In Authority Zero’s 25 years, the Valley musicians have been told their music saved fans from suicide and helped them through breakups or divorces.
“I’ve had people tell me they were about to commit suicide and they heard ‘Find Your Way’ or ‘Courage’ and at the last minute, they changed their mind,” says lead singer Jason DeVore, a Mesa native.
“They learned how to deal with it, rather than ending it. Troops overseas who are fighting have heard ‘One More Minute’—which has nothing to do with anything they were going through over there—and it gave them some kind of peace and took them back to a nice place.”
Authority Zero clearly has a special bond with its fans. DeVore says it’s because the musicians are approachable.
“I think we are really personable with our fans,” he says. “We try to make sure we have the time for them—on stage and off. We really try to stay connected and in tune with all of them.
“Even as a fan of music, sometimes I don’t get the time of day. I just seem them on stage, which is cool. However, the ones who have taken the time to talk to me and meet me at the merch booth have a bigger impact on me.”
Authority Zero will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a hometown show, which DeVore describes as a “pre-New Year’s Eve show.”
The show also celebrates December 6 release of “Authority Zero: Live at the Rebel Lounge.”
“We recorded it over two nights,” DeVore says. “That’s where we first started playing in 1996 or 1995, but it was known as the Mason Jar.
“It’s a double disc set and we’re doing it on vinyl, too. It’s an indie release.”
Born in 1979 in Mesa, DeVore formed Authority Zero in 1994 with friends in 1994. For the next six years, the band played out and inked a deal with Lava/Atlantic Records in 2000.
Authority Zero’s major-label debut, “A Passage in Time,” super-charged the band’s popularity, as they spent time on the road with Pennywise, Sum 41 and Flogging Molly. Since then, Authority Zero has released about six full-length studio albums, either on its own label or others.
DeVore expanded his talents in 2005, when he started playing more technical guitar while singing. Yearning for more melodic music, DeVore released his first solo album, “Conviction Volume I: The Smoke House Sessions,” a project he worked on with Bryan Sandell. The project shows off DeVore’s talents, as he also plays saxophone and Irish tin whistle.
Sandell and DeVore founded Operation Records to release the album as well as 2010’s “Conviction Volume II: The Crooked Path” and 2019’s “Conviction Volume III: The Road to Clarity.”
Authority Zero is an amalgamation of SoCal punk with reggae and ska tendencies. The band features bassist Mike Spero, guitarist Dan Aid and drummer Chris Dalley, along with DeVore.
Needless to say, Authority Zero knows about benefits and the downside of being on major labels. DeVore admits it would be nice to have the funding to record music, but he prefers to be hands-on with his products.
For the next decade or so, DeVore hopes to see Authority Zero grow in terms of music and support.
“I’m hoping we can play markets like South America, where we’ve never been,” DeVore says. “There are so many places we haven’t touched. We have requests from people all over the world.
“We have a lot of ground to cover still. I’m hoping more people spread the word and keep that growth going somehow. Punk rock is coming around again. I think the time is coming. It’s only fair.”
Outside of Authority Zero, DeVore keeps busy with his solo projects. He relentlessly tours around venues in town playing acoustic gigs. He’s formed The Deadly’s with Irish musician Keith Walker. It’s an offshoot of their former band, the Bullox.
“It’s an Irish punk band with an ’80s pop sensibility,” he says. “I really just keep on writing whatever’s happening in my head and I came up with songs for The Deadly’s. The projects are just different takes on my mind.”
Despite his success, DeVore doesn’t have any plans to move elsewhere. The Tempe musician is firmly entrenched in the Valley music scene—if not only for him, but the fans.
“Being a local band from here, we’re so humbled that people still do come out in good numbers and have a good time,” he says.
“I’m singing about crap I’ve gone through myself. It’s not cool that people have gone through hardships, but it’s amazing to see how people can relate to it in their own different way.”
Authority Zero w/Madd Dog Tannen, ZeeCeeKeely, Skull Drug, Black Mountain Moonshine
Marquee Theatre, 30 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 7 p.m. Saturday, December 28, tickets start at $20.