Hunx & His Punx are back and they’ve gone street punk — literally, as that’s the name of the garage-rocker’s new album. While his last release, Hairdresser Blues, dealt with depression, on Street Punk, he gets mean, fast and vicious. There are songs about going on a stabbing rampage simply because you have bad skin. There is a Beastie Boys cover. Hive talked to Hunx about the new record, his foot slave, and his status as a gay icon. Also, don’t call him “fabulous.” He might stab you.
You used to have a “foot slave.” What was the deal with that?
I had a foot slave for a couple of days. But then, he wanted to be just like a regular slave. He wanted me to like walk him around on a leash and degrade him and hit him and tell him that he was worthless. But, I just wanted a dad, so it didn’t work out.
How does something like that even get started?
He came over and was just saying that he really liked feet. I was like, “Oh, I just had a hard day, you can just rub my feet.” But, then it went too far. I mean, not too too far, it’s just not my thing.
I don’t understand how he made the transition from being a foot massager to someone that wanted to be whipped and beat up.
Well, he got this collar out of his car and then came and wanted me to walk around the house with him. I was like, “I just wanted you to do my laundry and rub my feet while I watched Desperate Housewives. I didn’t know that it was going to turn into all of this.”
Your new album is called Street Punk. Are you referencing British working class ‘77-style punk, or something else?
It refers to a new brand of punk called “Street Punk.”
So you are rebranding the term to a new punk genre?
It’s exclusively for women and gay guys. I just think it’s funny to take something that exists and rebrand it.
The ol’ switcheroo!
Yeah! What I hope is that people who are really young and who don’t know what street punk is, will think that this is street punk.
However, you actually are a fan of the original street punks. That is, the punks who used to live in the streets, like the Germs, the Bags, and Screamers.
Yeah, that’s like my favorite kind of punk!
What a lot of people tend to forget is that the Germs, the Bags, and the Screamers all had gay members. But, that gets overlooked pretty frequently. Why do you think that is?
I think that the cool people talk about it. I think that a lot of the punk people don’t know about that is because they don’t know a lot of history and I also think that some people don’t want to promote that side of it.
By contrast, Street Punk has a song called “Don’t Call Me Fabulous.” What’s that about?
It’s kind of controversial. We were in Europe and this guy called Shannon Shaw [of Hunx’s band and Shannon and the Clams] “fabulous.” We were really drunk and she was like “I hate it when people call me fabulous! It means that they are just calling me fat or gay!” A lot of people say that word. It’s funny — it’s just a stupid word. Just stop calling people that!
So, you don’t like that word because it reduces you to less than what you really represent?
Call me whatever. It’s just a stupid word.
Almost all press that mentions you, discusses how you are gay. Is it burdensome that your sexuality is brought up in every piece about you?
Well, I think that it’s partly my fault in a way because I really flaunted it. I think our music is different now. But, when I started, our music was associated with these boring rock and roll bands that I found to be so boring and straight. So, I just wanted to put it out there. I think it also got me a lot of attention, but that wasn’t what I was going for. Now, there are a ton of gay punks and women punk bands. So, it’s not as big of a deal.
On the album, you cover “Egg Raid on Mojo,” an old school Beastie Boys tune from when they were a hardcore band. How did that come about?
Shannon just had the idea to do that song. I was always so obsessed with their earlier hardcore stuff. It’s just so weird that they transferred over to different territory. It’s very bratty and fast and teenage sounding and shitty sounding. Plus, they’re hot.
That song is about egging a particularly nasty bouncer. Have you ever egged a bouncer?
I’ve egged other things and I’ve definitely been denied by bouncers before. Bouncers suck.
What have you egged?
I can’t say because I’ll get in trouble.
You can trust me, Hunx.
I can’t! If someone reads this I’ll get in trouble. I don’t think egging is very legal.
Did you egg a person or did you egg something like a police station?
I’m not telling!
Your previous album, Hairdresser Blues, was touted as your more “serious” album. Why do you think that one was so serious?
Oh my God, I was just so depressed when I made that. I don’t even know if I like that record anymore. I was just really sad. It was the only thing I felt that I could do. I don’t even know if it is “serious.” I was just depressed.
What were you depressed about?
Relationships, suicide, people dying, being broke, Everything was just going wrong for a year or two. I was so sad that the only thing I could do was write a song that made me feel good.
But things are better now?
Yeah, now everything is great. Everything is going good, I’m just happy to be alive, I know that sounds cliché. I love my boyfriend. I love my band. I love doing art. I love the beach. Now it’s that I just want to sit down and write a song that I like.
Street Punk is out now on Hardly Art.