Tom Goss: gay singer/songwriter talks about his new album and his upcoming SF show

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Tuesday April 2, 2024
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Tom Goss (photo: Dusti Cunnigham)
Tom Goss (photo: Dusti Cunnigham)

Tom Goss has a story to tell. The gay singer/songwriter has been out since the release of his first record in 2006. Now, he is celebrating the release of his latest album, "Remember What it Feels Like," with a concert at the Utah on April 11 as part of his performing tour. The album includes a tune titled "Not My Problem," in which he shares a very personal story about his ex, who is currently in jail for embezzling millions of dollars.

Tom Goss (photo: Austin Wondolowski)  

"He used my sympathy," Goss said in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. "He used my desire to help and heal, to drag me into a relationship that wasn't real. I spent countless hours being a support for someone going through health ailments, job struggles, divorce, etc., none of which actually happened. 'Not My Problem' is my response to him being in prison and not having to be there for a person that is quite literally creating his own problems."

At 42, Goss is perfectly comfortable sharing this story with the world, saying that his goal is openness and authenticity. He doesn't want to write songs in which he sings about how wonderful he and his life are, feeling that no one could connect with such material.

"We are all in this journey together," he said. "The good and the bad. To ignore the bad would be disingenuous."

Goss has produced a music video to accompany "Not My Problem."

Serious issues in song
Goss has often used his music to shine a light on queer issues. A few years back he offered a stunning cover of "Son of a Preacher Man," the old Dusty Springfield hit.

In the accompanying music video, two teen boys in love are torn apart by their conservative, religious parents, leading one of the boys to attempt suicide. The video serves as a PSA for The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBT youth, and PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

In "Remember What it Feels Like" Goss seeks to remind his audience that people are the culmination of their experiences.

"Life is unpredictable," he said. "It can be fun, it can be debilitating, it can be boring. All of those experiences are valuable, but none of them need to define you. Remember what each of these moments feels like, then move on. Create what you want in this world. Be who you want to be. Love how you want to love. That's it."

Tom Goss, Dean Elex Bais and Meatball in the music video for 'Not My Problem'  

Goss recalls starting to play the guitar when he first got to college. He was inspired, he said, by music that has a deeper meaning, music that aimed to do more than sell to the least common denominator.

"In retrospect, I was also trying to figure out what was important to me," he said. "So I suppose I was inspired by people that were using music to change the world, and I wanted to do the same."

Goss hopes that his new album will make people smile.

"I hope it gives people the freedom to feel however they want to feel," he said.

Those who attend Goss' show at the Utah won't just hear songs from the new album, they'll be treated to tunes from across his catalog.

"I'll be telling funny and engaging stories," he said. "My show is the epitome of queer joy."

Tom Goss' 'Remember What it Feels Like,' available as an MP3 download and on CD.

Tom Goss at the Hotel Utah Saloon, 500 4th St., April 11, 8pm. $20-$40.

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