David Nail knows a little bit about challenges. From losing his first record deal with Mercury to the years he and wife Catherine spent dealing with infertility struggles before their twins were born last December, the soulful stylist knows about being in the valley – and climbing to the top of the mountain. That’s why, upon co-writing a song called “Fighter,” he knew he wanted it to be heard. After all, it was his story.
“When I first heard the song, I knew at that moment, it was going to be the title of the record. I guess it was just a self-conscious thing. It just kind of made sense to me. It looked cool. I’ve always been very particular about what the title of the album has been, because I feel that’s an important part of it. I remember buying so many records as a kid based on the title. I’ve always put a lot of thought into it, but with Fighter, there wasn’t really a lot of thought put into it. That was the very first song that was a part of this process.”
The album, released Friday, features several deep and introspective songs about his life. But, if you think this record is a “Baby” record, think again. Perhaps the most vivid view Nail gives the listener into his journey into fatherhood is the touching “Babies,” but there is plenty of romance on Fighter, such as the captivating “Champagne Promise,” which features the talented Logan Brill. Nail says the attention the song has gotten thus far has taken him by surprise a little.
“For whatever reason, at first, it didn’t seem that people really gravitated toward it. But, as we sent it out to the press, it seems to be one of the top three or four favorites. So, that kind of validates you in your initial belief of the song. I have to give Frank Liddell total credit for bringing Logan in on it. She has a very unique voice. It was a song I wrote with Lee Miller, and I had that title in my head. I thought it would even make a great album title. It seemed very sexy and different than anything I’ve ever been a part of. I loved the imagery of this guy making sure that the girl was aware of what she was doing and what he was to her. He doesn’t want her to think that she’s getting one over on him. He just happens to like it.”
Nail caps the album off with another song with family ties, “Old Man’s Symphony.” Recorded with Bear Rinehart and Bo Rinehart of Needtobreathe, Nail says it’s a personal one.
“The song is about six or seven years old. I remember writing it at a really low point in my life. The gist of the song is about me moving here for a lot of reasons. I felt like it’s where God wanted me to be, and I also wanted to prove some people wrong. But, in spite of all of that, all I really cared about was making my parents proud and hoping that they didn’t think I just spent all of those years over here wasting time. It’s a song that just says ‘I’m not the greatest. I’m not the best, and I never will be. But, at the end of the day, if my father’s proud of me, as far as I’m concerned – that’s the only award or accolade I will ever need.’”
Nail’s father, a high school band director, was one of his biggest musical influences.
“He’s the most talented musician that I have ever met. I totally took him for granted growing up. He taught me how to play guitar, and I tagged along with him. My love of music and sports is a result of being around him. I felt like this record was so personal and so much my story that I think this song just kind put the exclamation point at the end of the record. I just hope that it reinforces what people know about me as an artist, songwriter, and a person. There’s really no secrets left after this.”
David Nail’s new album Fighter is available now on iTunes.