The Bogarts, a four piece punk band from Thousand Oaks, California are something of an enigma. When last seen on Dying Scene, the band had recently released a brand new full-length album, “Nothing To Call Our Own”. Having gone on their fourth tour this summer with Moonraker, The Bogarts have returned to their all too quiet home town, but with all too riotous intentions. I was fortunate enough to have a sit down with Alex Johnson, vocalist and guitarist, upon their return.
Enigmatic though they may be, The Bogarts are well known for being down to earth guys. In the way of bands that come from a suburb in Southern California, it’s hard to find humble, friendly acts like this. Along with humility, this foursome from T.O. are well known for their sense of humor. Alex let no exceptions fall through, when, as we began our interview he exclaimed, “Hold on! Lemme piss real quick….I’m dying.”
After a short piss break…here’s what we discussed.
Q: So, you’re fresh off the tour van after your something like…fourth tour with The Bogarts. What would you say has changed for you the most in these last couple years after touring with different bands and with each other?
A: You mean besides the fact that we’ve gotten a lot better at jerking each other off? I don’t know. Probably the fact that we have developed more of a routine now. Not to say we have the same set list every night, because we don’t. I mean “routine” as in the pre-show and post-show shit that goes on; unloading the van, setting up, breaking down, loading the van. Once you spend enough time on the road, you start to realize that if you’re going to do this and not lose things along the way, you need to develop a system for everything you do. I guess what I’m trying to say with all this rambling is that we’re just a lot more organized now.
Q: So in essence, with your experience on the road, you’ve evolved into a machine, so to speak. One that can maintain itself despite hitches on the road. On the note of evolving, The Bogarts have done little to change the “outer image” of the band and what you stand for as a whole. Do you have any comments regarding how you feel about the development of the music and the maturation of the band?
A: The masturbation of the band has actually pretty much remained the same. Moritz is still into the more “mature” women, whereas Nick still enjoys the occasional BDSM/shock porn.
Q: All self-indulgence laid aside, how have your ideologies changed since your older release, Ideologies?
A: As for the development of the music, I would say it just happened really naturally. We started listening to a lot of different kinds of music when we were writing for Nothing To Call Our Own, so there’s plenty of diversity in the influences for that record.
As for our “ideologies” as you put it, they’ve remained basically the same. We’re still a band that remains a band because we want to make music, and for no reason other than that. The four of us are just a bunch of dudes that are best friends and we like playing music and acting like assholes, so we’re gonna continue doing that for as long as possible.
Q: So, sparing me the sexual innuendos….after the umpteenth time of touring (obviously hyperbolic) together…how much closer do you feel to your band mates…and as follows, how do you feel closer to the bands you’ve toured with?
A: We’ve definitely all grown closer to each other I’d say. Every band has their petty arguments at times, but I think if you look at those as a way to talk things through, you end the day being a lot closer than you were before that conversation, you know? What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, so to speak. After you spend a month on the road with the same people in the same van, you’re bound to become more accepting of everyone’s flaws and quirks, as well. We got home from this last tour and I think we all hit each other up to hang out within a few days.
As for relationships with other bands, we’ve made some of our best friends being on the road. We recently toured with Moonraker, and those guys are super awesome dudes.
Q: I’d say that’s an excellent attitude to have towards your bandmates, and band as a whole. Okay, so escaping the ambiguity of the tours that you’ve been on in the past, let’s talk about your most recent one. You spent a month on the road with Moonraker after releasing your brand-new full-length, Nothing to Call Our Own. Do you have any highlights from the road to share? And subsequently, how different was it for you going on the road in the wake of your new album?
A: I’d say the main difference of touring after we released the record was that we had professionally packaged CDs that we could sell for the first time, which was really cool, because before we did all the packaging ourselves. I mean, we still printed on the CDs and shrinkwrapped them ourselves this time, but the actual wallet cases were printed and glued professionally. Other than that, we just sold a lot more merch than the past few times.
As for memories of the tour with Moonraker, I’d have to say going to Little America, dropping a cockroach in the shower with David Green, witnessing police brutality in Iowa, and of course the night in Salt Lake City that I threw up into a giant industrial-sized trash bag and passed out while holding it.
In addition to all those, just watching Moonraker play every night was really rad, because they’re a really good band and they’re hilarious guys. That was probably the highlight of the tour for me.
Q: Okay, I’ll spare you answering too much more shit about the tour. Now, I’ll ask you with a slight return to the ambiguity…what’s next for the Fearsome Foursome from Thousand Oaks? Are The Bogarts making a quick return to the studio, or perhaps an even quicker return to the road any time soon?
A: We’re currently in the midst of writing a new EP or full-length. We haven’t really decided which we want to do yet, but we’re leaning toward doing an EP. We’ve already gotten two songs together that are completely finished, and that doesn’t count the ones that Nick and I have written in our respective bedrooms at one in the morning. I know he’s got something like seven more songs, and I’ve got about four that I’d probably let see the light of day. So that’s plenty for a full-length, but we’re being a lot pickier about what we release now, I’d say. Everything is still really up in the air. We also have plans to tour in the winter…probably just a quick run up the Pacific Northwest and back.
There you have it. Alex Johnson, sparing me none of his famous humor gave us the rundown. If you’d like to contact The Bogarts regarding booking, or for more information on the fantastic punk group, visit: http://www.thebogartspunk.bandcamp.com and give them a like and a listen on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thebogartsAdd The Bogarts to My Radar