Norma Jean

You might be wondering what the hell does 'Meridional' means. It's the name of Norma Jean's new album, their first for Razor & Tie after long stint with Christian label Solid State, a switch that singer Cory Brandan said was strictly "a business decision." Brandan, however, was able to break down 'Meridional' for us.

"The term 'Meridional' comes from historical astronomy," Brandan told Noisecreep. "It used to be on celestial maps and stuff, where there are four zones of the earth and meridional was the southern direction. If you were going meridional, you'd be going South."

Ah, a thinly veiled reference to their Southern roots, since the band hails from Atlanta? Brandan said, "It was, at first, very tongue-in-cheek, but the story and theme we made up ties in with artwork."

'Meridional' is the second album without drummer Daniel Davison, who is now sitting behind the kit for Underoath. But the band still strives to continue to top itself. "I cannot say why or where it came from all," Brandan said about the band's intensity and desire to up the ante. "We finish a record, look at it and think, 'This is awesome. We love it.' But we are left to wonder, 'What will we do next time?' I don't know. We went for it. It always comes around to writing again, and we keep it interesting for us, mainly. We were a lot more relaxed into our sound and what we wanted to do an experiment with, too. We are always adding or subtracting and learning, not so much an equal sign."

The band's secret to keeping things fresh? "We don't think we are the best musicians in the world or are awesome at guitar, we aren't above reproach. There is always something to learn," Brandan said.

July 13: That's when it's time to get 'Meridional.'

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