Authority Zero discuss their latest album, their growth as a band, their charity work with Earth Skateboards and what’s next for the band
Interview by Emily May
Arizona punk band Authority Zero are receiving plenty of praise for their recently released 7th studio album Persona Non Grata, an album they recorded at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO with producer and legendary Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson. Formed in 1994, the band rose to popularity with the release of their first album A Passage In Time in 1992 which produced the hits “One More Minute” and “Over Seasons”. The band is known for their mix of punk rock and reggae and have toured regularly in North America, Europe and Japan with bands such as No Use For A Name, Sum 41, Everclear, Guttermouth and H20. Their latest album saw a more cohesive experience for the band, with each member playing a part in the writing of the album and also saw Devore write lyrics that were more personal and introspective for him then on previous albums. The band recently did their first headlining tour in Japan and have plans to head back to Europe in April to begin their touring cycle to promote Persona Non Grata. You can stay up to date with the band and all upcoming music and tour dates, as well as stream and purchase their music via the following links. Check out their video for “Ah Hell” from the new EP.
iTunes/Apple Music- https://itunes.apple.
Moor Brewing Company/Zero Brew- https://www.moorbeer.co.
You have been a band since 1994 but have consistently been writing, recording and touring over the years in an ever-changing musical landscape! How do you feel that the industry, as well as the band, have evolved over the last 25 years? How do you feel that the punk scene has grown and changed?
We have undeniably developed as a band with member change ups throughout the years and sonically as well while keeping what we feel true to our ever changing lives and personalities. It’s all been in a very positive light and has kept things exciting on our end. I feel the punk scene is still alive and well although also ever changing. It’s a new day and a completely new generation so to me I’m just happy to see it still alive and well in this day and age. It’s great to see kids picking up where the parents have somewhat passed the torch.
Through all of your successes, line-up changes and bumps in the road over the years, how have you stayed motivated and passionate to keep going?
Just as mentioned above. The love from the older generation still standing by our side and from all the new kids getting fired up and keeping us stoked. Plus…just love of music and expression on a loud and intense way.
You recently released your 7th studio album, Persona Non Grata, which you recorded at The Blasting Room with producer and iconic Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson. What was the recording process like for the album?
In a word, Amazing. Such a great crew both within the band and throughout the entire Blasting Room. Things run so smoothly and we were all so inspired by each other that it just makes for an honest, hardworking, fun, and comfortable situation.
You have said that the writing process for the album was awesome and that the music and lyrical content came together really quickly! What do you feel inspired you to write and record this album so quickly? Did you have the songs written before heading into the studio or did you do some of the songwriting in the studio?
Mike and I had done a decent deal of acoustic writing prior to demoing things out on some songs and Dan came to the table with a killer spread of riffs and song ideas. From there Mikey really buckled down on putting together a lot of the demos in Garage Band to help us all collectively see a front to back blueprint and kick off point to a lot of the tracks. From there they get and grew and became Persona Non Grata. Lyrically yes, the words honestly poured out in honestly and many of which (which is different for my lyrically) came out more introverted, direct, and honest without a whole lot of “play on words”. Typically I love going that route rather than matter of fact, but this time being so quickly written after our prior album “Broadcasting To The Nations” I felt I deep GAO in things I hadn’t yet touched on which was more within and straight to the point.
Persona Non Grata is your first self-released studio album in over a decade! How did the process for releasing the album differ from past releases?
Bottom line it happened very quickly and came from the heart. That said as well it is the first album (disclaimer) I have recorded, sung, and written lyrically to completely sober. Probably more than need said, but I feel it an important part of the story and am very proud of it in that regard. It helped break down walls and was very focused. Within that, this is the first completely collective album written and recorded with the four of us as a unit with everyone’s input song to song and writing. It just felt right and good.
Your lyrics on this album are more introspective and you sing about more of your personal life experiences then on previous albums. What inspired you to write from a more personal perspective for this album?
The shooting from the hip method of just writing what I was feeling at that time and a load of bunched up emotions and thoughts I’ve held onto. It was honest.
You are one of the co-founders of Earth Skateboards, through which Authority Zero has released many custom decks! The company was founded with charity in mind and combines music, art and skating. The bands and individuals you feature all have their choice of charity to work with. Who would you count as some of your favorite charities to support? How has the company evolved over the years and what kinds of plans are in the works for the new year?
Yeah, Earth Skateboards was founded by my dear friends Clay Lake, Ashley Tatum, and myself. We all have such a drive and passion for skateboarding having grown up to present day being skaters and wanted to do something creative that gave back with the skateboard, music, and arts community. We are a self funded company and have had so much love and support from the bands we’ve worked and toured with through the many years and well as organizations that work within the touring market as well. So many great charities and bands have been involved and we’re so grateful. This past year we signed our first two pro and team riders, Jeromy Green and Eli Reams. Both are slaying it and we look very forward to the future of it with possible “Earth Day” Festivals being in the works. Check out Shredtheeaet.com and skateearth.com to see how you can support and participate!
You guys recently did your first headlining tour in Japan! What were some highlights of the tour? Did you have much downtime to see some of the sites? Any especially memorable meals or fan interactions?
Meals: Everything from Korean BBQ, Beef Bowls, Sushi, and a killer dish called Shabu Shabu. We typically have a fair amount of time to explore some sites and our team over there with Caffeine Bomb Records is beyond amazing. They gladly take us out of their way to show us exciting sites and we experience as much as we can when abroad. Not only that, but they are above and beyond when it comes to kindness, hard work, and show preparation. It’s unparalleled to any experience I’ve had in that regard.
You guys did a custom beer collaboration recently with Moor Beer Company in England! How did that collaboration come about? Have you done custom beer collaborations in the past or have plans to do more going forward?
This was actually our first beer Collab! Our friend Justin Moore at Moore Brewing runs a family business and approached us with the idea whilst giving us a tour of his brewery in England some years back. We talked shop and he simply made it a reality! It’s called Zero Brew.
What’s next for you guys? What does 2019 have in store for you?
Our new album Persona Non Grata came out as our first self release and we’re headed back to Europe in April to start the touring cycle to promote it! We also have a new video soon to be released for our first single “Ah Hell”! From there we’ll be on tour around the world throughout the year so stay linked up to authorityzero.com for updates and details! Cheers!