David Nail hopes his journey of depression can help his own son
David Nail started the public road to healing his battle with depression in 2014, when he told the world what he was struggling with behind closed doors. Now he hopes he can change that route for his own son.
“I think selfishly, the reason I went public is because I knew it was probably the worst kept secret in town,” he shared with Taste of Country in 2020. “I think that once you start getting to even a vaguely positive place, you’re kind of fighting that, ‘I really was a jerk.'”
Nail would channel his healing through music, writing raw songs such as “In My Head” and “Heavy”.
With all that Nail has been through, he understands the seriousness of the idea that depression can be passed on genetically. It’s a thought close to the singer’s heart, as he and his wife Catherine have three children: 6-year-old twins Lillian and Lawson and 19-month-old Ellie.
As for his son Lawson, the older he gets, the more Nail notices how much he sees himself in him.
“Personally, he’s super sensitive…a very deep thinker,” Nails told Taste of Country. “He’s very shy but loves music so he won’t play, but I always joke with him and say, ‘We’re Nails, we don’t play for free. “”
Kidding aside, while watching his son become more like him carries a sense of pride, he also harbors apprehension.
“He’s very private, kind of a loner,” he shares. “How he handles things, it’s like I’m watching myself. There were times when I got really emotional and I was like, ‘God, I hope he doesn’t have the same things I had to deal with.'”
After all of Nail’s hard work over the past few years, he hopes to pass on what he’s learned to Lawson, in hopes of changing the course of his son’s potential future and breaking the generational cycle.
“It’s a bit bittersweet,” he thinks. “Hopefully I can learn from my mistakes and teach him how to avoid this.”
Musically, Nail released his new single, “Sunset Carousel,” on June 17. The track is much more upbeat than some of his slower, darker songs.
“My wife and I just celebrated our thirteenth anniversary, and this song reminds me so much of when ‘Whatever She’s Got’, we were about to record this song,” he says. “Because my wife was dancing in the living room while I played her at home, and I remember thinking, ‘This is my wife’s first time dancing to one of my songs,’ because my songs are normally slow and sad.”
“Sunset Carousel” is a catalyst for the tone of Nail’s upcoming music.
“It kind of energized me and definitely made me more excited than I probably was the day I walked in to write this song,” he shares. “I didn’t know what was going to be next. This song coming into the fold helped dictate where we go next.
Discover the most played country song from the year you were born
Who had the most streamed country song in the year you were born? This list is a fascinating time capsule of dominant trends from each decade of American history. Scroll to find your year of birth, then click to listen. Some of these songs have been lost over the years, many of them for good reason!