Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx

INTERVIEW

Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx

For Seth Bogart, a split 7” with Cassie Ramone and a cult smash web series (that combines the best elements of Ru Paul’s Drag Race with Judge Judy and Pink Flamingos) are all in a day’s work. The silly, frenetic and insanely busy showman is headed to Australia as Hunx (with his band of Punx in tow) later this month to play Sugar Mountain festival and a sideshow at the Tote, and he couldn’t be more psyched about it.

Here, we talk about his obsession with Ronnie Spector, whether Lindsay Lohan’s future will resemble Britney Spears’ (we wish), what Tavi Gevinson is doing for teen girls, comparisons to John Waters and what we bet Miley Cyrus is really like. Oh, and his tour.

Brodie Lancaster: Hi, is this Seth?
Seth Bogart:
Hi! Yes! I just got off another call a few seconds ago.

BL: Another one in Australia?
SB:
Yes, I love talking to Australian people. They’re just, like, really nice and I like the accent. It makes me excited to go there.

BL:
Have you been here before?
SB:
No, I’ve never been! I am so excited, it’s one of my dreams.

BL:
I saw on Instagram the other day you took a picture of the tickets to your sideshow at the Tote, and I thought having a BBQ with your show is very Australian. We love BBQs.
SB:
We love BBQs too!

BL: I think we Australians and Californians just love being outside.
SB:
I love it.

BL: I know you’re from Oakland, but you’re in LA right now. What are you working on?
SB:
I’m in LA, I’ve been living here for about a year. I’m working on a TV show with my friend Brande [Bytheway] called Hollywood Nailz.

BL:
I was just watching the first episode last night! What made you want to make a TV show together? What were you watching when you came up with episode 1?
SB:
We came up with it when we were working on videos together, because she was in a lot of Hunx videos and for this one called ‘Cruising’ we made this nail salon set where she does my nails in the video. We were like, “That was so fun to make a set, we should do a show!” And we live together and have the same, stupid sense of humour. We weren’t watching anything, except Ru Paul’s Drag Race, really.

BL: And you raised money for the first episode through Kickstarter?
SB:
Yeah, but… I had to beg my mom ‘cause we didn’t make the goal! I had to be like, “Mom, please put $400 in!” Don’t tell!

BL:
I always see in articles about you that people compare you to John Waters. How do you feel about those comparisons?
SB:
I mean, I love him. Especially when I was a teen – I watched all his movies all the time. I feel like, it’s like, always a comparison to everything I do. But I’m fine with that; it’s better than being compared to someone stupid. I think [Hollywood Nailz] is kinda different – like, it’s funny in a more stupid way. It’s definitely a compliment!

BL:
As well as working on the show with Brande, I saw on Twitter today that you’re putting out a record with Cassie Ramone [from the Vivian Girls]. How did that come about?
SB:
She’s become one of my really good friends from us playing shows together, and we’ve been doing art together. We’ve been drawing t-shirts and we’re gonna do an art show. We’re also going to do a line of clothes and pillowcases and stuff. But I got asked to do this benefit and make a 7-inch. It’s like a series and they ask 12 people and you pick someone to be on the other side, and I thought of her because I naturally just like to collaborate with her.

Also sometimes people say in interviews how annoying both of our voices are, so I think we’re also just going to bombard people with both of them. We were talking about touring together to promote it together, which would be fun.

BL:
Would the clothes and the pillowcases have the drawings that you do for your Hunx merch?
SB:
Yeah, we wanna do that but have a line of them on t-shirts!

BL:
So I follow you on Instagram and I saw the other day you were about to watch LOL, the Miley Cyrus movie-
SB:
Oh my god, did you watch that?

BL: Yeah, I watched it a few weeks ago.
SB:
Oh my god! Did you like it?

BL:
Ummmm… I liked it okay. Miley had to work really hard, but she didn’t have a lot to work with.
SB:
I know! I love her so much! I feel like this movie was kind of stupid. It was like, nothing.

BL:
Yeah, it was just an excuse to have her and Demi Moore in a movie together.
SB:
I thought Demi Moore was kinda stupid. I find her annoying anyway, but she was kind of horrible in the movie.

BL:
I had a dream recently where I met a guy who rode a motorcycle and then he started dating my mother. And I had to remember why that was so familiar to me.
SB:
I like that Miley Cyrus movies have affected you so much.

BL:
She’s a big influence on me, I’m sure she is on you, too.
SB:
Um, yeah! We did a Halloween show and we covered Miley Cyrus’ ‘See You Again’.

BL:
Good one! Maybe when you come to Australia you can meet someone and then get married so you and Miley can have a joint Australian/American wedding.
SB:
Oh my god, that would be so cool! I love her!  I feel like we’d be friends. She’s cool. I think she’s a bad girl and she’s slutty and she had, like, a hot boyfriend that was 20 when she was, like 16.

BL: I feel like Disney kept her restrained for a really long time, and now she’s free and we’re seeing the real Miley.
SB:
I know! Now she just gets to be herself.

BL: Like Lindsay.
SB:
Lindsay’s my other fave, actually. Britney’s also my fave. I love all of them!

BL:
For Miley and Lindsay, I feel like looking at Britney is like looking into their future.
SB:
I actually think that their futures will be worse! Especially for Lindsay, her future is already a lot worse than Britney’s. [Britney] came back! Did you see the Lindsay Lohan/Elizabeth Taylor movie?

BL:
I have it, but I haven’t been able to watch it yet. I feel like I need other people there when I watch it, because by myself will be like I’m taking it too seriously.
SB:
Yeah, we watched it at a party and I think – and I hate saying this because I love her so much – but I think she’s gonna die or something. It’s not looking good for her.

BL: It’s really sad because I was really rooting for her on SNL and they kept saying it was her big comeback. And then Liz and Dick was also her big comeback. She knows they’re meant to be really good and she’s putting too much pressure on herself.
SB:
I know! I feel like she could be really good too. Maybe she was just good in Mean Girls.

BL:
And the Parent Trap. She did two accents when she was, like, 13!
SB:
Oh yeah, she was good in that! She was better when she was younger. I met her once! At some Hollywood club, she was really wasted. We have a friend in common and he introduced me and she thought my friend was stupid.

BL:
So we’ve gotten into it a little already, but I want to talk to you about teenage girls. We have a mutual friend in common – Tavi Gevinson – who I know loves your music, and you went to her Rookie show in LA.
SB:
Oh my god, yeah! We went shopping and I took her to lunch. I LOVE her. She’s so cool, I wish there was something like that when we were teens.

BL: I know, when we were both teenage girls!
SB:
When I was an actual teenage girl! Now I’m just some 32 year old… person.

BL:
I don’t know how you feel about One Direction –
SB:
OH MY GOD I LOVE 1D!

BL:
Me too, who is your favourite?
SB:
I’m kind of a 1D poser because I don’t know all their names, but I just love the hits. I think there might be a movie about them, right?

BL: Yeah, Morgan Spurlock is directing it and people think that he’s selling out, but I think it’ll be great.
SB:
Oh that will be great. I love their two hits that were out earlier in the year, I was like obsessed with them.

BL:
I feel like you’re the person I can talk about this with: I think people don’t take them seriously because they’re marketed to teenage girls. And someone like Tavi is doing such a good job of showing that teenage girls and the things they care about can be taken seriously.
SB:
Yeah, I love that Tavi is into like Riot Grrrl music and punk music, but she also really likes Taylor Swift. That’s how I was! I had kind of sophisticated, underground tastes, but I was also obsessed with Britney Spears. I used to be embarrassed about it, but then I was like, “I don’t care! I want to read celebrity magazines! And listen to pop! Fuck you!”

BL: I started doing that maybe a year ago and it feels so good. I realised that I always loved pop music, and just because it’s popular doesn’t mean that it’s bad.
SB:
I know, I think I started doing that like 10 years ago. For a while I tried to be cool or something, but then I was like, “I don’t care! This is the best!”

BL: My time is almost up, so I feel like I should talk about your music at least a little bit.
SB:
I guess…

BL: I’m a big fan of ‘60s girl groups, and that’s how Hunx and his Punx is marketed – as a male-fronted ‘60s girl group – which is awesome.
SB:
Thank you, I only thought of that when I had to write a stupid press release.

BL:
It works though!
SB:
I couldn’t think of anything else, but that makes sense, right?

BL: It totally makes sense when you hear the music and see you guys. What girl groups are you into?
SB:
My two all-time faves are the super obvious ones, but I love the Ronettes and the Shangri-Las so much. I like some weirder and more obscure ones, but I love Ronnie Spector so much, I’m like obsessed with her. Have you read her book called Be My Baby?

BL:
I haven’t. Anything to do with Phil Spector instantly bums me out so I feel like it would make me sad.
SB:
It’s seriously so crazy. She talks about all this shit that he would make her do and that he did to her. Like, he wouldn’t let her drive around without him unless she did it with a replica of him, like a life-size dummy of him, in the passenger seat.

BL: Oh my god.
SB:
I KNOW! Like, it’s almost so insane that it’s not even sad. It’s probably like my favourite book, and I love her so much.

BL: I think we’re about to get cut off, so I wanted to ask before you come to Australia if there are any Australian bands you’re into? If not, I can make you a mixtape.
SB:
OH MY GOD PLEASE DO! I don’t know that much. I think we’re playing some shows with the UV Rays, they seem cool. My friend Jack was in a band called Circle Pit, but I don’t know that much Australian stuff so I’m excited to check it out and learn more about it.  I’m so excited, please make me a mix! I can’t wait to meet you!

HUNX AND HIS PUNX TOUR DATES:

Thursday 17 January - The Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney
Friday 18 January - MONA FOMA, Hobart
Saturday 19 January - Sugar Mountain, Melbourne
Sunday 20 January - The Tote, Melbourne
Wednesday 23 January - Barwon Club, Melbourne
Friday 25 January - The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday 26 January - The Metro, Adelaide
Sunday 27 January - Fringe World Festival, Perth

WORDS:
Brodie Lancaster

 

By SOPHIE, 04 January 2013
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