It's been over two years since Brantley Gilbert released his most recent studio album, The Devil Don't Sleep, but the singer says there's a good reason why it's taking him a while to complete his next project.

"I wrote it three times," Gilbert told The Boot and other media outlets at CMA Fest 2019. "I've had this thing in my pocket forever. And I didn't use a lyric sheet, not one, in the studio, because I'd written and re-written these songs enough [to know them by heart]."

A self-described perfectionist, Gilbert admits it drives him nuts when he hears even a single word out of place in one of his songs. Still, even after he had completed a body of work that he was happy with, the collection of songs was still missing one of his signature rowdy barnburners.

"In the full listen, we didn't have that hammer drop. We didn't have the "Kick It in the Sticks," or the "Read Me My Rights," or the "Take It Outside,"" Gilbert goes on to say. "We circled back. We went back out on the road again, and took some writers out, circled the wagons and wrote two more of those."

Though only one of those tracks will be included on the album, Gilbert explains, fans will eventually get to hear both. "Some songs'll stay for the next record [after this one]. And if we don't need 'em, we'll pitch 'em," the singer says.

Since Gilbert is known for hard-rocking party anthems, it may surprise some fans that those kinds of songs didn't come as easily during his most recent writing process. But Gilbert is simply in a different place these days: He's married and has a young child at home, and another baby on the way. "The things I'm doing daily are different," he points out, "but looking back into a little more of the rowdier side of me, that's still there."

The singer is very proud of the resulting body of work, which he recently told HankFM will be called Fire & Brimstone. While he can't yet share the project's official release date, Gilbert did indicate that he will continue to release new tracks off the album until he can share the project in full.

"My albums are important to me, and the stories on them are very important to me, because they do tell a chapter of my life," Gilbert relates. "That being said, with the way people consume music now, if you release that giant project, you're burning most of the songs on the record. The attention span just isn't there for people who may not be the most devoted fans. Our BG Nationers will listen to every song, but if you're trying to reach new people, the attention span's just not there. So being able to release these songs periodically leading up to the album has been awesome."

Gilbert has benefited from country's recent trend towards cross-genre collaborations, too. As a country star who's always had a strong rock edge, he's had the opportunity to express a different side of himself through collaborations with acts such as Five Finger Death Punch.

"I almost feel like the rules that were in play are not anymore, whether that be a genre thing or whatever. I'm kind of open creatively to doing things that maybe I hadn't even thought of yet," the singer goes on to say. Even "What Happens in a Small Town," the single he released with Lindsay Ell, opened him up to new possibilities, though Ell is also a country artist. Fostering a new relationship with any artist gives Gilbert new creative ideas, and leads to new opportunities for collaboration in the future.

"It's a lot of fun, and with the rules changing and there being no rules anymore, the question that has been popular lately is 'Who do you want to work with next?' And the answer is, 'I don't know. I'm open to anything, really,'" Gilbert continues.

In the meantime, Gilbert says his new album includes a healthy variety of lyrical subjects and musical styles, balancing the rowdy crowdpleasers that won him his core fanbase with new reflections on his life as a husband and a dad.

"We bounce around," he adds. "There's a little love, there's a little party -- there's a little everything."

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