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Trans / Feminist punk band G.L.O.S.S. breaks up; fans mourn

GLOSS
Despite releasing only two short releases, one demo and Trans Day Of Revenge EP, G.L.O.S.S. (GIRLS LIVING OUTSIDE SOCIETY’S SHIT) was a favorite in the punk and indie music community, but they have unfortunately decided to go their separate ways and break up. The band has just released the official statement via the iconic MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL zine:

Photo by Renate Winter.

Hey y’all,

G.L.O.S.S. has decided to break up and move on with our lives. We all remain close friends, but are at a point where we need to be honest about the toll this band is taking on the mental and physical health of some of us. We are not all high-functioning people, and operating at this level of visibility often feels like too much.

We want to measure success in terms of how we’ve been able to move people and be moved by people, how we’ve been able to grow as individuals. This band has become too large and unwieldy to feel sustainable or good anymore — the only thing growing at this point is the cult of personality surrounding us, which feels unhealthy. There is constant stress, and traveling all the time is damaging our home lives, keeping us from personal growth and active involvement in our communities. Being in the mainstream media, where total strangers have a say in something we’ve created for other queer people, is exhausting.

The punk we care about isn’t supposed to be about getting big or becoming famous, it’s supposed to be about challenging ourselves and each other to be better people. It feels hard to be honest and inward when we are constantly either put on a pedestal or torn down, worshipped or demonized. We want to be whole people, not one-dimensional cartoons.

We are so thankful for everyone who has supported us and taken the time to tell us what we mean to you. If this band was for you, you know who you are, and no one can take that away. We will be playing Not Dead Yet Fest in Toronto in October, and planning one final show in the northwest with details to come. All of the money we make on Bandcamp after our break-up will be donated to the Interfaith Works Emergency Overnight Shelter, a low-barrier homeless shelter in Olympia, WA. Our records will remain in print.

Thank you for understanding why we have decided to put this down. While we know it might be sad for a lot of you, please understand that it is sad for us, too, but also relieving and nurturing. Ending the band is the right thing to do if we want to have healthy personal lives. (On that tip, while we appreciate your support so much, please don’t email us asking us not to break up or asking us about merch.)

We are eternally grateful for the people we have met and the places we have been due to G.L.O.S.S. Making these connections has been deeply rewarding and meaningful. Thank you so much for everything over the past year and a half.

Sharing this experience with you all has truly meant the world to us.

With love,
Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit

Makes sense, right? IDIOTEQ totally supports the band’s decision and we give them even ore props for turning down a $50,000 record deal with Epitaph earlier this month. It’s so good to see some bands actually sticking with their punk roots. They commented on the possible signing:

“For those who have been asking: G.L.O.S.S. will not be signing to Epitaph Records. It’s hard to say no to a $20,000 advance and $30,000 to market our album–“marketing” could include buying ourselves a new van, for example–but as Epitaph is distributed by Warner Music Group, we can’t ethically partner with them.

I would be lying if I said that this isn’t tempting or that it’s not deeply validating to be pursued by the label that put out the bands that got me through high school–Rancid, The Distillers, Osker, etc. I spent those years with a frown on my face and headphones on my ears, walking the halls and holding on to that music for dear life. But we want G.L.O.S.S. to be a threat to entrenched models– at the very least to be exciting.

We floated the idea of cutting a radical organization into the profit-sharing model if we were to sign with Epitaph. How cool would it be to make thousands of dollars for the homeless shelter here in Oly, for AMP in San Jose, Black Lives Matter groups, disabled queers? But if we can do the work of self-releasing an album, we will not only refuse to enrich corporate music but also in the long run make more money.

G.L.O.S.S. started casually in a basement and has grown to a level of popularity that feels overwhelming at times. Having our house in constant disarray with thousands of records strewn about is chaotic and becoming untenable. If we can come up with the startup money to rent a space and hire a couple friends, we can use Total Negativity (our guitarist’s label) to support our scene without having to turn to an outside entity.

When we get around to recording a full-length we’ll probably be doing a first press of 20,000 copies. That’s not a bedroom operation anymore. While signing to a label like Epitaph would be in many ways relieving, it would probably mean the death of the feeling that so many of you have told us means so much to you. We could never do that to all of you who have been so supportive and whose kind words have meant the world to us.

What I’m trying to say is that we don’t have to jump into their world, we can create a new one. Thank you for being a part of this feeling. It means so much to us ! ❤”

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