Interviewed By: Evelyn Salazar
Ty Herndon: Hi, how are you?
Evelyn: Hi, good how are you? It’s nice to meet you! My name is Evelyn and I’m interviewing you for Utah Concert Review!
Ty: Hi Miss Evelyn, well that’s great.
Evelyn: How do you feel to be here in Utah, and at LOVELOUD? How did you get here?
TH: I’ve been playing in Utah since 1995. It’s a huge market for me, I’ve been in and out of Utah a lot, Salt Lake City, Provo, just a lot of places around. But I became great friends with The Trevor Project with Steve and Barb Young. And then I met Dan and we’ve been trying to get me here for three years.
Evelyn: oh! Since the beginning?
TH: Since the beginning and this is the country debut for LOVELOUD. I was asked to do it just to talk about my experience, strength, and hope. As a kid growing up being a gay kid and having to go through a lot in my life to be confident and accepting in my own skin. I came out five years ago and it’s been really important to me, it’s been a big part of my journey to speak and talk to kids over the last five years is just amazing. I’m learning as much as they are learning from me, I hope.
Evelyn: That’s awesome! So what was it like to be the first major male country singer to come out as gay?
TH: It was scary as heck. I’m going to be honest with you, it was you know, but I came to a place where I didn’t want to make music anymore unless I could do it authentically. So I was fully prepared to walk away and just go sell real estate if I had to.
Evelyn: So you thought maybe this might happen? Maybe I’m just going to go be a real estate agent?
TH: It would be great if everything was OK and I got to keep singing but it would be perfectly fine if it didn’t. I knew that I would still be working in the capacity of helping others someway by being authentic.
Evelyn: Wow that’s great. So what did it mean to you to be able to re-record your biggest hit, “What Matters Most”?
TH: It was super cool! I didn’t even think about it until I got in the studio and my producer and I got in the studio and I said you know on his 25th birthday, I just wanted to do something special for it and record it the way I authentically would have recorded it if I were a gay guy back in 1995 who were out. And that was impossible back then because we weren’t there yet. So I got to do it, and I think if I would have thought two seconds that I was the first guy to actually kind of do that kind of thing I would’ve really freaked out, but I didn’t think about that. I just thought about making a great record And we did and people have loved it.
Evelyn: Sweet. That’s awesome, I loved it! I listened to it and thought wow this is beautiful.
TH: Thank you. I’m going to do a piece of it today.
Evelyn: Can’t wait! Will you be going on tour for your upcoming album that you’re releasing in August?
TH: We are in country music, we’re always on tour girl! We don’t ever stop! We will be touring about 150 days this year. It should be crazy.
Evelyn: So you’re obviously passionate about the idea of acceptance and making at-risk youth and LGBTQ+ community feel loved and accepted, and you’ve used your platform to shed light on these topics. Why do you do it? Not everyone that has your position uses it to spread good, why do you keep doing it?
TH: I was a kid that was always depressed and sad and thought many times that I shouldn’t be on this earth because I’m such a disappointment and that went all the way into my adulthood. It went right into some pretty heavy addiction and almost losing my life more than once. So if I can save one kid from doing that, I mean that seems like a generic answer but, luckily I’ve got to talk to a million kids already. It wasn’t just that one kid there’s been a lot of kids that want to hear what I have to say about how beautiful they are and that they are perfect. I say to them exactly what I wish someone would’ve said to me. That is why I do it.
Evelyn: That’s really beautiful. Okay, I have one more question for you. If you could give your younger self advice what would you say to him and what message do you have for today’s youth?
TH: I would give him a big hug. I would give that 14-year-old a big hug and tell him it’s going to be okay. I would tell him you’re not going to die, people are going to love you and just hang in there. And that’s the exact same advice I give to the kids.
Evelyn: You are awesome. Thank you so much for your time.
TH: Thank you, darling. No problem.