Authority Zero Is Stronger with The Tipping Point
I know the album comes out in April and I saw you guys recently posted an in the studio video. Did you finish the album pretty recently?
Yeah, we got done with the album, what was it . . . It was after the month of September. We got done before the New Year. We backtracked the studio blogs to kind of spread it out. We were out there for about a month, a month and a half at most and we got it all finished up last year.
Did it all come together pretty fast? I remember reading a quote about how you can quickly write songs in a couple of minutes.
Yeah, I do, but it's a lot more with the solo stuff because there's no outside opinion. There's a lot of times where I'm feeling completely 100 percent, there's a lot of honesty involved with the guys. They've got their own opinions and their own take on stuff, so it takes a little more time. It's cool, it makes it more eclectic and gives it more variety and gives it some more perspective in a weird way. But, yeah, it takes a little bit of time, but the ideas behind the songs were coming pretty naturally and perfect.
Authority Zero recently had a couple of longtime members leave. What happened and how have you adjusted since?
Bill took off -- he was the original guitar player. We started this band together back in the day and that was one of the hardest initial shocks for me, to be honest with you. Jeremy [Wood] left the band for about two years and then in 2008, Bill [Marcks] decided . . . He had a family starting off and he got a place in town.
We don't make a lot of money doing this. It's not real rock star stuff; you do it for the love and passion of it, and unfortunately after a while, once you've got a family coming in and you're not making a lot of money doing this, you have to reassess. Obviously, he chose family. He did that, and we got some new guitar members. Over time, a couple different guys.
Shortly after 2012, Jim [Wilcox] left the band to go do new things. It's one of those things -- he had done it for so many years, and some people just want to do something different. It was really hard to keep everything together keeping the music going, keeping it positive, and keeping it real with different members coming in and keeping them happy and stoked after the changes, but once you get out there it's all good [laughs]. You start playing the shows, you adjust, it takes a little bit of time to feel comfortable on stage with new people and for them to feel comfortable too, it's like starting a new family. It's been pretty consistent.
From what I've seen online, Authority Zero only has one show in the works right now. Are you planning any sort of local album release show?
Yeah, we've got something coming up. We're talking about Zia Records. We try to do that the best we can with them in the local scene. We're going to probably do something pretty big. We're talking about doing something around March so people can come down and actually hear the record, and then we're going to do something the day of the release, I think possibly an instore live performance at Zia Records, so that's all being worked out. Then we hit the road the day after and we play Russia.
Wow, have you been there before?
No, it's our first time, so we're excited. It's going to be a lot of new European stops like Italy and we're doing Spain a couple nights out there with Pennywise and A Wilhelm Scream, so it's going to be a good tour, a good first tour of the year.
Upon finishing the album, you said you haven't felt this way since A Passage in Time came out. What makes you feel that way?
So much hard work went into it and a couple of members don't live here, so they had gone out of their way to fly out here and live on my floor and be away from their loved ones for a long time, even when we were just writing the album before we went out to California for a month to record it. There's so much excitement going into it, and just the development of it was really cool to see.
At first I didn't know what we had, we had been working on songs a lot, we had been rearranging and rewriting and tearing things apart and then in the end, working with a new producer with Cameron and everything, it was a different experience in general, and that was one of the exciting things about it. It's about trying new experiences and it was the first time I'd done that in awhile, being a producer. Just the energy of the whole thing seemed really, really good. Everybody was excited, we were listening to it in the studio just rocking out, like 'man this is awesome,' we were freaking out.
Just that idea, feeling like it's your favorite album that came out this year and knowing that it's not just you individually that feels that when everyone else is stoked on it, it's got the energy up. It makes you feel like you're not starting over again, but it was a fresh, new turn around, especially just before the New Year, it was really exciting. I'm still excited.
Passage in Time is over 10 years old. How do you feel about it today?
I feel old. About the album in general, I'm still as stoked on it now as I was back then. It still encompasses everything that we're about and that we've been doing, all the things we still believe in and care about. It was produce differently, there was a big, open sound with a lot of different elements in it and a different way of recording, I just love it. i still do, it's still my favorite sometimes.
What inspired "Super Bitch?"
"Super Bitch" was inspired by an ex-girlfriend of mine who . . . I was 17, and I was dating this girl and I was head over heels for her, pretty much. I had to drive her out to her house in Glendale one night after we were partying pretty hardcore in Mesa and she just had to go home that night around 3 o'clock in the morning. [I said,] "I can't take you home right now, this is not going to happen -- it's not good, it's not safe, it's just stupid."
She insisted pretty much, so I had to drive her to Glendale and I got pulled over. I ended up getting arrested that night with a DUI. After I got released, she still insisted I drive her the rest of the way to her house and after that, I asked if I could spend the night there and she said no, so after that, I had to drive all the way back home and the next day she broke up with me, so I wrote a little song about her and I think many men and many women can relate to that story.
Yeah, definitely. I had no idea it was that involved.
That was a bad one [laughs], I shouldn't talk about it, but that's what it is.
At least bad experiences make for good art.
Don't drink and drive and don't trust anyone.
Tell me a little bit about the song "For the Kids."
The concept behind that, because one of them was actually...I wrote it acoustic, it was going to be another solo song because it was really organic and acoustic, I thought this might sound good if we put it to full production and added guitars and all of that, and we did, and it's all about the past members, it's pretty much about being young and all of the time and energy that everyone put into it and the love and the heart and the sacrifice, and all of the kids that were there along the way and have been along the way, and they have kids now. It's very much paying homage to the history of the band and the history of the band. It's pretty much thanking everybody for everything, all of it.
How do you decide what becomes a solo song or an Authority Zero song?
Most of my solo stuff is a little more sing-y, it's just different. That's what I did in the first place, like, "Eh, I could see us playing this song, but it's a little too whatever." It wouldn't be a full on high-energy style, it's a little more influenced by acoustic artists and things like that, but you just kind of know when you know. Songs pop up and you're like, I could see that on stage with Authority kind of deal. You separate them pretty easily.
Jason Devore is scheduled to perform a solo show at Joe's Grotto on Friday, February 15.