Your song "Silver Horizon" came out recently and you have an EP in the works. The song isn't a total departure from Everyday Sunday, but it is a different sound. How do you see your solo career as different from the band?
I think the biggest thing is just representation of this new beginning in my life and career. I started Everyday Sunday when I was 16 years old. Starting over as a solo artist is me starting over in so many ways…. Doing Everyday Sunday, there were a lot of preconceived ideas of it as a Christian band or Christian music. As I get older, I don't think "Christian" makes a very good adjective. "That's a Christian restaurant." What does that even mean? There's an expectation of what you write about and that takes away authenticity. Within Christian music it was like it wasn't okay to talk about doubts or struggles. There's closeted gay artists or people who go through divorces who try to hide it, so Christian music can have this lack of authenticity. To be able to let go of those expectations, I've had more to write about than ever. I can tap into a part of me I've had to suppress my entire life. I'm the most confident of who I've been as a person. It feels good to be free of limits and expectations and be me.
Is Everyday Sunday on hiatus or done?
I think it's sort of somewhat retired. I started it when I was 16, it's been my baby, I own Everyday Sunday and I'm ready to say it was a beautiful time and I'm ready for that to be done. This is me starting over as Trey Pearson. To think about how far I've come since Wake Up! Wake Up!... I still think it's a great album and maybe we'll do a reunion show and get some of the old guys together, but in terms of new music it's definitely me as a solo artist.
When you were writing songs for those Everyday Sunday albums, were you out to yourself in any way?
No, definitely not. I was not able to admit to myself I was gay until a little over a year and a half ago, shortly before I came out to my family. Yeah. I knew deep down I had attractions, but… I could hardly even… you compartmentalize. You're ashamed by it, you think you can make it better, you think it's just attractions, like it's a temptation or something. So I tried to pretend it wasn't there and compartmentalize and that lead to an unhealthy mental state. When I talk about systemic oppression the church has had on so many LGBT lives, it's brainwashing really, maybe not even intentional. These people think they're doing the will of God by oppressing a group of people and destroying lives. It's a form of brainwashing, being made to believe I could be something I couldn't. I didn't know what it was like to be in love. I struggled with why I failed at who I was and why I couldn't be the man I was supposed to be. I was not in a place where I was able to be honest with myself, let alone anyone else, until about a year and a half ago.
And now you're helping people with their own identity.
I can't tell you how many people have reached out because they'd grown up being taught they should be something they couldn't. It's given me a passion to be vocal about who I am and why God loves you. I want to see that change in our church and our culture for our grandkids.