David Nail Throws Fuel on His Creative Fire

Third Album, I'm a Fire, Arrives March 4

David Nail feels like a brand new person — although he won’t actually say why.

For his third album, the smooth singing Missouri native is happy to cultivate a bit of mystery. Even its title, I’m a Fire, leaves room for the imagination.

“I’ve bought a lot of records based off their album title,” Nail teased during a visit with CMT.com.

He will say that I’m a Fire features Little Big Town, LeAnn Rimes, Sarah Buxton, a Glen Campbell cover and a new brightness that comes from weathering the storms of his career so far.

And fans already know what to expect from “Whatever She’s Got,” his romantic second No. 1 and first single from the new album.

Here’s what Nail had to say about the rest of his new work.

CMT: By the third album, an artist knows what they’re doing. How were you trying to present yourself?

Nail: I’m just at a different place in my life, and this album just sounds different than anything I’ve ever done. … I have never been more happy in my life, and I think as a result of that, the music has a tendency to have more tempo and more positivity. … I think people can listen to this record and realize something has changed in my life

What can you pinpoint that brought you to this different place?

I think I came to a point in my life where I was not trying to figure things out myself. I was relying on other people and confiding in other people. For the longest time, I was wrestling with some things personally, and then when I realized that help was a good thing and an OK thing, then things started to turn around.

I’m a Fire is the name of a song and the album itself. Why did that phrase become so important to the project?

It has a lot of personal meaning and a lot of professional meaning. I think that I have been over a lot over the last few years. A fire is representative of that. It’s like “I’m still going.” There were a lot of moments when I could have put it out myself, or people could have put it out, but I’m still burning and strong as ever. My relationship with my wife is strong as ever, and that’s what it’s all about — a thank-you for sticking with me all the time.

I have noticed a lot of things go back to your wife for you.

She would probably wonder if I did not reference her. I mean, I live with the woman. A lot of my experiences are shared with her. She’s all right. I’ll keep her.

Since “Whatever She’s Got” is your second No. 1, what does it feel like while you’re on top?

For me, personally, there’s so many people working to get it there that I am almost as happy for them as I am for me. … I told my wife, it would have really sucked to get to No. 2 and not make it there. Once you get that close, you definitely tell yourself it’s not the end of the world, but had it not made it there, it might’ve been.

It sounds like it there are a lot of good things on the new album. Do you know what the next single is going to be?

Yeah, the next single is going to be “Kiss You Tonight,” which was one of the very first songs we chose for this record. I refer to it as “sneaky good.” It’s not one of those songs that is going to make you lose your mind the first time you hear it, but it’s very easy on the ears, and there is a lot of hope in the lyric. You just want to root for the guy behind it.

When you first hit No. 1 with “Let It Rain” in 2012, what did you expect to happen after that?

I don’t think I had any expectations … but I’ve always been one to not go too high or low and just move on to the next one. You can’t sit there and celebrate too long because you will come and go before you realize otherwise.

Writer/producer for CMT.com and CMT Edge. He's been to Georgia on a fast train. He wasn't born no yesterday.