Queer punk outfit G.L.O.S.S. had everything going for them. The Olympia, Washington quintet (whose name stands for “Girls Living Outside of Society’s Sh*t”) released their excellent demo on Bandcamp last year, and immediately garnered serious buzz. Their digital EP that followed, Trans Day of Revenge, followed through on their debut’s promise, earning the trans-feminist hardcore band high-profile write-ups and numerous best-of-the-year placements. However, despite the group’s hype and fans’ anticipation for a full-length project, it appears G.L.O.S.S. will forever remain in the realm of Great Bands That Could Have Been.
After rejecting a $50,000 record deal from Epitaph on ethical grounds earlier this month, the band has officially announced its breakup via a post on MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL:
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 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.
Girls Living Outside Society’s Sh*t
The news will no doubt be disappointing for fans, but the band’s thoughtful reasoning behind their decision will certainly encourage other musicians and artists to rethink mainstream success. Music is a hard habit to break, of course; this will unlikely be the last time we hear from the band’s radical members.