Seth Bogart returns five years later, promises audio-visual experience

Friday 17th, June 2016 / 13:22
By Colin Gallant

Disclosure: Music Editor Colin Gallant is a contract Sled Island employee.

Seth Bogart has embraced all parts of himself for new album and tour. Photo: J.J. Stratford

Seth Bogart has embraced all parts of himself for new album and tour.
Photo: J.J. Stratford

CALGARY — “Hell no! Fuck that shit.”

That was Seth Bogart’s answer to the first question posed in the interview for this story. We scheduled well in advance, due to his being one of my idols and his omnipresence as Hunx at Sled Island 2011 (also inescapable: endless lines to see him). Apparently, there was a miscommunication with his publicist’s wanting to do the chat after Coachella.

“That’s a festival I can get into,” he chimes in, when informed that this call is to talk about Sled Island. I didn’t actually see any of his official performances in 2011, but did enjoy his luridly intimate set at our old BeatRoute office.

“I think I peed everywhere,” he (barely) remembers. “And I think everyone drank my pee.”

Early this year, Bogart released his first album under his given name, but will be billed as The Seth Bogart Show at Sled.

“It’s an audio-visual show, so there’s projections the entire show, and lots of costume changes, and usually I have a set,” he says. “By the time I come to Canada we’ll probably have some blow-up things onstage. Then there’s lots of commercials and videos.”

Unbeknownst to Bogart at the beginning of our interview, someone had recorded the entirety of his debut of the Show and let it loose on YouTube. It depicted (spoiler alert) fake security guards who are lusted at during the show, only to do something unexpected when the ruse is revealed.

“I need to find some of those for Canada,” he reacts. “I would always flirt, every time, with security when I was in Hunx. Just because I always thought it was funny.”

Almost all of the time, pop music is about love and sex. Yet with Bogart, he at once — intentionally or not — normalizes and simultaneously absurdifies homosexuality within supposedly alternative, yet predominantly heterosexual, indie culture. The response (for Bogart and many others) from the press has sorely missed the mark in its appraisal of so-called “gay music.” The collateral effect has been to dominate the conversation on, thus marginalize, artists whose sexual expression is as rightfully in play in their work as it is for anyone inside the heterosexual experience.

“I feel the album is really weird because it’s half very silly and funny, and then, there’s a few songs on it that are very personal and sad, about losing friends… I guess there’s some sexual fantasy songs as well,” he says. “When it comes down to it, I feel like I’m kind of a mix of all that stuff, so, I was just trying to make something that felt really real to me.”

The Seth Bogart Show takes place on June 23rd at the #1 Legion, and Bogart will DJ at Broken City on the 24th as part of Sled Island Music and Arts Festival.

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