Tom Goss is back, and he's decking the halls with his boughs of holly and making sure we don our Gay apparel, and that's Gay capital G with his new five-song EP Big Gay Ass Christmas. With booming dance and funk tracks like Santa Slay and Sassy Santa, Goss is giving the Gays and everyone who loves them a reason to shake our jingle bells. Collaborating with Benjamin Kroll, Big Daddy Karsten, de ROCHE, and more, Goss set out to live Christmas out loud and proud. Big Fat Gay Ass Christmas is now available on Apple Music, Spotify, and all major digital platforms. Check out our chat about the project below.
Hey Tom! I listened to the EP! I love the sounds! As someone tired of Mariah's hold on Christmas, no shade to the legend, I found BFGA Christmas nice and refreshing.
I read you are not a fan of Christmas music, but you have four Christmas singles under your belt, my favorite "Gay Christmas" having the heaviest subject material. What made you decide to go this direction with the ep?
I just wanted to have a bunch of gay fun! It wasn't much more complicated than that.
Why did you decide to yassify Christmas? Why not Thanksgiving? Or Easter? Kim Petras has a hold on Halloween, I know.
Ideas of heteronormativity monopolize our idea of Christmas. As wholesome and joyful as those ideas can be, they can also be difficult for folks that don't have strong familial connections and have had to create a new, chosen family. I wanted to write something that resonated with those people. I want to paint a picture of a different kind of Christmas joy.
What would the person you were when you wrote: "Gay Christmas," which is about identity and not being yourself during the holidays, think about this EP and the person you are now?
That's an interesting question. They are the same person, just with some time and perspective. In many ways, that which inspired "Gay Christmas" is still ever-present in my life. There's so much that has been left unchanged. I'm not the kind of person that spends much time in anger; I get reflective. If one approach to understanding conflict doesn't work, I pivot. This method is how I try to understand my own life. So, with that said, I think 2017 me would find 2022 me and the approach to this EP compelling, maybe even inspiring.
In my research, I learned you spent some time attending a Roman Catholic seminary. Can you talk about your upbringing and its role in your life, especially regarding writing this kind of music?
I grew up Catholic but didn't grow up in an overly religious family. I got confirmed at 15 and didn't heavily start going to church again until college. In college, I found it to be a welcome respite from being a wrestler. Folks were interested in social justice, philosophy, and non-violence. I made great friends and immensely enjoyed the personal growth I saw. I wanted to continue living in that space. I wanted to help facilitate reconciliation, ecumenism, and interreligious dialogue. Being with people during the most impactful moments of their lives was also very appealing.
What clicked to make you leave the seminary?
It was not a good place for me. I was young and, as always, gregarious, friendly, and open-hearted. Unfortunately, I ran into people that didn't always have the best intentions.
Have you played this for any of your family members?
I have not.
What was the first song you wrote for the project? What was the first line, if you remember?
"Sassy Santa." I knew I wanted Benjamin Koll on the record, so I found funky tunes he might like. I wanted to write something about a sexy, sassy Santa, and he fits the bill. Sort of, my love (or lust) song to Benjamin. I'm pretty sure I wrote the chorus first.
Give me some sass
Sassy Santa on your lap
I'm your present in a sack
take whatever you can grab.
I mean, I think Shakespeare would have been proud.
Was there a full-length project in mind, or is this all she wrote for Big Fat Gay Ass Christmas?
That's it, baby!
Are there visuals planned for this? Give us Santa Slay, at least!
I'm working on it! I'm unsure how many videos I'll get done, but I'm doing my best to make multiple videos.
A lot of your music showcases your love for Bears! Do you perform any Bear events?
Of course! I love playing bear, chub, and adjacent events. I'm always interested in playing more! I feel so grateful to be a part of such a loving community.
Other than this interview, how else are you promoting the project?
There will be some videos, TikTok challenges, and holiday performances in LA and San Francisco. I CAN NOT WAIT to perform this project live!
The album title does what you wanted; It's loud, in-your-face, and unapologetic! Were there any other titles on the drawing board?
Nope. The title, and the energy behind it, were in place before I wrote a single note. I always wanted it to be a big, fat, gay-ass celebration of chosen families and the love we share during the holidays and year-round.
As someone who isn't a fan of Christmas music, is there a Christmas song you hold dear? "Last Christmas" is mine.
That's a great song! I like contemporary Christmas music more than traditional, as it's not so on the nose. "Wonderful Christmastime" is also one I enjoy. I don't hate Christmas music. I even used to sing in a Christmas choir in LA, and I loved every minute of it. But more than the music, I loved the feeling of community, visiting nursing homes and hospitals, and being a bearer of joy. Unfortunately, COVID killed that. The truth is, there is real power in Christmas songs: to make people feel warm, nostalgic, and happy, and for that, I'm grateful.
Were you naughty or nice this year?
I'm always a good boy.
Finally, what did you ask Sassy Santa for this Christmas?
A snuggle. That's all I ever really want.
Photos by Dusti Cunningham.
Find everything Tom Goss on his website.