

&nbsp      A few of my questions for Bemis were ones that Parker and Jeff could answer, and Parker replied that they would “answer to the best of their ability- and if they didn’t know it they could say pass”. Jeff added, “If it’s multiple choice then maybe we could do that. Always guess B.”

       Say anything’s songs are worked on acoustically, first. After Bemis has the basic structure of the song himself, he and Coby Linder, the drummer, get together to piece in the drums and then the “building process starts”. Parker has heard some songs in chunks, one being Shiksa, which was apparently “around for a while”. Jeff mentioned that when Coby and Max are figuring out a song, Coby will use a drum pad and “memorize what he’s doing. It’s pretty cool- I’ve watched them do it.”

       Another curious thing about the songs is its characters, like the females that are often mentioned throughout the albums. A while back, the band had a video chat where fans could ask any questions they wanted. One asked if any of the women have approached Max about songs being about them, and his answer was a simple, yes. “Most of them know exactly who they’re about. Especially the last record. His ex-girlfriend knows that a lot of them are about her. I don’t know about before that though,” said Jeff. “In defense has a re-occurring theme with this one particular person,” added Parker.

       “You know that’s the reason he changed the lyrics to ‘That is why’? A girl made him. Well, not made him but you know, persuaded; the way she does- to change the lyrics to not be good-because they were about a different girl.” If you didn’t already know that there was an alternative version to the song ‘That is why’, and you can find the before, more positive version on YouTube.

       When we got on the subject of side-projects, it was impossible not to mention Two Tongues, a new project featuring Max and Coby, but also Chris Conley and Dave Soloway from Saves the Day. It was probably inevitable that Bemis and Conley would collaborate, particularly because of the friendship between them, but also they were on tour together which I would assume some work was done there for Two Tongues. The record is finished and was recorded in Chico, California. Eventually there will be a tour for this project also, but no one is sure of when.

        Jeff and Jake Turner have been singing and playing music for a large portion of their lives. Their MySpace says 9 years. XO was started in 2005 by Jeff, after the Turners had joined Say Anything. Before Say Anything, Jeff was in Hot Rod Circuit. The two play music in the band, but do not create music. Jeff explained since Say Anything wasn’t allowing him the express himself artistically, he created XO. Their debut EP was for sale during Warped Tour. Jeff said honestly and sort of quietly, “I worked really hard on it.” XO’s songs are quieter and sweeter than what is played in Say Anything. The song titles are short and simple, though the songs themselves are very detailed and earnest. They are full of both meaningful memories and wishes for the future. They have a tour planned out for this fall and will pass through Tampa in December.

       Parker Case used to be a part of a duo called JamisonParker before SA. He and Jamison worked on that band for about 3 years. “We recorded a record and it came out a year after we made it- by that time our momentum had kind of died. We were doing pretty low profile tours in a van and we felt like it wasn’t really going anywhere. Also, Jamison started getting into different kinds of music- which I liked- but I would rather be more influenced by them instead of re-hashing what was already there… So, that was it. We decided to break it up.” He was then going to work on music in a different way by getting a job in a studio, but then got involved with SA. “So, we had a band for a while but it was never going to the next step- we were stagnant. Which is weird- because now a lot of people come up to me and ask about it- and I’m like where were you guys when we were doing it?!” Then Jeff laughed. I said, “I was there- you guys played in Tampa- with… the Plain White T’s.” “Oh, yeah… wow. Long time ago.” That was a lie from each of us. They never played with the PWT’s, and they played with the Starting Line at the show that I was present for. Parker will start recording again after Warped Tour and “hopefully it will be the beginning of a fruitful relationship.” He has made it a goal to record and create a record on his own. Though, he said if he needed to use additional people then so be it.

       Neither of the two is tired of playing ‘Wow, I can get sexual too’ or ‘Alive with the glory of love’. Jeff said ‘Alive’ was one of his favorite songs to play still. “The only way it stays new personally, is because the crowd loves it so much. They sing it so loud and its like ‘Okay, this is why we play this song’. It really is a good song even though I’ve heard it so many times.” “’Wow’ is actually fun. All the songs are really fun to me and they’ll never get old because I’m still playing guitar and I’m still singing.” Parker added, “And they’re pretty diverse.” He also said that playing ‘Wow’ was a challenge because his part on the keyboards “is kind of intense”. When asked what their favorite songs to play off the new album “In Defense of the Genre” were, Parker replied with ‘Plea’. Jeff said ‘Retarded in Love’ for the “different instrumentation.”

       After confirming which twin Jeff actually was, he somewhat justified my question with, “I do a lot of things with my hair.” Speaking of hair, the guys have a bet going. Neither of them can cut their hair and whoever does gets a “big penalty”. The one who breaks has to buy a shirt from the band ‘the Higher’ and has to wear it everyday. If seen without the shirt, the sleeves must be cut off. Basically you’ll eventually end up just wearing a collar. I’m not sure who had the hair bet idea first- the crazy musicians- or the characters in “Knocked Up,” though I’m willing to bet Case and Turner are going to last a lot longer than poor, Martin.

Official Say Anything Site
Say Anything MySpace
XO MySpace
I And The Universe MySpace

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