Bryan White Interview

We recently caught up with 90s country superstar Bryan White at his Bass Pro Shops event with Tennessee Giants. The first of what is hoped to be a yearly event, supports the great state of Tennessee through White’s outdoor community TN Giants. The purpose of the organization is to help the state of Tennessee, by connecting people who are passionate about the outdoors. The website at tnoutdoorcommunity.com is a place where you can post your hunting and fishing photos and stories. Bryan is very passionate about the people and the community, and excited to see where it goes.

White grew with a love of the outdoors. His dad taught him and his brother to fish at a very early age. “My best memories with my dad are the early days of fishing when I was probably seven or eight years old. I just remember specifically the rides out to where we were going. Where we would go, what my dad and I would talk about.”

Now that he has children of his own, it’s very important for Bryan to pass on that love of the outdoors to them. He often takes them on outdoors sports trips, and hopes that they will be able to pass down those memories and lessons to their kids.

While this sportsman has had the opportunity to take part in outdoor adventures all over the world, he loves the atmosphere of Tennessee and Nashville. White is grateful to private landowner friends who let him hunt and fish on their property, but tells us there’s an array of fishing and hunting places to hunt locally. Some of his favorite public places include Percy Priest Lake, and Old Hickory Lake., and for fly fishing Caney Fork and Duck River.

Fishing brings back a lot of great memories, and Bryan shared one with us. “One time my cousin and I were fishing in Oklahoma. We were on some of these sand pits on this private land. I caught this 7 or 8 pound bass. We hadn’t been catching anything all day. I switched to this gigantic willow spinnerbait because of an article I’d just read. First cast I caught this giant bass, barely got it in.”

The conversation turned to country music and his love for songwriting. It was 23 years ago that a song of Bryan’s called “So Much Pretending ” was #1. I remember going to my first concert of his at the Minnesota State Fair in 1996 and that was one of my favorites. White remembers those days and is super grateful for the song and all the opportunities and memories that came from it.

In the late 1990s this country star was well on his way to the top. He’d had four number one singles (“Someone Else’s Star”, “Rebecca Lynn” and “So Much for Pretending”, and “Sittin’ on Go”). Awards started racking up (Academy of Country Music Top Male Vocalist, CMA Horizon Award, even a Grammy). The future was looking bright for this star on the rise. Then suddenly it all stopped. No new music. No shows. Everyone started wondering where did he go? For a few years there was radio silence. Then, in 2006 a Christmas EP was released independently, followed by an album “Dustbowl Dreams” in 2009. Slowly Bryan White got back out there releasing new music and touring. And speaking out publicly about those quiet years.

Some of you have heard the stories. We got straight to the heart of the matter and asked White just what had happened. And he was gracious enough to confide “I just took time off because of a depression that I went through based on not being able to handle the pressures at the height of my career, losing my confidence a little bit. When your in that pressure cooker where you have to be constantly doing something to outdo the last thing than you did. And being that young that was difficult for me. I kind of self imploded. I took that opportunity to step back, even though I love it. I took that break or I’m going to end up worse off. It was the best choice I ever made. God just kind of reached down and said let’s take some time, let’s heal you, get you back to normal. And then lets make some music.”

So what brought him back to his first love of music? “I got so inspired by being a dad. I got a new lease on life. That’s why I’m back. And because there are so many fans out there that want to hear something new. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been inspired by some of the fans especially after they hear my struggles. Having that kind of support is just unprecedented. It means the world to me.”

Nashville and the music industry have changed a lot in twenty years and White is still learning. “The industry is more of a singles market vs full records. People are consuming music now way different than when I moved to town, for better or worse. And we all have to adapt with it. I feel like I’m always caught in the middle. I’ve got one foot in the way it used to be and one foot in the way it is now.”

Over the years Bryan White has learned too many lessons to list. Humility has been the biggest lesson. Also trying to be content with what you have and staying in a state of gratitude. I’d say that’s a good lesson for all of us. Looking back this country artist admits he may have been a bit bolder in his decision making early on, but overall he wouldn’t change a thing. He believes that it set him on the right path.

What’s next for Bryan? He is currently promoting his newest single “It Must Be Love”, which he says is his favorite Don Williams cover. White also plans on staying active touring and with TN Giants. He wants to say thank you to everyone for supporting him, and is grateful to still be at it. We are glad he’s still making music and wish him all the best in his latest endeavors.