An Interview with Matt Goss

matt goss interview

Roger Crow chats to music legend Matt Goss about fame, mental health, life with Bros, reality TV, and what we can expect from the Yorkshire leg of his UK tour.

Matt, given all that success and all those screaming fans, how have you kept your feet on the ground?
It’s mainly down to my mum. Just a decent, decent, decent, beautiful person. My mum was the strongest woman and also the strongest person that I knew; she just taught me that I’m above no man, and when people treat you with kindness, and you can operate in that kind of universe… I’ve grown up, 38 years in front of the British public and all over the world. I’m like part of the family now. It’s kind of transcended all of that stuff. I’m now a part of this, my massive, ever expanding family. And I’m very grateful for it as a man. Not as an artist, but as a man. I needed in my life, that sense of being understood.

What was the feeling like when you first became famous?
Intellectually I don’t think you really realise what fame is until you’ve been famous for a long time. Scientifically it feels like there’s a geography to your boat race. Somehow it has an immediate effect on people. It’s an extraordinary thing. Maybe as a kid you go, “I’m famous”. And you don’t know what you’re saying. But coming home now and having 60-plus selfies a day. And meeting people and communicating like we are, I think it’s a place of privilege. And if you embrace it, embrace the privilege, it’s a much easier place to be. It takes a lot of courage for people to come up to you and say “Hello Matt.” I see people take a couple of minutes before they ask for a photo. It’s a really lovely thing.

matt goss interview york

“You become subservient”

Was it a culture shock adapting to life in Las Vegas?
I’ve done so many shows, mate. One year in Vegas is probably the equivalent to a massive world tour. So I’m doing 120 shows a year. I also have to do something that inspires me as well as an artist. There’s a sense of responsibility when you go to Vegas, certainly when I started at The Palm, thanks to Mr George Maloof, who gave me my break in Vegas. And within nine months to be at Caesar’s Palace, which is without question the mothership of casinos on the planet. Luckily my mum got to be there, and to have my brother there (was great).

What did you learn from working in Vegas?
I learnt more about composure as an artist and as a person. I learnt that you can actually converse with your audience. I can make my audience laugh. Probably one of the most powerful moments in my career was when I’ve got my first laugh. A unanimous laugh, because I am silly. and inappropriate probably on stage, but just the right side of civilised. With Vegas you have to burn your ego, because every night you’re going out to people who have put on their suits, their hats, their dresses, their fragrance, their new new shoes. I am somebody’s night out. I’m glad that I connected to that side of the performance, rather than being invested in myself, I’m invested in my audience.

Bros: After the Screaming Stops is one of my favourite documentaries of the past decade. Were you surprised by the result?
The collateral damage of a film like that is you become subservient. And I felt l started to become that because all I want is my brother to be heard, and I want my brother to be seen, but it was almost at the expense of myself. I’m just gonna say it like it is; there shouldn’t be any shame from me. I didn’t leave the music industry, because Luke went into acting. I did 1700 shows before that gig; 1700! And therefore I should’ve been effortlessly allowed to move in as someone that can ‘help’, operative word, help. Not control. Help the show, and help the situation. Instead I wasn’t allowed to be the MD.

matt goss interview bros

“I didn’t wanna encroach”

There had to be equal control. In hindsight, does that make sense? Because if I was gonna do a movie, which I’m going to be doing this year, I’m going to call on the advice of people that have made 20 or 30 films. I’d say, “Have you got any tips for me?” I’m going to learn. And I wasn’t able to be that person. After the Screaming Stops was this completely dysfunctional family… that dynamic between me and my brother. Ironically, when we played Belfast, Luke understood that it’s a lot easier when you trust your brother. And vice versa, I trust my brother. But I think you can see in the film that I was losing the will. I lost a stone in that film, because it was just a battering. But inevitably, I am so proud of After the Screaming Stops, because it will change the way documentaries are made, you know? It’s not a fluff piece. The music industry is swimming with sharks. You could easily get 100 people that say you’re fabulous, but you know that’s just not the case. It’s a tumultuous place to be. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

Luke has carved an impressive career as an actor and director. With your looks and charisma, why are you not a massive movie star already?
To be completely honest, I didn’t wanna encroach on my brother’s real estate. But it’s my life too. That should be the name of my next book. In fact, I should write that down. (Laughs). I’m allowed to follow other dreams. I loved acting when I was at school, I was in school plays. I worked with a wonderful teacher called Jane Roberts, my drama teacher. And that’s how I started in music because I sang in Cabaret.

Tell us about your movie ventures.
The first film I’m involved in, I’m gonna play a very awful record executive-producer. He’s everything I dislike about the music industry. It’s exciting for me to play a lairy record exec that’s set in the 1970s. The second film is called Cobbler Killer Stranger, where I play a complete psychopath. It’s so exciting to me, because something about that (film) world is just very black and white. You have to be told when you start; you have to deliver at this particular time, and then you’re done. So I’m looking forward to dabbling in that world as part of my journey.

Let’s talk reality shows. You must have been offered I’m a Celebrity over the years?
I’ve been asked so many times! I would advise anyone not to hold their breath to see me on that show. I’m all up for a bit of escapism, but I’m not the cat for that. You’ll never see me eating some weird thing on TV. I’m not gonna jump out of a plane and take my luck on whether the parachute opens. I’d never do that. I think that would be the end of me. Me and my brother both consider privacy an absolute possession, and I think that’s not gonna change. You asked me what’s kept me sane, and that’s kept me sane. My privacy. I’ll do anything. I’ll get my hands dirty, but not just to stay on some show.

matt goss interview experience

“I’ve never felt more loved”

How was Strictly Come Dancing?
Strictly was great. It’s another one of my experiences under the belt. It was fun. I made some lifelong friends, so that’s what I got out of it. I met some really lovely, like-minded people. I will say every contestant on that show was really lovely. I got treated with absolute kindness and respect and it was reciprocal for me. It’s an incredibly loved show. You dance, you get critiqued and keep your mouth shut. You’re not going to get a lot of me on that show. It’s not conducive to the way the show is formatted

You must be in a pretty good place right now?
I’ve never felt more loved by the British public. I have never felt more understood. I speak my mind in the time when people are not really speaking their mind because anything that goes along with the woke movement and all that crap.

In this age of cancel culture, is it frustrating that you can’t say anything without it being taken out of context?
It’s not very frustrating for me, because I operate from a place of kindness. I operate from a place of respect. But I’m not gonna shut my mouth for the sake of this woke thing. It’s a sleep is what it is. Ironically it’s a sleep. The interaction between people is absolutely vital to our mental health; vital to our happiness. “Hello, good morning. You look beautiful. You look handsome. How are you today? Give me a hug”. These are human things. If this was a human rights issue it would be a number one priority. We could become the cause of our own demise. We have to interact. We have to have a slightly inappropriate sense of humour and give each other sh*t. We are inappropriate. We are completely quirky. We are a f***ing hilarious nation and we should get the f**k back there as soon as possible. Please quote me on that. I speak to a lot of women and they’re sick and tired of this generalisation that men are predatory, and we are not. There are predatory men, and there are predatory women. There are predatory people, but you wanna know why men’s (poor) mental health is on the rise… And suicide in men? It’s because we’re terrified of our own shadow. Help your fellow man. If we don’t start shifting a little bit, it’s all gonna go terribly wrong.

matt goss interview singer

“Four decades of knowledge”

What can we expect from the new tour?
I’ve just learnt so many things being in Bros, and being in a band and hammering it out every day and then touring the world four or five times. And in my solo career, playing places like Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Gardens, and then moving into residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas for 11 years. There’s no difference putting in the hours in any industry, whether you’re a surgeon; whether you’re a foreman on a building site… the knowledge that comes along with those things, and I feel what you’re gonna get is almost four decades of knowledge. You’re gonna be included. Very important to me; my fellow rock stars. I’m taking over 30 musicians on the road because I wanna create an immersive (experience). I want the interval to mean something. They asked me: “Do I want an interval?” I said “Absolutely”. I want people to take a break; feel good in what they’re wearing. Hopefully make some new friends, and come back for a smashing second-half. And if I can I’ll do an after party… My dream is to create something that I wanna do next year and the year after, so with The Matt Goss Experience, maybe next year I’ll sprinkle in some Burt Bacharach, and maybe have it outside. We might do some fireworks and you’re welcome to bring your picnics.

I can’t wait to see the gig in York.
I can see you’re gonna ‘bring it’ aren’t you? (Laughs). I can tell.

Matt, thanks for your time.
Thank you.

The Matt Goss Experience with MG Big Band and the Royal Philharmonic can be seen at Sheffield City Hall on March 28, and York Barbican on April 20. Full dates can be found at


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