Max was born in New York City but his family moved out to California when he was still young. He dabbled in the movie business for a while before committing to playing music. His Jewish upbringing and personal struggles constantly find their way into his music. He has been a fan of comics since he was a child.
Max is married to Eisley frontwoman Sherri Dupree-Bemis and they have a baby girl named Lucy Jean Bemis.
In 2000, Max's band Say Anything released their first album Junior Varsity. This was followed up by Baseball in 2001 and the EP Majorah/Menorah in 2002. The band hit commercial success with the 2004 release of ...Is a Real Boy. The band returned with In Defense of the Genre in 2007. Their self-titled album came out in 2009 and Anarchy, My Dear was released in 2012. Max not only acts as the main song writer, but also the guitarist, keyboardist, and bassist for most tracks.
Max is bi-polar. His experiences with this disorder, coupled with his love for comic books, prompted him to approach various comic production companies to pitch various ideas. BOOM! Studios liked what they heard and asked Max to write a script for Polarity, which has now been released and chronicles the life of a boy with bi-polar disorder, as well as superhuman abilities.