He was formerly of the bands Seether, doubleDrive and Still Rain. After the demise of his first band, Still Rain, McLawhorn helped form doubleDrive in 1996 and landed a recording contract with MCA records in 1998. After scoring a top 20 hit at active rock radio with the song "Tattooed Bruise" with the help of program director Dick Shuetz at WJRR in Orlando, Fla. The band left MCA and signed a new deal with Roadrunner Records in 2001 and released their second album Blue In The Face with the song "Imprint" reaching into the top 20 also. McLawhorn was an active member until December 2003, when the band broke up. Upon the breakup of that band he along with Corey Lowery and Will Hunt began working on material together which would later become Dark New Day and would include good friends Clint Lowery and Brett Hestla. The lineup was one that had been hinted at years earlier. Dark New Day signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in late 2004 and released the album 12 year silence which had the song "Brother" in 2005 which was a top 10 hit at active rock radio.
In May 2007, McLawhorn was announced as the replacement for Evanescence's former guitarist John LeCompt, and played with the band through its The Open Door album tour, which ended in December 2007. He remained active with Dark New Day while playing with Evanescence. However, McLawhorn eventually left Dark New Day in mid-2008 after joining Seether as a touring guitarist. After the success of the subsequent tour, McLawhorn became the official lead guitarist of Seether.
From then until early March 2011, McLawhorn did various tours with Seether. He took part in recording with the band on projects such as "Seether iTunes Originals," "Rhapsody Originals," and on covers of Wham!'s "Careless Whisper" and Frank Sinatra's "I've Got You Under my Skin" as well. McLawhorn finished writing and recording with Seether on the album "Holding On To Strings Better Left To Fray." The first single "Country Song" which was co-written by McLawhorn was released in the United States on March 8, 2011 exclusively on iTunes.
On March 8, 2011 it was announced that Troy had left Seether to pursue other interests. Later that day McLawhorn responded on the official "The Troy McLawhorn Fan Site" on Facebook with the following statement:
"Thanks for all of the support. You guys are great! I really enjoyed playing and creating music with the guys and I wish that I didn't have to leave especially now that the album that we worked so hard on is finally coming out. It was a hard decision and I wish them the best. I hope that I will see all of you when I find my next project."
On April 8, 2011, Seether frontman Shaun Morgan took to his Twitter account to vent his frustrations regarding Troy's still unconfirmed new gig. The next day Troy took to his official Facebook page to release the following statement to explain his departure:
"You know...I have been laying low because I didn't want my departure from Seether to be any more dramatic than it has to be but I can't sit by while people come to my site and trash me. There are a lot of people who have been very supportive and I appreciate that so much. As for the haters...I can understand that people are passionate about their bands and the music. I am, too. That's why even when I was barely able to survive financially in this business I never quit because I genuinely love to play music with my friends. My leaving Seether was not about money at all. Ask yourselves this, why would I leave the band after we had just finished making an awesome record? Why? I was as excited as anyone to get out there and support it. I am losing money by leaving the band. You have to know that it was a very personal invasion of trust that led me to make my decision to leave. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a vindictive person and I am just trying to find a place that I can be long term and play music with people that I can trust."
On June 12, 2011, Amy Lee of Evanescence announced on her Twitter account that Troy had officially rejoined the band for their upcoming tour and new album due out October 11, 2011.
Evanescence finished their most recent world tour in November 2012. Upon completion of that tour it was clear that it might be quite some time before the band would be active again. Knowing this McLawhorn decided to start building a parallel career in the music business as a record producer, songwriter and session player. His first project is currently underway with a Christian artist named Skyler Truth who is from North Carolina also.