Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009 | 5:10 p.m.
The Palms is prepping for a British invasion. More specifically, one Englishman in particular is gearing up to begin his residency at the resort -- a first for the property.
Matt Goss’ chiseled face is currently plastered on Vegas billboards and signage around the Palms, but many folks from this side of the pond aren’t aware this singer/songwriter has sold million of albums. He might be known best for his work with his former band Bros alongside his twin brother Luke and Craig Logan, but Goss has now partnered with Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin to produce a sexy new act for an intimate venue.
Not only are you performing, 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 like our way, it’s got kind of a reggae thing, a bit of a ska influence. Growing up in South London, rock and ska was massive when I was growing up.
What percentage of your performance is your 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.
I think original material is important for a new room because, hopefully, then people will feel connected to something that they don’t know.
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 and they were looking for a show and saw my video and heard my stuff and said, “This is a right fit for us.”
On a separate note, how did authoring a children’s book come about?
I designed all the characters, Melanie Florio illustrated it. I draw a lot and paint as well, but Melanie’s an incredible illustrator.
Why I did it is 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. “Crimbo” actually in the UK, the name means “Christmas.” … Unfortunately in some ways, because the music and everything has to take precedent, I put the book back until next year… it is available pre-order. I’m going to launch and do the book tour next year now. But it’s something that I’m incredibly proud of.
You mentioned loyalty and you’ve said your main goal is to make sure your family back in England is taken care of. 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 LA. 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… for me, I take what I do very seriously, but my family—including my English bulldog—is the most important thing in my life, truly.
Back to the music, 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.
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 Sept. 4 at the Palms.
Palms Casino Resort has come a long way since its "Real World" debut in 2002. The boutique property features three distinct towers and a diverse mix of bars and restaurants across a 95,000-square-foot casino.
Palms, which features more than 1,200 rooms and fantasy suites, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation that will encompass an Ivory Tower room and suite redesign, new culinary additions, re-imagined gaming spaces and new, distinctive nightlife experiences.
In addition to newly designed rooms, during the first phase of the renovation, Palms will welcome Heraea, a high-energy American restaurant and lounge, and XISHI, a pan-Asian restaurant and lounge.
Fantasy Suites include the Hardwood Suite, the only hotel room in the world with its own basketball court.
Other amenities include the all-new Cantor Gaming® race and sports book, one of the few sports books in Las Vegas to include a poker room; SOCIAL; Scarlet; Chocolat Bistro; tonic bar; ghostbar; Pearl Concert Theater; Moon Nightclub; N9NE Steakhouse; Nove Italiano; Simon Restaurant & Lounge; Palms Pool & Bungalows; Kim Vō Salon; Drift Spa & Hammam; Brenden Theatres, a 14-theatre cineplex and more than 60,000 square-feet of meeting space.