Tom Goss shows pa­tience with ‘Wait’

GA Voice - - News In Brief -

New al­bum a slow, steady growth of mu­sic

By JOSEPH BROWNELL

A bear is the last thing you might call the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Tom Goss, but his affin­ity for the gay sub­cul­ture made vi­ral waves last year when the singer-song­writer re­leased his ode to hairy hap­pi­ness, “Bears.” The song and its hi­lar­i­ous video opened the door to in­vi­ta­tions to play at bear fes­ti­vals across the world as well as na­tional blog at­ten­tion for his in­de­pen­dent mu­sic ca­reer.

While tour­ing has kept Goss busy, he some­how man­aged to record and re­lease another al­bum in the last year and is bring­ing those tunes to Smith’s Olde Bar on Oct. 23.

We caught up with Goss to talk about the spec­trum of gen­res on his lat­est record, the At­lanta ex­pe­ri­ence that found its way into the ti­tle track, and why he’ll take some own­er­ship of the at­ten­tion of the world’s bears.

You’re re­turn­ing to At­lanta in support of your fourth full-length record, “Wait,” a much more plugged-in al­bum than your last one, which you se­questered your­self in Vir­ginia to make. Can you talk a bit about the process of writ­ing and record­ing the songs?

I needed to make “Lost Songs” and “Un­der­dogs” (the record I dis­ap­peared to Vir­ginia to make) to come into my own as an artist and prove to my­self I could do all the things I had pre­vi­ously hired folks to do. For “Wait,” I linked back up with Mike Ofca—who pro­duced 2009’s “Back to Love” and 2011’s “Turn it Around”—to get back to pro­duc­ing a big­ger sound. There was a much clearer vi­sion on this record than pre­vi­ously. I also had been kick­ing th­ese songs around with my band for a cou­ple months be­fore we went into the stu­dio. As a re­sult, there is a co­he­sive­ness and ma­tu­rity to the songs that wasn’t al­ways there pre­vi­ously. In the past, the songs were new, they were just bones, I hired a stu­dio band and they came to life in the stu­dio, they were born in hours, some­times min­utes. That is also an amaz­ing process, but “Wait” was much more or­ganic, a slow and steady growth.

The al­bum’s ti­tle track “Wait,” is very rock­a­billy and you ac­tu­ally give Ge­or­gia a shout-out in the song. Where in Ge­or­gia did the in­flu­ence for that line come from?

(Laughs) At­lanta ac­tu­ally! I was hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with a guy who kept drop­ping John Mayer’s name. The funny thing about the mu­sic business is you con­stantly have folks telling you what to do, telling you what to write about, telling you who to be. I took some of those ex­pe­ri­ences and pooled them to­gether into “Wait” to poke fun at this con­stant strug­gle be­tween art and ex­po­sure.

“You and Me” is a very heart­felt ode to the long haul—was the in­spi­ra­tion per­sonal?

I al­ways draw from my per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence when writ­ing mu­sic. Look, a re­la­tion­ship isn’t al­ways easy, ev­ery­one knows that. What makes it pos­si­ble is the idea that you’re not alone in this jour­ney. We think of it as ‘me against the world,’ be­cause there is so much up against you. But when you find some­one spe­cial, it re­ally be­comes ‘us against the world,’ and there is so­lace, com­fort and strength in that.

Since we last spoke, your ode to hairy hap­pi­ness, “Bears,” went vi­ral and opened up in­vi­ta­tions to play across the world. Were you sur­prised that the video and song struck the chord that it did?

I’m al­ways sur­prised that any­one re­sponds to what I do (laughs). I’m just try­ing to write mu­sic that speaks to me. I’m try­ing to be au­then­tic and hon­est. When other peo­ple re­spond to what I write, I am hon­ored. There are so many artists out there, do­ing so many amaz­ing things, I’m just happy to be a part of the mix.

Although you’re mar­ried, did the video open you up to a bunch of pro­pos­als or propo­si­tions?

Yeah. It’s silly, but I am lay­ing mostly naked in a kiddy pool so I’ll take some of the own­er­ship for that.

Tom Goss re­turns to At­lanta on Oct. 23 with a show at Smith’s Olde Bar. (Photo by Tom Goss). (Ste­vie Nicks photo cour­tesy Warner Bros./Kristin Burns)

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