For New Southern, Anti-Mortem worked with veteran producer Bob Marlette (Shinedown, Seether, Black Stone Cherry), who helped them to channel their varied influences and inspirations into a cohesive and seamless mix. Incredibly prolific, to date they have penned a whopping 100 songs as a band, and come up with a new song or a new riff every week. "We have so many writers in our band and we all have different tastes," singer Larado Romo says. "Me and [guitarist] Zain [Smith] will write a song that's pretty metal, and then all three of us write a song that is like southern metal or like it was from the '70s. None of us have ego about writing. We don't question if it's soft or heavy. If one of us says, 'I believe in this riff,' then it becomes, 'Let's write an Anti-Mortem song around it.'" Smith clarifies, "It's not that anyone doesn't like the same style. I listen to the most brutal metal, which the other guys might not get into. We just don't limit ourselves."
On New Southern, the band challenged itself with a song like 'Words of Wisdom', which was written in a tune similar to that of Mastodon. "That was my first time experimenting in that tuning," Smith says. "It's heavy and it has a good message."
Adds Smith, summing up the track and its theme: "The message is to question authority. People who tell you how to live your life don't know how to live their own. It is about realizing that no one knows any more than you do. No one has the answer of life, but they will try their hardest to make you believe that they do and you have to be able to stand up for yourself and say 'No, that's not for me.'" In essence, it's a song for the disaffected and put upon members of our society.
Then there's '100% Pure American Rage', a song whose title does not mask the band's intentions and pretty much tells you what it's going to sound like from the get-go. It's a moshy anthem that meshes extreme heaviness with a classic style of songwriting and guitar sound. "It's brutal but accessible," Smith explains. "It's very political. The solos are tasty. It's new-day metal, but it has a Led Zeppelin-esque guitar tone and solo. There's nothing that sounds like this song out there."
Explaining the album's name, Romo concludes, "The title New Southern describes our way of life and our mindset. It's the same attitude, the same anger and the same resolution of the rebels that have lived before us, that always stood up for what's right, not what's easy. When I say rebels I mean revolutionaries like JFK, Ghandi and John Lennon. From a musical standpoint, I would love to carry on the legacy of all the greats like Pantera, Metallica, etc. Those bands made an impact because of how they carried themselves and the messages they gave us in their music. New Southern is a NEW spin, OUR spin, on the southern mentality and how we aim to carry on the torch."