In 1995, Bill Koch revamped the program to begin the first all-female, America's Cup boat. America3's successor, Mighty Mary, was on her way to the 1995 America's Cup, in the lead of the last race of the Defender Series over Stars & Stripes. But with a commanding lead of nearly 5 minutes, Dave Dellenbaugh (the only man on the otherwise all-female crew) committed a crucial tactical error and Stars & Stripes skipper Dennis Conner made a series of moves to beat Mighty Mary to the finish line by scant seconds. After winning the Defender Series, Conner opted to use the third syndicate that year, Young America, to defend the cup, losing to Team New Zealand, 5-0.
America was recorded using both electronic sounds and live recordings. An anechoic chamber was built in Baltimore to record the orchestral track "Rail." The reason Deacon decided to incorporate live instruments onto the album was that Deacon felt that electronic beats were limited by its lack of flaws and that he wanted the "slight imperfection in timing" human musicians have. Because he wanted the album to sound "more like a rock record" than an electronic one, Deacon enlisted King Crimson engineer Simon Heyworth to master the album.
In an interview with NPR, Deacon said that the album was inspired by the politics and geography of the United States, saying:
Deacon described the album as "political," saying that the lyrics were "[..] inspired by my frustration, fear and anger towards the country and world I live in and am a part of." However, Deacon also said that he did not want the political nature to be overt, arguing that people do not respond to overt political messages.
Born to a crack addict, America was given to a rich white family. They decided they didn't want him any more after his skin started to darken at the age of five years. The family's nanny, Sylvia Harper, adopts/fosters America. She had a "man-friend" named Clark Poignant, and a half-brother named Browning. Clark Poignant befriended America. After a year, America gets sent back to his biological mother by the state. Browning tells America to be as bad as he possibly can, so he will get sent back to them. America's mother lived in a shoddy house in New York City with America's two older brothers, named Brooklyn and Lyle.
In 1964, inmate Charlie Forsythe swallowed 60,000 volts of electricity for a murder he did not commit.
When Creedmore Prison is reopened after thirty years, it has not been standing empty. Charlie Forsythe is back – still charged with electric heat. Waiting for Eaton Sharpe (Lane Smith) – the man who stood by as Forsythe rode the electric chair.
Forsythe quickly makes up for lost time as his vengeance rises to a fever pitch of violent fury. Burke (Viggo Mortensen) and the other inmates soon realize that they will all be slaughtered unless Forsythe is allowed to repay his long-standing debt. With the lives of Creedmore in the balance, Sharpe and Forsythe are finally brought face-to-rotting-face in a duel that will pit Forsythe's supernatural rage against Sharpe's bloodthirsty instinct for survival.
The execution chamber shown in the film is actually the real Rawlins prison gas chamber. The chamber was never used for electrocutions in real life.