In the not-so-distant past, gay musicians hid in the closet or played coy about their sexuality, but today’s artists are an entirely different breed. For up and coming singer-songwriter Matt Gold, being gay may be a given, but is simply one more piece to his overall puzzle. For Gold, inspiration is found in key moments from his life’s journey; they tell of growing up in a small town as an only child, of being adopted, the search for identity, and the experience of being abandoned, due to being gay.
Such themes and more are explored in Gold’s debut album, Drown Before You Swim. Tellingly, in its CD format, the album is broken into two discs, “Drown” and “Swim,” balancing his darker and lighter elements within. Gold recently took time to share more about his life, art, and the passions that fuel him.
Kergan Edwards-Stout: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, Matt. To begin, as your songwriting is so tied to your piano, how did you first come to play it?
Matt Gold: Originally, I wanted to play the saxophone, but my mother was concerned that it could affect my mouth, especially as I needed braces. So instruments in your mouth were out! I tried the bass drum, bells, xylophone, and finally settled on the piano–but only took a month’s worth of lessons before I quit.
What made you quit?
I was really frustrated at my inability to learn it as quickly as I wanted, but, more importantly, I realized that improvisation was really my style. I love taking music out of the expected and making it my own. I played piano in church for a long time, and those are very structured, by nature. But with hymns and ballads, particularly, you can do so much more than what is written on the page.
Was religion important to you, or was playing in church just what was expected? (more…)
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Glenn Gaylord – Director of “I Do,” “Eating Out 3,” & Screenwriter of “Leave It On the Floor”
Throughout my life, I’ve met a great many people. Some stay, some go, some are remarkable, some not… But one of the constants has been the unforgettable Glenn Gaylord, who I first met over 20 years ago when we both volunteered at AIDS Project Los Angeles. He has charisma and wit to spare, and takes on each task, whether educating people about HIV or directing an actor in a laborious sex scene, with unbridled enthusiasm.
Glenn is a noted director, having helmed the new indie hit I Do, which is receiving accolades and awards at gay film festivals around the world, as well as the gay cult fave Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat. Prior to I Do, Glenn wrote the screenplay and lyrics for the musical film Leave It On the Floor, which also received great acclaim, and is newly out on DVD.
Recently, Glenn took a break from his busy schedule to share with me more about his films, his life, and his views on the gay community.
Glenn, thanks for taking the time to chat! First of all, congratulations on your new film, I Do, which I’m hearing great things about. What can you tell us about it?
I Do is an intense romantic drama about a gay English man in New York who, despite wanting to stay to help raise his niece, faces an expired visa. He marries his lesbian best friend, Ali, played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler of The Sopranos fame, but things get complicated fast when he meets and falls for a sexy Spaniard. The film touches upon some very profound issues of our time, the Defense of Marriage Act, and how even though gay people can get married in certain states in this country, immigration is a federal right. So even if a gay person legally marries someone, it doesn’t grant citizenship because of DOMA. All told, despite its hot button topicality, this is the very human story about a man who has to decide who’s life he’s living. (more…)
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to answer a few questions from Terrence Moss, a terrific writer and blogger who read and loved Songs for the New Depression. He even went so far as to post an ad for it on his site–which is above and beyond generous. (Thank you, Terrence!)
Check out his 18 Questions, as they give you a fun behind-the-scenes look at the book!