Today, we’re thanking our lucky stars to have the premiere of Seth Bogart’s video for “Club With Me,” a song you can count on as your go-to dance jam. The track is from Seth’s self-titled debut solo album, and it’s the first time he’s recorded under his given name (you may know him as Hunx of Hunx and His Punx). Feast your eyes on this!
We talked to Seth about the video, his deep love of plastic, and treating the real world like a TV show.
ANNE T. DONAHUE: Seth! Your video’s so fun and so cool and also reminds me a lot of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, which I grew up on and still adore. Tell me about how you came up with the concept, and the way it evolved from idea to masterpiece.
SETH BOGART: “Club With Me” is a song about listening to your own song at the nightclub in headphones and dancing on your own. This is the most Radio Disney song I’ve ever written, and the song and video literally make me want to turn into a cartoon. I made the video with my friend JJ Stratford, who is an amazing director and runs Telefantasy Studios. We were brainstorming, and decided I would be walking through a mall and there would be a clubwear store where I’d buy a new outfit, and then there would be a nightclub inside the mall where I would go and find my clubbin’ friends. I feel like JJ and I have this kind of magical thing going where our two styles come together and blend in a way that sorta reminds me of when MTV was cool when I was a kid.
So what’s your go-to club outfit? Or type of outfit, since I think the best part of going out is coming up with a look that’s new and distinct to that night.
A plastic bag that is painted to look like a stereo with a giant volume knob—as seen in the video.
Are you treating your album the way you would a TV show? As episodes instead of songs?
I’m definitely treating the live show as a live TV show of sorts, where I’m the host and I perform songs and then leave the stage to change while a pre-recorded video I made of skits or commercials play. I’ve always wanted to do a variety show/cabaret/play hybrid, and this is the closest I’ve gotten so far.
TV plays such a big role in the way we end up consuming and making things. What shows did you watch growing up? And how did they shape the creative vision you have now?
Double Dare, Supermarket Sweep, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, The Gong Show, The Simpsons, and RollerGames. No one remembers this, but it was a rollerblading show and one of the team’s theme songs was a Satanic message if you played it backwards. I feel like they totally shaped my creative vision. I am basically a mix of all of these shows.
I also really want to talk about your style. How has your approach to fashion changed since you started your solo work?
Hunx was like a bratty punk with bad wigs and torn up mantyhose and leather. I’m kinda stepping away from that and moving in a totally different direction: plastic.
So where did your appreciation for plastic come from? Because I immediately think of the video for “Barbie Girl.”
What are you most excited about in terms of fashion?
The things I’m most excited about right now are latex outfits and shiny satin shirts that teenagers wear to proms under tuxedos. You can get them for $20 in downtown L.A. and amaze everyone. I also love the plastic suits Peggy Noland made me. I don’t really care about fashion brands and following trends. The designer I’m into is more of an artist, but she makes most of my clothes and is one of my best friends—Peggy. I love everything she makes.
How did you meet Peggy?
She was roommates with this guy I was dating, and I ended up liking Peggy better.
So was it scary to start recording under your given name and to put Hunx on the backburner for a little bit?
It’s a little scary, but I’m kinda approaching Seth Bogart as a new character I’m playing. Since I’ve never really used my real name before and only really know how to play characters, it feels really exciting, even if it’s just me playing myself.
When did you know it was time to start working on your own, musically?
I moved to L.A. in 2012, and didn’t live near any of my bandmates, so it kinda started around then. I was still doing Hunx and His Punx with Shannon and Erin, but would barely ever see them, and still felt a burning desire to make music.
Fair! How did you begin approaching the people you collaborated with?
Cole, who co-wrote/produced my album, is a really old friend who I’ve always wanted to work with, and the universe finally made this happen. I asked Tavi to sing because she’s my friend and I heard her singing in some YouTube video and fell in love with it. Kathleen [Hanna] I’ve known since the early 2000s when I toured with Le Tigre and asked her to sing “Eating Makeup.” [So when] I realized I wanted to have lots of guest, she was at the top of my list. Chela is someone I didn’t know but was a fan of her music, and we started communicating through Twitter. Clementine I knew because her band Cherry Glazerr played their first show with Hunx at a skate park.
How has your music come to shape your aesthetic? And vice versa?
Music, fashion, video, and art are all intertwined for me, and everything informs everything else.
So what do you hope we take away from this album?
I want people to dance, mostly. ♦