The newly-married Bobby Bones was recently joined by John and TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne on episode #306 of his podcast, the BobbyCast. On the episode, the duo and Bones went into a deep conversation about Brothers Osborne’s origin as two brothers from Maryland to their current success. John and TJ also touched on more personal topics, such as what led up to TJ’s decision to publicly come out as gay in February.
“I always wanted to come out and this was a huge hurdle for me because I was always really afraid that it would look opportunistic,” TJ shared. “I never wanted it to be something that would be, ‘Here, we need some publicity.’”
“I felt stuck in this weird thing, like unsure of the perfect time,” he continued. “Then finally one day I just felt like, ‘I’ve got to do this, and I’ve got to do it now.’ I don’t want to go back to work and have distractions again. And why would I not want to get to the height of my career just being completely open about who I am and what I am?”
TJ came out on February 3 in a Time article, and while was a pivotal moment for country music, the news landed on the same day as news about Morgan Wallen’s use of a racial slur. Bones shared his frustration about that morning, as he felt news of Wallen’s negative moment overshadowed TJ’s positive story, but Osborne felt differently about it.
“I kept hearing people that were upset, like, ‘Morgan Wallen stole your thunder,’” said TJ. “I was like, ‘This isn’t about getting attention.’ I truly didn’t care. If anything, I thought it was kind of a good moment to see the variety of what country is going through at this moment.”
John Osborne also shared a personal side of himself by talking about his struggles with anxiety and depression. The singer shared that he often experienced anxiety as a child and playing guitar was his way of getting through it. But then in 2019, Osborne suffered what he called a “meltdown” while on tour with Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt, which led him to attend a therapy retreat.
“It was bad,” said John. “I got to a point where I was suicidal and I ended up with tinnitus, ringing in my ears, brought on by a lot of other different things. I wasn’t sleeping. It got really, really ugly.”
Osborne continued, sharing that he realized playing guitar and feeling judgment through the music business is what contributed to his anxiety. After he and TJ left the tour, John took a month off and made it through his dark time. Brothers Osborne will be heading back on tour on July 29 in Philadelphia, PA. To hear more from John and TJ, listen to episode #306 of the BobbyCast.