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Tom Goss "Turn It Around"

May 19 - 9 p.m.

The Manor Complex

2345 Wilton Drive

Wilton Manors, FL 33305

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Singer/Songwriter Gets Candid
Tom Goss Talks New Music

by Troy Maillis

Tom Goss, a singer/songwriter based out of Washington DC, is currently on tour to promote his new album “Turn It Around.” He is making an appearance at The Manor Complex in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, May 19. The album, which has already created quite the buzz among several radio stations and popular DJ’s, is the artist’s third full-length musical endeavor. The album is described as “a collection of eleven original acoustic pop songs bound together by moody, smart lyrics.” Tom, who pursued a career as a Catholic priest prior to music, recently spoke with Mark’s List about his new music, his controversial music video, his love of sports and what’s next on the agenda.

You are performing at The Manor Complex in Fort Lauderdale soon. Which songs are you planning to perform?

I don't usually decide what I'm playing until before the show.  Sometimes I even change it up during the show.  If there is something someone wants to hear all they have to do is let me know and I'll usually slide it in.

For someone who has never heard your songs, how would you describe your style?

I play acoustic pop—think Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, David Gray and you'll get close.

Of all the songs on your new album “Turn It Around,” which is your favorite and why?

It depends.  I love the energy in "It's All Over" and "Turn It Around." On the opposite end of the spectrum, I love the groove of "You Know That I Love You." I guess it would depend on the day.

You have received some great reviews for “Turn It Around.” Were you surprised by the reception?

I'm not sure I was surprised.  I am very excited about this album and think it's my best work yet.  I'm very happy that people are responding to it positively.  There is always doubt in the back of my mind.  The energy in the songs is a change of departure from my last couple releases. I really wanted getting back to the fun of music.  I'm glad that people wanted to as well!

Your video for “Lover” focused on gay soldiers serving in he military. What is the overall message you wanted that video to send?

Overall it's a love story.  The circumstances around the love story are tragic, yet real. There are three DADT discharged soldiers in the video and the director was discharged as well.  More than anything we wanted to tell their stories as truthfully and respectively as we could.

Have you received any criticism?

It received some criticism but not much.  You know how people can be, they can do everything better than you, yet they do nothing but make nasty comments online.  I don't really focus too much on that.  We did it for current, former and future gay soldiers.  That's whose opinions I care about and am sensitive to.  Every comment or conversation I have had with a soldier or their partner has been overwhelmingly positive.

Catholic priest to recording artist—how did that happen?

Well it's not as simple as that [laughs].  We all try on different roles in our lives.  Those are just two of many that I have tried on.  I'm grateful for all of my experiences.

Your experience as a priest is chronicled in the song, “All I Ever Wanted.” Was it difficult to write that song?

Yes and no.  My writing process is very subconscious.  I didn't realize that I was still angry at God for that experience.  I was trying to write a song and I was reading a story about a priest.  I looked down and saw the man in the collar, threw the magazine across the room and the song flowed it.  It's always hard to admit that you aren't as strong or as healed as you would like to believe, but I'm lucky to have an outlet where I am honest with my emotions.

What other artists are you listening to right now? Are there any in particular you would like to collaborate with in the future?

I've been listening to Snow Patrol, Jason Mraz and Imogean Heap.  I listen to a lot of music on shuffle as well.  I'd love to collaborate with Jason Mraz or Ben Folds, they just have so much fun with their music.  It's inspiring to watch.

What is the must frustrating thing to you about the current music industry?

I get frustrated that artists don't realize the impact they have on those that listen to their music.  If musicians focused on making the world a better place instead of sex, shoes and money, think of how much better off we would be.

You wrestled in high school and did gymnastics before that. What did you enjoy the most about those sports? Are you still involved with those sports?

I love sports.  I was lucky to be able to do them at a very high level—I ended up wrestling through college.  I don't think that anyone would consider wrestling "fun" but there is a great sense of community, and looking back it was a necessary outlet for years of aggression.  It was hard to let go of wrestling, but the shear physical shape you have to be in to compete is just not something that I'm willing to commit to anymore.  The last time I wrestled was about five years ago—it lasted for five minutes. I spent a week not wanting to move because I was so sore, and I beat the hell out of my face.  I let go of my wrestling ego there.  I hate working out but love sports and competition, I still play a lot of soccer and kickball.  I'll likely join a dodge ball and softball league this year.  Fun times!

Do you think it’s getting easier for athletes to come out among their peers?

That's a good question—I don't know.  I would assume probably.  I didn't date anyone through college and was a virgin until I was 23.  My parent’s separation left me very scarred and I vowed to never be in a relationship.  I suppressed all my sexual energy, it was something that I honestly had no interest in.  I assumed I was asexual until I fell in love at 23.  For those reasons I didn't come out until after college.  My former teammates were pretty shocked.  I had one who expressed frustration that he used to get his ass kicked by a gay guy.  Pretty funny, right?  But in all seriousness, I think that opens the door for someone who comes after me.  In the thousands of people I meet every year I've only met one other gay man who wrestled in college.  I think the more that come out the easier it is for those who follow.

Now that your tour is underway, what are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming months?

I love meeting people along the way.  I love performing.  I look forward to every night for different reasons, people, places, food.  I love food. 

After the tour, what are you some of your future endeavors?

I'll be shooting a new music video in the summer and spending a lot of time with my husband who I leave far too often! 

You can check out his poignant new album “Turn It Around” at

Music video for "Lover"

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