The hunk behind Hunx and His Punx goes solo

Longtime fans of the sleazy, sweat-stained, leather-clad, avant-garde garage band Hunx and His Punx would not be surprised by the new eponymously titled debut solo album from band founder Seth Bogart.

 

At 36, fabulously out and more muscular than ever (in his physicality as well as his taut, still-silly/sexy new music), Bogart has cribbed from his past without eschewing a funky future. On “Seth Bogart,” the sleek singer-songwriter has crafted an effervescent musical mix of twitchy art pop, synth pop and computer-game bloops and bleeps with high-pitched, occasionally Auto-Tuned vocals, which all touch upon the most human of human natures: obsession, love, personal growth and sex with meaning.

When you witness his live show at Underground Arts July 19, you’ll find a stage and choreographed enterprise that is equal doses Peter Max, Andy Warhol and Magic Mike, with its display of video installations and male striptease. But don’t think of this as kitsch.

“I think what I’m doing now with this album and this live show is pretty similar to what I’ve always done, in that I create art and sets that go along with this music,” Bogart told PGN from the road. “This new one is way more involved and has a whole video element to it as well. I got so bored with the standard ‘Groundhog’s Day’-esque cycle of releasing albums and touring that I knew I needed to do things differently this time.”

That process started last year with the debut of “The Seth Bogart Show” in Los Angeles, an installation in which the singer/composer with the slicked-back hair and reed-thin pencil mustache took fans into a totally self-created world to hear his songs, watch his videos and view whatever additional artworks he chose to present.

“I surrounded the audience with a bunch of art I made, instead of just hearing songs at a show or maybe Spotify or whatever.”

In speaking with him, you get a feeling that Bogart longed to do this forever. Delighted with his past, Bogart blamed his overdrive shift in solo stardom on wanderlust.

“You can feel it in your heart when it’s time to let go and start something new,” he said. “Plus, I do get bored and like to try new things.”

While creating new demos back in the summer of 2012 with his friends — namely fellow Oaklander Cole M.G.N., who has worked with Beck and Ariel Pink and co-wrote and co-produced Bogart’s new album — Bogart began to create smoother electronic sounds (rather than Punx’s jagged garage rock), saltier but more meaningful lyrics and arch characters. Luckily, he didn’t get rid of the cowhides that once earmarked the Hunx personae as part of the transition into the solo Bogart.

“Well, I actually got more buff recently and they don’t fit me anymore,” Bogart laughed. “But I hold onto them, especially this special one that my friend Peggy Noland painted this big ‘MANEATER’ thing on the back. I like to hold onto most of my stage wear, actually, so that I can haul it all out and be like ‘WTF’ or, perhaps, one day, have the shittiest museum ever.”

What fits Bogart now is songs about celebrity culture, such as “Smash the TV” and “Hollywood Squares,” that seem to both poke fun and seek communion with such obsession (he jokes about the whereabouts of Richard Simmons when I prod him about celebrity inhabiting the soul of his work). While further obsession is explored on “Eating Makeup,” Bogart does not leave love alone for a moment as “Plastic!” looks at wronged romance and “Forgotten Fantazy” concerns missing the mark while attempting to be everything to a lover. “Barely 21” was written first but didn’t guide the album because it somehow doesn’t belong with the others; “Lubed” and “Hollywood Squares” came early and fit.

When asked if any of his new songs reflect who is he at present, he said, “I like to keep my personal life more of a mystery, sometimes even from myself, so who knows?”

He was forthcoming, however, about his relationship status.

“Yes! I am in a relationship with a man that I love more than anything. We met four years ago and have been together ever since. Like I said, I keep my personal life a mystery, but he is super hot, and so rad.”

Going back to the music, Bogart has an amazing LGBT-themed anthem that connects him with gay audiences worldwide.

“‘Lubed’ is definitely one of my faves,” he said about the song. “I love creating a safe space for anyone who is a nice weirdo — gay or not. That’s my goal with my shows.”

The Seth Bogart Show with Pouty and Wild at Heart is 8 p.m. July 19 at Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit www.undergroundarts.org.