If you, like us, were lucky enough to first fall in love with a country artist named Ty Herndon in the mid-90s, you know exactly what a talented, genuine and entertaining guy he is. His debut single “What Mattered Most” told the tale of a “too little, too late” relationship and shot Herndon right to the top of the charts. His debut album of the same name is still a staple around here, with tracks like “I Want My Goodbye Back”, “Pretty Good Thing” and “You Just Get One” being examples of simply great music that never gets old. His follow-up album, Living In A Moment, debuted a little over a year later, bringing along several more timeless hits, including the title track, “She Wants To Be Wanted Again” and “Loved Too Much”.
For those fans who know and love these amazing songs, Herndon’s upcoming House On Fire is an incredible treat. Set for a November 11th release, the 12-track project will have you reminiscing about those early days, while appreciating the new, modern feel of an artist who has evolved into the person they always wanted to be. Herndon has no doubt faced dark days in his life and career, but he has made it out the other side, finding clarity, positivity and a sense of self along the way.
House On Fire was a labor of love, an 18-month process that Herndon poured his soul into, taking his time to deliver an album he is utterly proud of. There’s a little bit of everything on this one, something that makes for a well-rounded project worth picking up. From the opening “Hey” of the album’s first track, “That Kind of Night”, Herndon’s signature vocals sound right at home blasting through the speakers. One of our favorites, “Sweet Sweet Way To Go”, was a standout because of the way it brought back memories of Herndon’s music from the early years and interestingly enough, Herndon himself agreed, as you’ll see later in our interview below.
It’s always an incredible thing to hear an artist sing words they were a part of creating, something they’ve lived and are sharing from a very personal place. The album’s title track is one that not only serves as the most soul-baring, it’s also the one that Herndon is most excited for you to hear. The closing track, “Fighter”, also lends itself to the struggles and victories Herndon has experienced in his 20+ year career.
While a good portion of this album touches on real-life experiences, heartbreak and hurt, there are plenty of feel-good songs to make for a great balance. “If You” is a fantastically clever anthem for those who have a few last things to say to the ex they’re glad to see gone. “All Night Tonight” describes one of those nights you never want to end, complete with falling in love. “Stick With What I Know” is not only a romantic tale of the relationships we all dream of having, the title is a great description for Herndon’s delivery on this project. His strong, distinct voice, his fun personality and his knack for making fans out of strangers were always strengths of Herndon’s and as he delivers this powerful, brilliant piece of art, he proves that sticking with what he knows is a solid game plan.
House On Fire will be available in store and from digital retailers on Friday, November 11th and is available for preorder now at iTunes and Amazon. To tide fans over in the meantime, Herndon recently released a video for the album’s first single, “That Kind of Night”, exclusively on Rolling Stone – check it out here! Then, read on for our exclusive Q&A with this humble, hard-working guy who deserves a spot right back at the top.
Ty, we’re so excited for new music from you! We can only imagine how excited you must be, as well. How much fun was the process of writing and recording House On Fire?
Thank you so much! We definitely had a lot of fun. The fun for me is the opportunity to work beside some great engineers and co-producers. Erik Halbig, Eric Torres and Drew Davis knocked it out of the park with the fun factor. They also pushed me and brought me to tears with some of the lyrical content. We went through a very large range of emotion while working on this project.
Which song on the album came together the easiest and which was the longest process from start to finish?
“That Kind Of Night” came together so quickly. It took on a direction that was undeniable. We loved it from tracking day right up until vocal day. “Fighter” was the biggest struggle. We cut that song almost two years ago. It has gone through many changes to land where it is today. I’m so glad we hung in there with the song. I fell in love with Annie Bosko’s version of the song. But I knew it was very important to find my own path with this song. I love love love the lyrics.
Absolutely LOVE “Sweet Sweet Way To Go” – can you tell us a little about that track? Was it one you co-wrote? And if not, what drew you to the song?
I was a writer on this track. When we finished recording the track, it felt so much like a hit that I had in earlier in my career (“Living In A Moment”). This song is a reminder of the feel-good music fans are use to hearing from me. But the track is super modern and cool. One of my favorites on the entire record.
“If You” is so clever and fun! We saw you perform it awhile back at 3rd & Lindsley and the crowd seemed to love it, too. How have audiences been reacting if you’ve been playing it on the road?
They lose there minds! I see clearly that most everyone has gone down this path once or twice in there own love life. I know I have. Whew!
Is there one song in particular that you are most eager for your fans to hear?
Yes – “House On Fire”. This is the struggle and story of my life. I had to leave the studio several times while trying to sing my vocals. Very emotional for me.
What have your family & friends who’ve heard the album had to say about it?
That’s a very good question. I think my family and the majority of my friends have wondered what I would do next. And I think they all knew the pressure I was feeling to do something special. However… they also saw me blossom in the last 5 years of my life. Especially in the last 18 months. I feel a freedom I have never known. I hope it shows in my life and music.
If you could only listen to one song of another artist’s for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Easy! “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt is hands down my favorite. My second choice would be “So Small” by Carrie Underwood. “So Small” changed my life.
Now if you could only listen to one of YOUR songs for the rest of your life, which would it be?
“What Mattered Most” – That’s the one that gave me my career.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans, particularly those who’ve been with you since the beginning of the ride?
A grand “thank you” – sometimes does not seem to be enough. In my darkest hours they were there for me. I’ve had them give me gas money when I was completely at the bottom. And I’ve had them cry in my arms when I have been at my best. Who could ask for more? Certainly not me.
It’s 10 minutes until you take the stage – tell us what you’re sippin’ on!
A big cup of life with lots of sugar on top. What else?