Soul Singer Matt Goss Wears Heart on Sleeve
English singer-songwriter Matt Goss is eagerly awaiting the release of his upcoming album Life You Imagine, his first US release. Due out April 29th, he hopes this will be the vehicle to fulfill his goal of connecting with American audiences. In between his live show performances Fridays and Saturdays at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the concerts he puts on across the world, Matt took a few minutes to sit down with entrtnmnt.
entrtnmnt: I wanted to start at the beginning. You were a member of the band Bros in the ‘80s and ‘90s, what lessons did you learn during that experience and how did that impact your career?
Matt Goss: “It made me realize that I want to play in arenas, stadiums and these 50,000 people venues. I realize now how hard it is to do what we did and I feel grateful for every single moment. Being in a band is a very different experience than being a solo artist. The politics can sometimes get exhausting, but it’s great being in a band because everywhere you go you get to hang out with your friends. It can be more isolating being a solo artist, but I do prefer being a solo artist.”
e: Has it ever crossed your mind to join a group again?
MG: “I would definitely join a band again, but not that band. I’m definitely open to that. Yeah.”
e: What are your ultimate aspirations for your career?
MG: “It’s tough for me because there are so many things I’d love to achieve. I think that I’d love to really connect with America. For my music to reach an American audience is something I’m starting to do. I’ve been five years in Vegas with my own show and I’m very, very proud of that. I’m still amazed people come to see my show every week. But really, that’s the main thing — I just really want to connect my sensibility in my music across this country.”
“Obviously, I’d love to win a GRAMMY…or five. The accolade is one thing. Then there is the spiritual side of things. Like, recently a fan and her family put my lyrics on her father’s tombstone. There is no bigger honor than that for me really. Things like that really touch my spirit.”
e: Clearly performance is a huge part of your career. How important do you think it is for singers and musicians to have strong performance skills? Sometimes you see artists on stage and their level of performance does not radiate the true essence of the song or lyric.
MG: “For me, I think it’s the most important thing. It’s a good question. When I write a song. For example I have a song called ‘The Day We Met,’ it’s about the day you actually forget about the day you met. The day when you decide to move on and start to breathe a little bit deeper and you start to feel a little less pain. That song always brings people to tears, men and women. And to be honest with you, every time I sing that song I go to the place where I wrote it and why I wrote it.”
“It’s always emotional for me. I think if you’re fearless on stage and emotional on stage, then the people will always be fearless and emotional with you. You have to feel your love and let it out. Emotionally you have to be completely naked on stage and be who you are. That’s when audiences feel close to you and vice versa.”
e: To build on that question. Is there a performer that you admire in particular?
MG: “Of newer artists, I think Alabama Shakes. When she sings she doesn’t give a shit, she just sings. I love that. She’s one of the few new singers I watch. I sense that she’s losing herself. She’s not vain. Listen, I wear a tuxedo and I wear suits, but I can assure you when I sing, I sing from a very true place. Sometimes I have to really focus because the level of emotion in me is so high. I’ve just gone through a breakup and it’s a very tough thing to sing songs that mean something to you.”
“I also love Elvis. You watch him sing and he’d just lose himself as well. He was a real showman. Stevie Wonder. Again, when he sings it’s just always moving. There are so many singers who have touched me. Bruce Springsteen is brilliant. I just think when somebody connects with you emotionally and you get that feeling of connection.”
e: Speaking of connection, I wanted to talk a little bit about your connection with your fans. Your Twitter page is very active. Do you think Twitter is the best way for musicians to connect with their fans?
MG: “Eh. I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. Plain and simple is I love that Twitter is the middle man. If I get asked a question on Twitter I can read a little bit about who they are and what’s going on in their life. But what I don’t like is that a lot of fans read too much into what I post, whether it’s just my own philosophy or a quote I just came up with. You can take it as you want, but sometimes thing can get misinterpreted.”
e: I wanted to talk about your new album as well, Life You Imagine. What can listeners in the US expect from this album?
MG: “It’s a very glamorous record. Twelve original songs. It took three and a half years to record. There are songs where I have over a hundred musicians in it, including a full orchestra. It’s an album that took a lot of work and a lot of integrity. It’s produced by Ron Fair, who has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Snow Patrol, many people. He’s won a lot of GRAMMYs and he is just an incredible guy to work with. He said that this album is his last and that’s a compliment.”
“Somebody said this to me and it’s probably the best way to describe it. He said, ‘Listening to your album is like being in a movie.’ It’s very glamorous and dramatic. Every song on the album comes from real places. I tried to write less words and say more on this album.”
e: Do you have a track you are itching to share?
MG: “I think my favorite song is the first one on the album called, ‘Mustang.’ One of the lines says, ‘Have you ever seen a mustang inside a fence.’ The true definition of a mustang in most of our minds is that wild horse running across the plains of America. In my mind, when I was writing this song I pictured this horse running and running, and it ended up running back to the stable. On it’s own free will it ran back to an open stable. In a way that is my definition of true love. When you can allow someone to shine and be the best that they can be with loyalty and a bedrock. The mustang coming back into the stable is saying that no matter what, you are their home and they are your home. There’s a lot in that song.”
e: Anything else you’d like to touch on?
MG: “Just send my love and let’s keep civility alive.”
Life You Imagine will be released on Virgin Records April 29, 2014 in the United States. Catch Matt’s Exclusive HSN Live Concert on April 20th.