Say Anything began their career in 2001 under the name Sayanything. All but two of the original members attended Windward School at this time. Coby Linder attended Shalhevet High School and Josh Eichenstein attended Beverly Hills High School. They self-released two EP's, Junior Varsity and Menorah\Majora (Menorah\Majora being an online release), and one LP entitled Baseball. Both Baseball and Junior Varsity are out of print and are no longer available.
Though it was previously indicated that Bemis would not perform any songs from Baseball live, he recently stated in an interview with Absolutepunk.net saying that "I will play them again at some point in some capacity." These early albums have a more straightforward emo/pop-punk sound, as opposed to the hard-rock sound of later works. In 2003, Forrest Kline (of power pop band hellogoodbye) recorded For Sale... with them, which was their third EP released. Photos of Kline recording with Say Anything can be found on the official hellogoodbye website.
In August 2004, ...Is a Real Boy was released on Doghouse Records. The album was produced by famed punk producer Tim O'Heir, with arrangements added by Stephen Trask, the Grammy-nominated composer of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Some time after the album was released, a set of 8 songs entitled Vs. AIDS Demos was leaked onto the internet by an unknown source. Soon the band told fans that the demos were part of an AIDS benefit album that had been scrapped, and told anyone who had attained them not to distribute them to anyone else. Max Bemis later stated on his website that "that shit sucks" in regard to the demos, though it was eventually commercially released under the title ...Was a Real Boy.
During fall 2005, frontman Max Bemis was hospitalized after a nervous breakdown, shortly before the reissue of ...Is a Real Boy and the band's headlining tour, causing them to postpone it until January. This marked the second time Bemis's mental health had forced the band to pull out of a tour. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder afterwards, but has had no related problems interfere with Say Anything since the original incident.
Say Anything then signed with J Records, owned by Sony BMG Music Entertainment, one of the "big four" record labels. Under J Records they have re-released ...Is a Real Boy with a bonus disk entitled ...Was a Real Boy containing seven of the eight Vs. AIDS Demos. This album, originally scheduled to be released on October 25, 2005, was delayed over 4 months to February 28th, 2006. Some copies ended up leaking out through various retailers, most notably Tower Records through their website. Most leaks occurred due to retailers shipping pre-orders before J Records had a chance to stop them. Soon copies of the album were selling for over $50 on eBay.
The music video for "Alive with the Glory of Love" appears briefly on a television screen in the 2007 Disney film "Bridge to Terabithia" and dialogue in the film makes reference to the video, though not by name.
Say Anything has released a dual disc album, In Defense of the Genre. Pre-orders shipped October 20th, arriving the 22nd for most, with the street date being October 23rd. It is produced by Brad Wood (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Smashing Pumpkins).
Say Anything released the single "Baby Girl, I'm a Blur" via iTunes on October 2nd, 2007.