Date:January 29, 2008
In 2004, singer/songwriter Tom Goss made the move
from his hometown, Kenosha, Wisconsin to Washington
D.C., in the hopes of attending seminary and joining
the priesthood. However, growing weary and deciding
to disband from the priesthood, Tom began to create a
new life as a singer/songwriter in our nation’s
capitol. Influencing his sound and music are such
bands as: The Dave Matthews Band, Seal, Ben Fold, Joss
Stone, and Maroon 5. For those of you out there
that haven’t yet heard his music, some say it sounds
like The Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz.
Drawing inspiration from his “growing pains” and his
period of rebirth and self discovery, and a strong
motivation and a desire to succeed, Tom produced a
bold, strong, crisp, edgy, and emotion stirring sound
in 2006 with his debut album Naked Without. On this
CD there is truly an exclusive sound, comparable to
acoustic pop/rock. And with such songs as, “Like a
Dog”, “Come Around”, and “Leave the Past Behind”, the
album appeals to a diverse fan base. Accompanying
Tom’s vocals and guitar, is William Henderson’s bass,
which gives the album a distinctive flair and a unique
sense of style.
In January of 2008, with the help of
singer/songwriter (and producer of Rise) Jim Dugan,
Tom released his second album, Rise. With the drive
to make good music behind the album, and the hopes of
reaching people with positive attitudes and staying
true to himself and his music, not to mention a fresh
and energetic compilation of songs, the second album
has “risen” above expectations.
Tom is currently performing in the Washington D.C.
and Maryland areas (a list of shows and show times are
available at Tom Goss Music and
Tom Goss on MySpace. Tom has certainly
kicked off the new year with pretty ambitious goals,
within the next year he hopes to be playing on the
west coast and the Midwest, and also hopes to go on
his first national tour.
An Interview with Tom Goss:
Interviewer: Zach Jefferies
Date:January 27, 2008
Zach: When did you start the band, and what was the
Tom: My band usually consists of me and a guitar.
What was the initial inspiration? I’m not quite sure.
It started as an outlet for frustration and
creativity. Eventually it became more about
expressing hopes and dreams, fears and failures and
what lies between it all.
Zach: Who are the band members and what instruments do
Tom: Tom Goss – Guitar
When I’m lucky…
William Henderson - Bass
Zach:Have any band members previously played in
band? If so, what band and when?
Tom: Not me, William has been around the block, mostly
in the 70’s and 80’s with a couple Motown signed Rock
and R & B bands.
Zach: What is your most encouraging and discouraging
as a musician? Why?
Tom: I think those tend to be one and the same. It is
exciting and nerve wracking to put on a show. To get
the songs ready and the promotion machine out, then
set up to play. It’s encouraging when everyone comes
and the room has a rockin’ time, it’s discouraging
when you are playing your heart out to your 3 best
friends and mostly awkward silence. To make it as a
musician you have to endure the beginning steps, which
is a lot of the latter, but the successes taste that
Zach: What brands of equipment do you favor?
Tom: I play a Takamine G Series guitar with Martin
Strings, equipped with a L.R. Baggs Direct Input. I
also tote (which is fucking heavy) a Yamaha P-140
Electronic Piano to showcase my softer side.
Zach:Do you or any other band member have a way of
a good show or performance?
Tom: I gave up on the rituals a while back. I don’t
eat before I play that’s for sure. It sucks to be in
the middle of singing a song and spending all your
energy trying to hold back a burp.
Zach: What do you feel is your best original song?
Tom: Probably the last song I have written. I think
that’s how it is with most musicians. The last song
you write is always the most magical, it is who you
are at that moment and so it touches you the most
deeply. But I know that’s not what you want to hear,
let me think about it.
Best pop song – “Come Around”
Best love song – “King of Something Right”
Best break up song – “Baby” (which I rarely play)
Angriest song – “Like a Dog”
Does that start to answer your question, hahaha. I am
very proud of the title track to my newest release
“Rise”, but I can’t think of a category to put it in,
how about this.
Raddest song in the universe – “Rise”
Yeah, that works.
Zach: How many albums have you released and where are
Tom: I have released 2
2006 – Naked Without
2008 – Rise
Both are available at Cdbaby.com
respectively. Also you can pick them up on iTunes.
If you live in DC be sure to drop by Lamda Rising or
Melody Record shop in Dupont Circle and they can hook
Zach: Are you currently working on a CD or music
If so, what is its name and when is the release date?
Tell a little about the CD or project.
Tom: I released my second CD about 2 weeks ago so I’m
not in the studio right now. That being said I’m
always working on my writing and getting new material
together. I can’t really help it, it seems like the
songwriting process controls me a lot more than I
Zach: What do you feel is your best album thus far,
was its inspiration?
Tom: I’m very proud of Rise and have no doubt that it
is better than “Naked Without” musically and
technically. When I wrote and produced “Naked
Without”, I did it entirely on my own, I didn’t have a
clue. I hadn’t played out much and I was learning
everything on the fly. The lesson that I am most
grateful to have learned is that I don’t want to do
That being said I called on local singer-songwriter
Jim Dugan to produce Rise. Through him we assembled a
team of musicians to help round out the songs. When
we were done the songs were crisp, full and energetic.
What inspired the album? The desire to make good
Zach: Who do you hope to reach with your music?
Tom: Hopefully people that are looking for a positive
voice. I’m sick of musicians using their music in a
selfish manner. One that is entirely about selling a
product or hyping themselves. I do my best to write
honestly about faith, hope, sex, love, fear, failure
and what it means to be a searching for truth in life.
Hopefully people that are doing the same can hear
that in the music and take it home with them. If
someone is able to learn and grow with the help of one
of my songs, I am truly honored.
Zach: What goals do you wish to accomplish in the next
Tom: I’d love to go on my first national tour, play on
the W. Coast and in the Midwest, meeting good people
along the way, get back in the studio and do it all
Zach: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring
Tom: All I can say is it’s hard work. Nobody is going
to make you a “star”. If someone is feeding you that
line be careful, you’re about to loose your pants.
Work at perfecting your songwriting and stage
presence, play play play play play, get out there as
much as you can, meet people doing the same thing,
pick their brain. Everyone has got something to
That being said make sure you know why you are doing
it. You are not the band you admire, you are
something entirely different, everyone is. Find your
niche and play your songs to anyone that will listen.
Zach: Is there anything you would like to add or want
Tom: Not really, is this where I put in a shout out to
my mom? I love you mom!
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