Luke Goss: ‘Faith gives me humility’

The singer and musician, 52, on fans, grief and building bridges with brother Matt

I miss the UK deeply; walking down a London street and listening to my city alive. I miss being greeted by strangers with waves and hellos. For a time I didn’t feel that way. Now it feels like a privilege.

The working-class life of my childhood was loving and tumultuous – us south Londoners know what community means. At home, though, there was acrimony, divorce and discordant energy. Traversing through that as a kid was hard work.

Mum was always singing and cranking up the volume. My grandfather was a healer who performed at old people’s clubs. From banging pots and pans in the kitchen to getting my first drum kit at 12, I played with determination. Everyone has music in their bones, it’s genetic. I’m just lucky to have been encouraged to find my sound.

Private investigators have nothing on fans who want to find you. They’d sneak into our hotel rooms, rip the doors from cars. I’ve no complaints. I can’t see the point in making music without them. We only have a great time on stage because of our audience. They’re an integral part of the band.

The fact I’m still here says the music industry was fair to me. But when I left Bros I suddenly lost everything. Was the way adults treated us as two kids moral? Fuck no. Now the people responsible have taken ownership, we’ll have a beer together. It’s history and we all survived it. I don’t hold grudges: they’re flawed by design.

I don’t have a clue what time I’ll go to bed, or when I’ll have dinner. It’s a nightmare for people putting my schedule together – my days are impossible to plan. I might get to bed at 5am, or be up for 7.30am.

We had a desire to be seen when filming the documentary After the Screaming Stops. It was a chance to show what it takes to keep a band alive. At some points was I taken out of context to help a comedic narrative? Certainly. I’m not mad about it. I took deep breaths and grew. The result is a film I’d want to watch.

Since filming, Matt [Goss, Luke’s brother] and I have built bridges. It was a catalyst to improve our relationship and to solidify a new sound. So many people have told me it was an impetus for them to reach out to someone. Today we can finally just see each other, though it’s primarily over FaceTime now.

Meditation and prayer have soothed my grief greatly. I don’t think of death; it’s not how I see things. My mother, sister and grandfather have transcended to a better place. It’s not avoidance – one day I will, too. Faith gives me humility when I look upon my brief flicker here. It doesn’t negate the pain, but it helps me walk through it.

Getting the Lord’s Prayer tattooed down my spine took six and a half hours. When Christ was asked to pray, it’s what he offered. I wanted it on my body, too. It’s words tell us to stay away from the places that hurt us, guiding us to betterment. I’m comforted knowing it’s there.

Looking fearlessly at your mistakes, flaws and weaknesses is a great way to relinquish their control of you. Solitude gives me space to paint, record and write. Going through a divorce after 32 years of marriage provided me space to contemplate the future and to really question who I am. What do I want from the future? Who is it that I really am? I’ve been asking myself the same bloody things since I was six.

The Loss Adjuster is available now


Michael Segalov

The GuardianTramp

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