The New America is also Bad Religion's last album with Bobby Schayer on drums. Though not yet credited as a member of the band, then-former and now-current guitarist Brett Gurewitz co-wrote and played guitar on the song "Believe It". The album was re-released by Epitaph Records on September 15, 2008.
The album marks a departure for the band, as most of the songs are personal, rather than political in nature. Topics range from singer Greg Graffin's recent divorce to his past growing up as a punk kid in the early '80s. As a result of the more personal lyrics, the album is considered to be one of Bad Religion's strongest lyrical efforts.
The New America was recorded from October to December 1999 at Victor's Barn, Kauai, Hawaii and produced by Todd Rundgren. Rundgren had been one of the musicians Greg Graffin looked up to while growing up. However, working with Rundgren proved to be a disappointment to the band and especially Graffin, because they did not get along well with each other. Graffin however would later write in his book, Anarchy Evolution, that although Todd Rundgren was difficult to work with, they remain friends to this day.
The New America was released on May 9, 2000 and is the last Bad Religion album distributed via Atlantic Records to date. It peaked at number 88 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
The release of The New America marked the band's fulfillment of their four-album contract with Atlantic Records, allowing the band to reconvene with former band-mate, Brett Gurewitz, for their next album, 2002's The Process Of Belief, released on Epitaph Records.