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NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Out singer Tom Goss talks newest work, bears, 'Mean Girls'
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2020-02-05

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Out singer Tom Goss released his newest album, Territories, in 2019.

With the record, he created videos for several singles that spotlight relationships. The LA-based singer-songwriter is known for tackling LGBT issues with his studio albums and, in a past video, even documented his own marriage ceremony.

Goss has worked with gay singers such as Matt Alber, Max Emerson and Matthew Olshefski, also known as "The Shirtless Violinist."

Not only did he contribute to three songs on the soundtrack to the indie movie Out to Kill, but he also starred in it.

His latest video for "Quebec" dropped Feb. 13.

Windy City Times: You are from Quincy, Illinois?

Tom Goss: Yes. All of my family is from Illinois. My dad is from the Quad Cities area and my mom is from Chicagoland. I was raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

WCT: You moved to Washington, D.C., after that?

TG: Yes. I went to college at the University of Central Missouri and after that I decided to be a catholic priest. I moved to D.C. to join the seminary.

WCT: You came out at that point?

TG: Yes, it was a great revelation. I spent most of my life really believing that I was asexual. Sexuality didn't mean that much to me.

When I was in seminary, I fell in love with another man. This man happened to be a bear. It was through that process is when I realized I am attracted to bears. Before that, I was trying to ascribe my ideas to the societal norms what I should be attracted to. It wasn't until I fell in love with an older man that was hairy and chubby, with physical attributes that turned me on that my eyes were opened. I realized that I was attracted to a certain gender or type. It just wasn't something that I was expecting.

WCT: Who you are attracted to came out in your music after that?

TG: Well, I think it's important to note that I spent a good portion of my life not understanding who I was attracted to. From the flip side of it, I think a lot of beautiful men spend time feeling unattractive. I don't think that's innate to us. I think that's learned behavior. We are constantly bombarded by what society deems as beautiful. If we don't fit those standards, we don't see ourselves as beautiful.

I have a chance to showcase different kinds of beauty and to be authentic to my voice as to what I see as beautiful every day. I would be doing a disservice to myself if I cast the romantic lead as a twink.

WCT: How did you get involved with [Mean Girls actor] Daniel Franzese for the video "Quebec?"

TG: Danny and I have been friends for a little bit. I did a video for a song called "Round In All the Right Places." It was more of an adult follow-up to the song "Bears."

I have always admired Danny for being a voice for body positivity. I was casting and wanted to get his perspective. I wanted to be sensitive to the subject and find out if he knew anyone that would be a good fit for a role. We talked about it and that project wasn't right for him.

When we started making "La Bufadora," I talked to the director Michael Serrato. I suggested Daniel and Michael was already a fan of his work. We decided to make a trilogy of videos together.

WCT: Were you a fan of Mean Girls before?

TG: Yes, but I haven't seen it in so long. I feel bad because we are such good friends and I haven't gone back to watch it again.

WCT: You had a love scene with Daniel. How was that?

TG: It was really fun! [Laughs] There were moments when I got lost in it. I forgot a camera was there.

WCT: You made pancakes for breakfast afterward in the video. Do you cook?

TG: Yes. I didn't make those pancakes, but recently I started putting powdered peanut butter in the batter. It's so good. You should try it!

WCT: How was performing with singer Andy Grammer?

TG: He was super-awesome. I loved the first album. When the second record came out, "Honey, I'm Good," it turned him into a superstar. It was great to watch him perform at an outdoor mall. Everyone was around 12 years old and girls, which is a very different audience than what I am used to. It was great to see how my music connected with those fans as well. My music translated with everybody.

WCT: Your album Territories is out in vinyl?

TG: Yes. I had trouble with the manufacturer and delays, but when it came none of that mattered anymore. It was so beautiful and such a piece of art. The cover is by Franz Szony, who is a brilliant photographer.

WCT: Would you like more film roles like you did in the movie Out to Kill?

TG: Yes. After moving to LA and working with different people like Michael Serrato, I have really honed my acting chops. I have become strong in the past several years.

I'm not really pursuing it, but I feel I am getting some on-the-job training that I need. I auditioned around when I first moved to LA. I was already getting rejected as a musician, so getting rejected for acting was tough. I decided to just take opportunities as they came with acting. I'm happy where I am at.

WCT: What are you working on next?

TG: I am working on "Regretting" as the third part in this video series. I really like that narrative. The thing about music videos is it's an experimental medium. You can do whatever you want. It's also very limiting in the sense that you are dealing with a very short amount of time.

What I wanted to do is dive deeper into a sensitive story that I am trying to tell and tell it from all different perspectives. Our goal is to tell it with these three videos and I think everyone has done a really good job.

WCT: Where do people keep up with your videos?

TG: Everything is under TomGossMusic.com . It's the same with social media handles. If you want me to retweet cute animals, then follow me on Twitter!


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