Authority Zero will release its new album, Persona Non Grata, but after 24 years together, the band is still embraced by fans and musicians.
“I always wanted to be in a group who was respected and looked up to by the people I admired as well as the fans,” says lead singer Jason DeVore.
“I wanted my peers to acknowledge us as musicians or singer-songwriters, whatever you call us. Since that point, we’ve played with so many bands we’ve looked up to as well.”
Available on December 7, Persona Non Grata will be Authority Zero’s first self-released studio album. The band will celebrate the release on Saturday, December 8, at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, followed by an early spring European tour and a summer U.S. headlining jaunt.
For Persona Non Grata, Authority Zero returned to the Blasting Room studio to work with legendary punk drummer Bill Stevenson of All and The Descendents.
“Bill makes you feel like you’re not working at all,” DeVore says. “He knew when I was having vocal problems, which is interesting. He’s a great drummer, but his forte is really vocals. He gets the best out of us.
“He definitely opened our minds to different ideas and sounds and everyone’s influences. Dan Aid from Denver is fully on guitar. It’s a really fast-paced album. We just had a good time with it. It was fun and comfortable to record. It felt natural.”
DeVore and his bassist Mike Spero are such fans of Stevenson they drove to Tucson to watch The Descendents play.
“It was fun,” DeVore says. “He’s brilliant.”
Since 1994, Authority Zero has brought its blend of anthemic, melodic, punk, ska and reggae tones to fans. A lot has changed in its 20-plus years, but the band has persisted.
Authority Zero was formed in Mesa by high school friends who had the mission of bringing good music to listeners. Its debut album was 2002’s A Passage in Time, released on Lava Records. The band toured extensively with the likes of Pennywise, Sum 41, Flogging Molly and H2O.
Authority Zero, which also includes drummer Chris Dalley, has since released six full-length studio albums, many landing on the Billboard charts, videogames, TV shows and movie soundtracks. It’s been an up and down two decades, with a low point being the theft of its van, trailer and equipment in Texas.
Many musicians move out of their hometowns when they find success. DeVore has remained in the Valley.
“It’s home base,” he says. “We love the city. We love the town. Mike and I still live here.
“We’re all creatures of our own environment. I’ve been here since I was 14 years old. There was talk about us moving back to Indiana, but we stuck around here because we love it.”
That’s why Authority Zero is sharing its new album’s music with fans at home.
“Our fans are the best fans out there. It’s been one hell of a ride.”
Authority Zero Persona Non Grata Album Release Party w/ Runaway Kids, Good Boy Daisy, Nomada, Madd Dog Tannen, Torn at the Seam, Marquee Theater, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 8, $20-$35.