Born January 2, 1977, and originally from Bethalto, Illinois, Smith taught himself to play the drums at the age of three and continued to study through high school. He studied many styles and techniques from an early age. At the age of 16, he started playing professionally in the local band Ultrafink and opened for such acts as Bloodhound Gang, Nerf Herder, W.A.S.P. and Goldfinger and also was placed in heavy rotation on the St. Louis radio station The Point.
Ultrafink opened for The Vandals in St. Louis in 1997 and Ty was approached by Joe Escalante, bass player of The Vandals, to fill in for their drummer Josh Freese while Freese was on tour with Devo. Ty subsequently toured with The Vandals on the 1997 Warped Tour.
Smith moved to Los Angeles in 1997 to pursue his music career and it was there he joined Jughead's Revenge as their touring and recording drummer. Guttermouth approached Ty a year later and he joined the band in 1998 and remained with them for nine years and five albums. Weary of their on and offstage antics, Ty ultimately called it quits with Guttermouth in 2006.
Smith maintained his relationship with his promising hometown band between touring and recording with Guttermouth. In 1998, Ty convinced the other members of what was to become Bullets and Octane to join him in Los Angeles in hopes of creating and nurturing his own band and music and separating from the reputation of Guttermouth. In 2003 Bullets and Octane received label interest and procured a manager.  By 2004, the band was in the studio with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke recording 2004's “The Revelry” on Criteron Records and later re-released on Ares Records. The 2006 follow up “In the Mouth of the Young”, on Sony BMG/RCA records was produced by Helmet guitarist Page Hamilton. The band toured with the Family Values Tour in 2006 along with such bands as Dir En Grey, Korn, Flyleaf, Stone Sour, and Deftones, as well as international tours with Avenged Sevenfold, Flogging Molly, and Social Distortion.
The band left RCA in 2007 and released “Song for the Underdog” in June, 2007 on Ares Records. Ty quit the band soon after.
Subsequently, Smith also played drums and toured with the industrial alternative rock/metal band Godhead for their 2008 album “At the Edge of the World” until the band went on hiatus in 2009 while singer Jason Miller pursued a solo career.
As of June 2010, Smith has been the internationally touring and recording drummer for New York singer/songwriter Jesse Malin. He has also been performing with singer/songwriter rock artist Willie Nile, rockabilly artist Robert Gordon and toured with Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses.
^Saitowitz, Paul (August 18, 2006). "Bullets and substance? Group's raunchy, tattooed image raises the question: Can they be taken seriously as a band?", The Press-Enterprise, p. AA13.
^Fadroski, Kelli (April 11, 2006). "Bullets and Octane takes its best shot: With a major label release, the O.C. punk-metal band gets an opportunity to air its thoughts on society", The Orange County Register.