Tom Goss Addresses LGBT Domestic Violence With “La Bufadora” Video
Singer-songwriter Tom Goss is getting candid about a blowhole – La Bufadora to be exact, a naturally-occuring marine geyser just south of Ensenada, Mexico.
“What happens is the sea hits the rocks, and it causes an eruption of water up to 80 feet in the air,” Goss explains. “It’s a huge, violent explosion. So you’re sitting there looking at this serene, calm ocean. It’s like being in Malibu, but nobody’s there. It’s gorgeous and everywhere you turn it’s beautiful and serene, then in the middle of it there’s this violent explosion that happens over and over and over again.”
Goss uses “La Bufadora” as the perfect metaphor in his song about emotional landmines, and a relationship that is “often calm and often loving,” but can take a drastic turn for the worse in an instant. “La Bufadora” is a song from the upcoming Territories album, with much of the material based on a year of Goss’ separate travels with his husband and new lover. His work on Territories paints a picture of an evolving relationship, and the work and vulnerability it takes to sustain it.
The self-styled “college wrestler turned Catholic seminarian turned gay polyamorous troubadour” has an ambitious roster of (soon-to-be) seven contemporary pop-rock albums and millions of music video views. His music has been featured on ABC, HBO, and Univision. His song “Bears” has endeared him to the eponymous subculture and he often performs at bear events worldwide.
Goss’ guiding principle is honesty, especially about experiences in the LGBTQ community, in ways that are nuanced and accessible. “I like to write about experiences within the community that have been overlooked for so long,” he says. “I always write to my truth, and I always write to the truth of the people around me. I think our stories have been overlooked by the entertainment industry for a long time.”
“La Bufadora” was inspired by an actual trip Goss and his husband made to the vacation destination in Baja California. The opening lines “He’s a real great guy / a special man / an honest bloke, still I hate him,” are a direct quote from one emotionally-charged conversation.
“My husband and I had been going through some rough times and we went down there to reconnect and I couldn’t help but be struck by the similarities between La Bufadora and our own personal emotions,” Goss says. “We have these triggers in our bodies as a result of our experiences that sometimes get pressed. Whether that’s purposefully or accidentally, is irrelevant. We become unhinged, go down a path of sadness, anger, resentment or jealousy.”
The video for “La Bufadora,” directed by long-time collaborator Michael Serrato, interprets the song as a story of domestic violence. Dramatic footage of the actual marine geyser, along with scenes of breathtaking coastal beauty and abandoned buildings, provide the backdrop for two lovers, portrayed by Goss and actor and activist Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls/Looking). The two play out the story of a seemingly calm, easygoing relationship, punctuated by bouts of emotional and physical abuse. The video ends with Goss’ character leaving with a packed suitcase.
“I live in a world of grays,” Goss says. “We wanted to show an instance where someone was being abused and how complicated that can look, how hard of a circumstance that is to understand. It’s not that there wasn’t joy in the relationship, it just meant that there was something else at play, eventually leading to domestic violence.”
The video for “La Bufadora” drops on September 24th, with the Territories album following in October, incidentally, domestic violence awareness month. You can catch Goss performing in Seattle on October 17th at the Jewelbox Theatre.