Matt Gross is a New York City public relations coordinator, music interviewer and DJ, with an awesome knack for being able to eloquently host any events he’s included in. Usually adorned in a Morrisey-type bow tie, his vivacious personality is both professional and adorable all at the same time. New York City, I’d like to introduce you to Matt Gross.
Matt, tell me a little about yourself.
Sure. I grew up in Brooklyn, near Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay. I lived there my whole life until I was 18. Then I went to college at the University of Maryland. I figured it was only four hours away: close enough to home, but far enough away that I could get the whole college experience, have some time to discover myself. It’s so cliché, but it’s true. It was a culture shock at first. There are so many blonde-haired, blue-eyed people down there. There I was, dark haired, the only Jew, like a typical New Yorker. My first year roommate walked out of an Abercrombie ad. I moved back to New York and started working for a LGBT publication. I was doing ad sales, digital design and social media. I pretty much worked there for 11 years. All that while I also had my own music website. I would organize different shows downtown and DJ. I developed a following. Then about 6 months ago I just changed entirely because I was kind of bored by my work situation. I’m 33 years old, and I felt that if I didn’t transition full time into some kind of music field that the time would pass. I interned for a record label when I was 19 years old. A friend of mine recommended me for this publicity job, and it’s been really great. I work with a roster of venues and a roster of musicians, most of which I’m actually genuinely a big fan of.
So you love what you do?
Yeah, I do. My passion is music. Since I was five years old I remember my parents getting bootleg cassette tapes from the flea market of Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Cher, which was popular in the late ‘80s. Music for me kind of gets me through everything
I didn’t know you were so musical.
It’s part of my life. With my own website I’ve interviewed bands, I’ve organized shows, like I said, and DJ’d. Everyone has their passion, I guess, and that’s what I cling to. One of the biggest ones I’ve ever done was Yoko Ono. She was releasing some sort of remix, but what do you say to Yoko Ono? She was super sweet on the phone. She kept calling me by my name. As you probably know, a lot of times you’ll speak with someone and they just want to get their information out there. She was incredibly kind, and we talked about everything. We talked about club music, we talked about John. It was a really great interview. The other one for me was I’m a huge Morrisey fan. I have two Morrisey tattoos, I’ve seen him 20 times and I got to interview Andy Rourke, bass player from The Smiths. It was a very laid back interview. For me being such a huge fan of The Smiths, it completely changed my life. I interviewed Taylor Dayne maybe two years ago.
I interviewed her also.
She’s hilarious. She was in her car, driving around LA.
Yeah, she was a blast.
We were reminiscing about late ‘80s, early ‘90s. She was a favorite of my dads. One other favorite person I had talked to was Tori Amos. I feel like her music has been with me since I was like 12 or 13.
So Matt, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
It’s a good question. I’m loving what I’m doing now. I definitely want to be doing something music related. Right now I’m still kind of fresh at the job. I feel like I’m doing a good job. Right now I can’t see beyond the immediate. For me I’m still at the honeymoon stage of where I am. I guess I don’t look that far in the future. I’d definitely be happy staying where I am.