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Friday, April 1, 2011

A Trip to the Gay Bar with Hunx and His Punx's Seth Bogart

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 11:40 AM

click to enlarge Bogart: This is what his not-having-sex phase looks like. - ALEX PENNEY
  • Alex Penney
  • Bogart: This is what his not-having-sex phase looks like.
Seth Bogart, the Hunx in Hunx and His Punx, offered us a choice of venue for our interview: His warehouse in the Bayview, "or we could meet at a bar (preferably gay and sleazy)." Naturally, we chose the bar. And so it was that, late one recent evening, we sat down at a tiny table in Aunt Charlie's in the Tenderloin for a talk with one of San Francisco's most fun musicians (and most lascivious Twitterers). It was Britney Spears night in the bar, and the 31-year-old Bogart had just come from an event at the Kink Armory, where his roommate does makeup. Shortly after we began, he apologized for being drunk. It was no matter: We had a long and entertaining conversation about sex, smoking, being in love, music writers, and Hunx and His Punx' new album, Too Young to Be in Love, which is more poppy, less overtly gay, and more heartbroken than the sex-driven garage-rock Hunx previously specialized in. Bogart and his newish all-female band (the Punkettes) celebrate the album's release tomorrow night at Bottom of the Hill. Below, some highlights from our conversation:

Bogart: It's kind of like weird that I was so responsible all my twenties and now I'm just like, fuck it. But it's exciting, because I'm sick of being responsible. I'd rather just try to do art and music.

What's more fun: the shop [Down at Lulu's in Oakland], music, or the TV show [Bogart is working on a new comedy show called Hollywood Nails]?

It's fun to do all those things and then it gets to business and it's not fun. The music is super fun. I love writing the songs, I love performing for the most part, and I love doing artwork, but I hate answering 100 emails a day and most interviews. I like in-person interviews, but I do a lot of interviews over the phone and it's so boring. The same questions over and over.

Like what?

It's just about being gay and liking John Waters. Which is cool, but so obvious. I like interviews that are done by friends. Or by two celebrities.

So, what did you think of that Pitchfork review?

The guy like blogged about how much he loves us and tweeted the review at me and all these people are like, 'Oh my god, such a great review.' I think it's basically like, if you're on that website and get more than a seven then everyone thinks it's cool. But I thought the review was kind of whack. The rating and the "his voice is so annoying." Which -- obviously! We got really good reviews in England. NME gave us an 8 out of 10 and a whole page. But honestly I don't really fucking give a shit. It's lame to rate someone's life. I'd rather get a zero or a 10. I'd rather have someone hate it or be obsessed with it, otherwise what's the point? I don't care, but it is kind of a bummer, 'cause I really just want to be Best New Music because then I feel like you have it made.

Aha, so you've figured out how that works.

Duh! I just want that fucking Best New Music so I can get like paid a lot of money. But then there's like all these stupid assholes [who will] come to your shows, like stupid normal people.

And then think about how many more interviews you'll have to sit through.

Exactly, I just wanna go for like the teens and the weird gay people and the girls. It's my fault because I partly wrote our press release.

Is there a part of it that you regret?

It's just like, whatever you write on your press release is what people are going to rewrite like almost verbatim but change it to be even lamer than the original. So I regret it, but I'd probably regret anything. I'm kind of jaded on media. I was like, "I wanna be in every magazine." But I really don't, I just want to do photo shoots all day. I prefer to not talk and do lots of photos. Or, I like going to a bar and getting wasted with the interviewer. But I don't wanna do it on the phone.

Your new album's kind of sad.

So sad.

People have this image of you as kind of a man about town, really happy. Are you really just a boy looking for love?

I don't think I actually get that sad about love really. I get sad just about everything. But it comes like in heavy phases. I'll be really super happy for four months and then I'll want to die for like a month. And then I'll get happy again. But when I write songs I just like to write about love. Maybe I'll get really dark and just write about dying.

What causes you to be unhappy?

I don't know. Maybe it's something wrong with me. I don't know. Is everyone unhappy?

I think everyone's unhappy to some extent.

It's just weird because I'm super-super-happy and feeling so great and feel so pumped to be alive, and then something will happen and suddenly I'll just not want to live at all. For a month. I guess I'm kind of manic or something. But more often I'm really happy. But I think it's good to write sad love songs. People say it's just a throwback, but whatevs.

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Ian S. Port


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