New Tom Goss Video 'Breath and Sound' Features Dance, Equality

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday August 18, 2015

Out singer/songwriter Tom Goss released a new video this week.

Drawn from his album "Wait," the song "Breath & Sound" features backing vocals by fellow out recording artist Matt Alber. The two artists have worked together several times in the past, most notably on "Who We Are," a video they made before the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." That video portrayed the grief and loss of a civilian who has lost his servicemember boyfriend in Afghanistan. Goss and Alber have also frequently teamed up for live performances.

The new video, directed by Michael Serrato, eschews shots of the musician strumming a guitar or singing into a microphone, and focuses on dance, with three pairs of performers -- one heterosexual couple, one lesbian couple, and one gay male pair -- telling the same story through movement: Falling love, seducing one another, and finding happiness in each others' arms.

"I've been dreaming about this video for two years now," Goss recounted in a chat with EDGE. "Over those two years I was chatting with directors and dancers and ultimately, something about my vision was flawed. One night, while thrift shopping, I started talking to Michael about this wild idea I had. He immediately grabbed hold of it, got excited and pulled the vision together with strong ideas of his own. It wasn't until both Michael and I started brainstorming that the idea became something achievable."

The exquisite choreography is by Andrew Pirozzi. "He is the Supermanesque dancer in the straight couple," Goss noted of the choreographer. "That's actually his wife he is dancing with. They were electric together (as they all were). He's brilliant and a joy to work with."

While many of Goss' videos star himself -- often in comic roles, sometimes in dramatic ones -- the handsome singer does not appear in "Breath & Sound."

"We shot a lot of footage of myself," Goss revealed to EDGE. "The first edit of the video actually had that footage interspersed throughout. However, as we were watching it, we realized that we were losing interest every time the images of me singing were introduced. It distracted from the dance and the story being told by the dancers. So I ended up on the cutting floor. It was the right decision."

The editing cuts between the three couple as they enact identical choreography, and the action taking place on a bare stage with darkness as a backdrop. Once the dancers get each other's outer clothing off, all six are attired in black underwear. The choreography hints at physical coupling, but much more present is a sense of emotional bonds forming and being explored.

The finished work is a powerful and touching testament to the sameness of human connection, whether it takes root between same-sex couples or those of mixed genders.

That message of the universality of love and connection lies at the heart of the choreography, and informs much of Goss' music. In an Aug. 17 interview at Huffington Post, published the same day the video premiered on YouTube, Goss addressed that theme.

"There's a reason the first verse focuses on the straight couple alone -- that's what they are used to seeing. I want straight people to be drawn into a familiar story, one they understand and relate to," Goss told interviewer Lori Duron. "Once there, I want to show them that this exact same story is being lived by the LGBTQ community.

"As a gay man, I don't want special privilege," Goss added. "I just want to love -- passionately, fearlessly and completely."

Text accompanying the video at YouTube tells the viewer, "No matter the dancers, the dance is always the same. Love is love."

"Breath & Sound" is the second song from "Wait" to be made into video. Last year Goss made a video for "Illuminate the Dark," a piece that, like the video for "Breath & Sound," tells a moving story -- in that case, it's about how people can choose to look deeper than surface appearances in order to relate and value one another in ways that transcend the superficial.

This is a banner week for Tom Goss fans. Goss was recently the photo subject of Los Angeles-based fashion photographer Venfield 8. Those photos are slated for release on Aug. 19 at World of, but EDGE caught an early glimpse. The portraits are what you might expect from a meeting of minds between Goss and Venfield 8 -- lush and expressive, both fearless and vulnerable. Venfield 8 even captures the arresting quality of Goss' striking blue eyes, both in color and in black and white compositions.

"Venfield 8 is amazing," Goss told EDGE. "He definitely captures a vulnerability in me that I haven't seen before. I'm in awe of his ability to do that. He makes it all seem so effortless.

"As an artist, he continues to push me and inspire me to think about things differently. I'm really grateful for that."

EDGE put it out there that a Tom Goss album cover as shot by Venfield 8 would be a treasure.

"He's hinted at an album cover and although I haven't told him so, I've been thinking a lot about it as well," Goss said, adding with a laugh: "I guess he'll know now."

Goss has also taken a bigger step into the realm of the moving picture, co-starred recently in the gay-themed murder mystery "Out to Kill," directed by Rob Williams. In the film, Goss plays against his natural cheer and sweetness. Instead, he portrays a self-centered and promiscuous stud named Justin Jaymes who both infuriates and tantalizes everyone around him. Jaymes' murder sparks an investigation by a new resident in the victim's apartment complex, a man named Jim Noble (Scott Sell, also the star of "The Last Straight Man").

All these creative accomplishments feed his muse; as his career has progressed, Goss has consistently grown and deepened as an artist and performer. Life and marriage, too, have enriched his songs and other creative expressions. "For me it's more about the people, stories and experiences," Goss told EDGE. "Luckily I have the most amazing husband who helps inspire me, touch me and keep me open to vulnerability. It's easy to dream when you've got so much to dream about."

But Goss isn't resting on his laurels. He's already at work on his next project. "I'm in pre-production on a video addressing LGBTQ youth and suicide prevention," Goss told Duron.

In conversation with EDGE, Goss let slip that he's also got a new album in the works.

"Well I haven't been talking about it much, but I've been working on a new record with producer Marr Zimm," Goss said. "I'm extremely excited about it. It's very different, very dynamic, but definitely has more of a pop feel. I don't want to say too much about it, or promise a release date, but it's definitely sounding amazing!"

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.