David Nail wanted to switch things up on his forthcoming third album I’m a Fire, which is due out next Tuesday (March 4). For starters, Nail ditched the piano-heavy ballads and went for a bigger guitar sound. Fans have already gotten a taste of that new approach thanks to the album’s lead single “Whatever She’s Got,” which recently reached No. 1.
“It was different than anything I had ever done before,” Nail told Radio.com of how he approached that song.
“At first I was wondering, ‘Is it something that I could pull off? Is it too far of a departure from things I’ve done in the past?’ With this record we really wanted to try some new things. Not intentionally go in a different direction, but explore some new territory. I felt like this was a song that would set the tone for that. I feel like it was successful, as far as that’s concerned.”
In addition to the new guitar-based sound, Nail was more open to record love songs this time around, such as the title track “I’m a Fire.”
“The song is actually a love song, which have been rare for me. At this point in my life, it was important to me to show that I’m in a much more positive place than I’ve been in years past,” he said. “‘[I’m a Fire] is a tribute to my wife and how she’s stuck beside me through this journey, through the ups and downs. It’s simply saying, ‘I’m a fire because of you.'”
One of the first songs he recorded for I’m a Fire was the nostalgic “When They’re Gone (Lyle County),” which features country group Little Big Town and details the feeling of a first love. Written by Scooter Carusoe and Brett Eldredge, Nail says it’s a topic he’s sure his wife doesn’t want to hear him talk about.
“I think that your first love is such a huge part of your life and sets the tone for relationships in the future and how you go about them and just your life in general,” he admitted. “I don’t think that it’s a negative thing or a bad thing to reflect on those times and think fondly of them. I learned so much from my first relationship. I think that shaped so much of who I am today. That’s what the song’s about. It’s saying, ‘Hey just because it’s a long time ago doesn’t mean you forget it.’ And that’s not a bad thing.”
Another track, his cover of Glen Campbell’s “Galveston,” gave Nail a chance to play tribute to the singer who was a major influence on his career.
“It’s always been one of my favorites of his. We sat down and talked about which song would fit best with the record and we came up with that one,” Nail said. “With everything that he’s going through with his illness now, it presented me with an opportunity to pay a small tribute to him.”