The Palms is preparing for a British invasion. Well, just one Englishman, actually.
Matt Goss’ chiseled face is currently plastered on billboards and signage around the Palms, and the Brit is gearing up to begin his residency at the resort—a first for the property. A relatively unknown name this side of the pond, many people aren’t aware that the singer/songwriter has already sold million of albums as one-third of British boy-band Bros alongside his twin brother Luke and bandmate Craig Logan. Now, Goss has partnered with Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin to produce a sexy new act for the intimate Palms Lounge.
Not only are you performing at the Palms, but you’re the music director as well. Why did you take on that extra responsibility?
I wanted it to sound like a band rather than a cover band. It’s got a cohesive sound, and I think that’s a lot of work to make sure the parts are right and everything. It’s the only way to make us sound like we’ve come in as a band. “Hotel California” played our way, it’s got kind of a reggae thing, a bit of a ska influence. Growing up in South London, rock and ska were massive when I was growing up.
What percentage of your performance is original material versus reworked songs by other artists?
I’d say it’s probably around two-thirds original. Loads of people in Las Vegas said to me, “Do original material,” because they don’t want to just come and hear a cover band. But there are certain songs that we translate really well. And we’re going to be changing it up. It’s not always going to stay the same.
What is your plan for trying to capture a U.S. audience?
I think vocally I can hold my own pretty much. I’m just going to be myself and hopefully connect with the American public organically rather than being too contrived.
How did your partnership with Robin Antin come about, as well as your forthcoming solo album?
We know each other through the industry just because I live in Los Angeles. I was doing an event and Robin was there… She heard my album and genuinely loved what I was doing and said, “This is crazy. You should be heard here.”
I made the record by myself, self-funded. I was with Sony for seven years, and I’ve been with major companies all my life and decided to make this record with my own time and money without an A&R person saying, “Can you make that a bit more radio?” I think I’ve earned the right after 20 million records. I just lost my granddad and there’s a song on the album called “Mr. Read.” I felt like I had to get some of that stuff out of me without a label to stop me from trying to do it.
Then Robin heard it and we found out about this place. They were looking for a show and saw my video and heard my stuff and said, “This is a right fit for us.”
You’re also a children’s book author.
I designed all the characters, Melanie Florio illustrated it. … I had a best-seller in the UK that was about my life story and it was quite a heavy book to do. In the evenings, I would go to my bedroom and try and depressurize and write this story called Bear Crimbo. Parallel to a heavy book I wrote this beautiful book about loyalty and friendship and how that should all satellite around one person, which is Bear Crimbo.
You’ve said your main goal is to take care of your family back in England. How often do you see them or your twin brother?
My brother’s a successful actor. He was the lead villain in the last Hellboy and he lives in L.A. Mainly, my mum and my stepfather and my dad and Helen, my stepmother, my other brother, Adam, are in the UK. I actually lost my sister. She was killed when she was 18 by a drunk driver, so it kind of solidifies the bond and our love for what we had. We come from a very humble beginning, and for me, it changed my life… I take what I do very seriously, but my family—including my English bulldog—is the most important thing in my life, truly.
After so much success and recognition abroad, do you feel as if you’ve had to start your career over?
Definitely. I’ve felt that many times in my career. You find some new territory; you’ve got to wipe aside all things you know. You experience such huge things sometimes when you’re known in big venues, and now, I’m going into one of the smallest venues I’ve ever played. But I’m more excited and in a way, more nervous and more committed to getting it right than probably ever. I really love that I’m here and actually really like the way people here are genuinely interested… This can be a regular place where people can have a good time.
Are you worried people might mistake your show as a lounge act?
No, not at all. Just because it’s a smaller room, I haven’t encountered anyone so far that has said it’s going to be a lounge act. The Gossy Room is in your face; it’s about having a laugh and a drink. It’s sexy, sexy energy.
Matt Goss begins performing Every Friday and Saturday starting September 4 at the Palms.