Back by popular demand, the cult hit documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops has been scheduled for an encore screening in Australia on SBS VICELAND on Sunday 16 January 2021. The three time BAFTA nominated and award-winning documentary, Bros: After the Screaming Stops originally premiered at the London BFI Film Festival in 2018 to huge acclaim and rave reviews from the media and fans alike. It instantly received a hundred percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes and became a viral sensation after it aired in the UK on BBC4 to over two million viewers.
The story of Bros is one of immense success, immeasurable fame, unprecedented highs and truly devastating lows. It is one of tragedy, triumph and heartbreak, of noise and youth, silence and reunion. It is the story of brothers bound together by blood and music, taking on the world and making a reality out of their dreams.
In 1989, Bros, led by identical twins Matt and Luke Goss, took the world by storm with their catchy songs and good looks, bringing about a level of mania that had not been seen since The Beatles. Bros were everywhere: their debut album Push has sold ten million copies worldwide, and their singles were Number One in over twenty countries, with their biggest hits being When Will I be Famous? and I Owe You Nothing. Bros were the only band to appear in every issue of Smash Hits from 1988 to 1991.
Produced by international production company, Fulwell 73, the home of The Late, Late Show with James Cordon, Carpool Karaoke, I Am Bolt and Hitsville – The Story of Motown with Berry Gordy, the critically acclaimed documentary stunned audiences around the world. Bros: After the Screaming Stops is an explosive rollercoaster of emotion and follows the long-awaited reunion of the 80s pop sensation Bros. After decades of being estranged, twin brothers Matt and Luke announced they would reunite for a comeback gig in 2017, thirty years on from their last concert. Matt Goss talks to Hi Fi Way about the documentary and his new solo album Beautiful Unknown out next month which features new singles Better With You, Somewhere To Fall and Saved.
Congratulations on the single Somewhere To Fall, you must be really happy with the fan response so far?
It has been amazing, it nice that something from a place of solitude, you write these songs in a quiet environment and then to have them permeate throughout the world is an incredible feeling once you hear it, transports you and opens up your world to places like Australia because of something you wrote in a very private moment. It is a glorious thing being in the music business.
Going back to the UK and releasing new music do you feel as this is a rebirth or re-energising your career?
I wouldn’t say it feels that way to me, I won best show of the year in Wembley 2016, two nights at the O2 in 2018, it impossible to say it is anything to do with my career but in regards to music I feel like it is a conscious decision to want to write pop music again, be on the radio and care about that. I didn’t care about that, when you go on stage at the Royal Albert Hall you don’t wish you could be in a bigger venue, it doesn’t really work that way. I think the desire to write pop music and records that are contemporary deserve to be on radio and have that consciousness of what is happening now. That is definitely something this record represents, my desire to have something very current in my life, tour something current and connect with people in a contemporary way.
Was there a particular trigger that got you back in to writing pop music?
Probably everything that people are listening to right now, lockdown was a very isolating experience and I learnt a great deal about my fans and their families through my live Instagram. I learnt a lot about myself, the people around me that I needed and certainly the people I didn’t. Being in America it became a very divided country, you were either left or right, that’s the way it works there and that is very exhausting. Everyone during this time is feeling a great deal of fatigue and I said I’m either going to be crushed by these times or I’m going to ride that wave and be on top of that wave. The only way I know how to do that with my skill set was to go in and study pop music and remember how it felt to get my mixing pot of knowledge and create whatever I think pop is. It gave me great purpose and I had a definitive way to see the world again. During these times for everyone that is the only true world we have left is just to travel and see the world. If I can do that while creating music that is why I decided to put my head down and write the best pop record of my life.
Did you find that with what was going on around you that those songs pretty much wrote themselves?
Yes and no, it was an extremely prolific time and very brutal where I would write a song and chop the head off it if it wasn’t working. It might have been a nice song but not the right one and doesn’t deserve to be on the Beautiful Unknown. It is called that because you have this inherent fear about tomorrow, next week, next month and I had to adjust my own thinking encouraging people to come along for the ride. We have to believe tomorrow is going to be a better day and that is where Beautiful Unknown came from. It is a very truthful record and addresses certain things in a very commercial way. Somewhere To Fall is a heavy lyric, there is no way of getting away from what that one is about but it makes you feel good. Once you listen to it a few times it resonates in a different kind of way. That is what I wanted to do with this record, it is purposeful and a very conscious record.
Did you have a vision of how you wanted these songs to sound as you were writing them?
The good thing about each record it has an influence of all the people I love such as Prince, George Michael and Duran Duran. All the people I love were able to make on to this record through my interpretation of their influence. It was a nice to be able to be able to work with people like Jacob Bunton whose favourite band is Duran Duran, when we wrote a song called Feeling High it has that classic Duran Duran chorus and whatever we interpreted that to be as a musician. It is a generous thing to be able to include all the people who have influenced you over the years and let it come out whatever that interpretation might be.
Was the whole album written and recorded during lockdown?
It was slightly different for us, the record was written in lockdown and we were able to move around a bit more than you guys. I was made aware that you guys are still very much in it, I know the fatigue I went through and my fellow musicians went through. God knows how you guys must be feeling, Australia has shown a lot of discipline and the thought of coming down there is exciting to me playing that first solo show hitting it hard in a country that has given my brother and I so many lasting memories. The whole record was done in lockdown and in some ways it helped because it allowed me to be a lot more truthful in digging holes in to myself. I think we have all been digging holes in to ourselves and having to face things that me may not have wanted to coming in and out of relationships whether they are any good or toxic, it definitely is on this record.
What was the biggest thing you learnt about yourself that you didn’t know before all of this Covid mess?
I think I can speak for most people that there is a self reflection about our life, where we want to be, where we want to go, who we want to work with, who we don’t want to work with, who we love, who we don’t love. There is this realisation, it has eliminated so much of how we are and what we are, isolation mentally can be a very exhausting and has created a great deal of fatigue in people. Some people have wanted to rise above this and I’m going to come out the other side with a more profound sensibility. Some people got angry and that’s what I’ve noticed. I have noticed a connection to family and empathy is a huge thing. That’s how I like to live my life. I have enjoyed the empathy around this time and the willingness to listen, to want to help and generations before have gone through much more physical trying times. This is one of the most psychological, impactful moments in human history, I think we are a very social race now because of what we are able to do now so thank god for technology and embracing technology to see people at least. Physical touch, interaction and conversation, I think we have a new found appreciation.
Are there plans to tour the album in Australia in 2022 if things work out?
They way we are all talking is we want to get there tomorrow, I definitely want to come to Australia. I definitely can say that I am coming. My brother and I always say in interviews how Australia made us feel with us and the experiences you gave not just inside music but just as people. There was this immediate love affair for the two of us. I can’t wait to get back, the way you greet people is an incredible thing. I’m hoping it is going to be in the next few months. I’m definitely coming back and definitely to Adelaide.
When the documentary was coming together was there particular issues you felt was necessary to address?
The main thing I didn’t want is the doc to be a promo piece saying “aren’t we great?” I wanted it to be honest and raw. I knew there was a lot of dysfunction and wanted to just create an authentic film. My manager said it’s like watching a real life Rocky-movie.
How hard was it dealing with some things in the documentary that happened quite some time ago?
To be honest, at times it felt like a never ending apology for being the front man of the band. Family has a way of pushing your buttons and I’m sure like many people, family either learn to speak each other’s language or you end up killing each other.
Do you think the documentary was important part of your being able to continue moving forwards with your own solo career?
No, I don’t. I’ve enjoyed a very healthy solo career. I do think it helped humanize us. Like many people in the public eye, so often we had only been represented by sound bites. The reality is this movie couldn’t have been made without the death of my sister and my mother. It doesn’t matter what you do, pain is pain. And that’s part of the creative process but neither one of us knew the level of pain we were in. But I definitely think this movie highlights the journey of sheer will to prevail.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Be sure to catch Bros After The Screaming Stops on Sunday 16 January on SBS – VICELAND at 11:15pm and will remain on demand for a month.