Jason Myles Goss keeps it simple

By Leigh Greaney

Jason Myles Goss likes to keep his music simple. However, simple doesn’t mean bland by any means. It’s beautifully simple and simply devastating. It’s a moment. It’s a scenic picture and it’s a frame. He whittles the contents of that frame into harmonic vocal carvings draped in carefully woven guitar accents.

His music is subtle. Goss believes that “songs with explicit messages always seem to have a chip on their shoulder, and are more apt to put you in a full nelson or steal your lunch money than make you feel something truly meaningful or hopeful or real.”

No swirlies. No upside-down shaking until your change falls out of your jeans. No childish antics. Goss wants people to feel what’s real without being brash or overly solemn. He wants to inspire unique feelings inside people that make them feel as alive as the tomatoes in their grandmother’s garden.

His listeners are what he calls “good, solid, salt-of-the-earth people” – who don’t fit any overlaying demographic other than his fans.

It makes sense. Goss was, and still is, an avid reader, and loved filling his mind with other people’s stories. “I think doing that [reading], you start living a large part of your day internally and then, when you get older, it just comes back out in some shape or form – whether painting or short stories, playing sports. Any kind of outlet.”

Goss’ songs themselves weave into a sort of storybook, featuring characters such as Chester Copperpot from the album “A Plea For Dreamland.” Goss explains, “I didn’t want the songs to be about me, necessarily.”

His writing is a slow and steady process. “I am kind of a binary animal,” Goss said, “I try to write early in the morning or late at night. I think I usually have better luck in the morning.” He keeps his thoughts of inspiration between the bindings of a notebook that he originally bought for scheduling temp jobs when he moved to Brooklyn, New York. But with so many ideas sparking up, the notebook was full of threads for songs instead of appointments.

Still in Brooklyn with his notebook and ideas whirling, Goss writes songs with junky guitars he’d never use at shows. He sets up shop in his bedroom and works to match lyrics to songs his guitar already knows.

“I want to try writing lyrics and then fitting them to melody,” said Goss. “Most of the songwriters I really admire started writing this way, and not that is it better or worse, but I never have and I want to give it a try.”

Starting with raw lyrics can be hard, especially when Goss is inspired by so many different emotions. “If something is on my mind, it will come out in song,” he said. Goss knows a few songwriters who can write a whole draft in one session. “Very, very rarely have I been able to do that,” he admits. It’s his goal, however. “That’s the hardest part for me, after the inspiration has worn off and the accomplishment of just having written something fades away. You have to go back and assess whether or not what you wrote is good or not – and how to make it better.”

He explains that songwriting is more like “trying to figure out a Rubik’s Cube.” It’s a process. It’s been a process ever since Goss had his first guitar lesson. “I am good enough to be able to write and compose songs, but I could definitely stand to go back and take some more lessons,” Goss said.

It all seems part of his simplistic approach of do-what-you-do-the-very-best-way. He considers his level to be “pretty basic.” He keeps a part-time job to keep the lights on, but the main focus in his heart is getting his music out on the road. This year, Goss plans on touring the country. He’s writing more songs and hopes to make a new record. With no label, manager or booking agent, he’s up late and out early promoting his music and setting up gigs.

“I’m almost there,” Goss said. With five years under his belt, he’s just waiting for his time. “I would be very grateful to find someone who believed in the music who would be able to help get me out there and get to that next level in terms of career.”

In the meantime, it’s a tireless effort. To help support that effort, check out his website, Jasonmylesgoss.com, and look out for his shows.

Leigh Greaney can be reached at [email protected]