David Nail Talks Growth On New Single 'Whatever She's Got,' Preps New LP

David Nail

Jim Wright

"One of the things I’ve always admired about Tim McGraw is that it seemed like from record to record, there was some change and growth, and he was trying to do new things. That’s what I’ve tried to do with this record.”

David Nail has a new record out -- the infectious “Whatever She’s Got.” The highly respected MCA Nashville vocalist tells Billboard it feels good to have some new music for the fans. “It’s great. It’s a little nerve-wracking, but at the same time, it’s exciting to be back out on the radio. It seem to be getting a lot of traction at some stations already.”

The first single from his upcoming third album, the singer says the song  “was definitely one that I gravitated towards, and I felt the obvious assumption is that it sounds like a summer song, but I feel there have been songs even as recent as this past year that people felt were summer songs, but they were number one in February or November. A great song is a great song, it doesn’t matter when you’re listening to it. I think this one has the potential to be a great song,” he beams.

What makes him so excited about the track? “First and foremost, I’m at a different place personally than I’ve ever been. I think that allowed me to be open to songs that in the past, I wouldn’t have been open to. When I first heard it, I automatically was drawn to how catchy it was. I just felt it was something that we could do, and be different, and show some growth and depth, but at the same time be a David Nail record.”

He went on to say that fans who own his first two discs might be in for a little bit of a surprise. “I feel it’s a perfect introduction to the new album. In the last 12 to 16 months, I’ve really grown as a man, made some changes that are representative in the songs we chose and the music we’re doing now. I feel like it translates well into our live show, and the songs are a little bit more positive, and have a little more tempo. Just from the few we’ve been playing on the road the past few months, people are a little surprised, but also excited to see our sound growing. One of the things I’ve always admired about Tim McGraw is that it seemed like from record to record, there was some change and growth, and he was trying to do new things. That’s what I’ve tried to do with this record.”

David Nail Teams With 'Tunes for Troops'

Nail says that he has tried to build his name on the road by playing both stadium shows with acts like Keith Urban, and small and intimate clubs and theaters. “One thing I have always said is with us (is) the crowd dictates what we do. You can tell right off the bat if they want to listen to the music, and get captivated by it. A lot of people think that having everybody stand up is an acknowledgment that the crowd is into it. I disagree. I have no problem with people sitting down if they are really into the music. You also have crowds who want to stand up, cheer, and sing along. I think there’s a type of show for that as well. One thing I promised myself from the beginning was that I was never going to be routine, or play the same set every night. I wanted it to be fresh and unique. Sometimes, that’s a bad thing, and we look like we don’t really know what we’re doing. But, I feel there are some unique moments that come about as a result of that spontaneity.”

Just like with his previous MCA albums, Nail is working with producers Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, and Glenn Worf. He says it’s a combination that works well. “I can’t really fathom ever working with anyone else. Frank and I have become so close personally. He’s like a big brother and a mentor. He supports my ideas, and helps me to feel comfortable with my ideas.”

The summer includes several dates on the book, but don’t be surprised if Nail sneaks a peek at the television to see what his beloved St. Louis Cardinals are doing. “They are doing well. I think we have the best record in baseball. I heard someone on the radio talking about how it seems the Cardinals are always winning. They were very complimentary on how they run their business. It was actually very inspiring, because that’s something I’ve always tried to capture with our team of people -- doing things with class and trying to treat people the right way. That’s something that I’ve selfishly grown used to. I have enjoyed having a few more nights at home the past few weeks to enjoy their success,” he says with a smile.