Another year's end, another pause for reflection. Maybe 2014 was awful; maybe it was a triumph. The punk rockers from Authority Zero, which formed in Mesa, put themselves closer to the latter side of this spectrum. While admitting that the end of the year brings unwanted politics involving the business side of the music industry, singer Jason DeVore says the band is firmly focused on the future.
Ultimately, it was another successful year of international touring that spanned more than nine months and further promoted their 2013 album, The Tipping Point -- and as far as milestones go, they celebrated their 20th anniversary as a band, a high-water mark for any recording artist.
Now, Authority Zero -- featuring DeVore, guitarist Brandon Landelius, drummer Sean Sellers, and bassist Mike Spero -- is gearing up to lay 2014 to rest with an exclamation mark by hosting their annual New Year's Eve concert at the Marquee Theatre. Those who have seen Authority Zero are aware of the hold-nothing-back energy the musicians exude, and the breakneck intensity of the fans. Then there are those who have attended their New Year's Eve performance and know it is a celebration for the band on a special level.
"I'm always kind of crazy on events like this," says DeVore of their New Year's Eve tradition. "I try to make sure [it's] an actual event people want to go to; not just a concert. I like to do something fun with it, so it's something to do on New Year's Eve. Last year was a blackout party, and this year we want to one-up that."
As of this writing, DeVore is keeping the "one-up" details of the show close to the vest as to not build too much anticipation in case something doesn't pan out, but he was quick to add: "I will say this: If you want to wear a black tie -- and if the girls want to dress up -- go for it." No conversation about a New Year's Eve party would be complete without a New Year's resolution. DeVore wants to "mediate [his] time better between family and music, because there is so much going on that you get lost."
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While Authority Zero's focus is on New Year's Eve and plans for 2015 (which will include working on a new album), the band's community efforts over the past year have not gone unnoticed. In October, DeVore took to social media to offer Authority Zero's endorsement for an online petition and local movement to put the longtime Phoenix favorite radio show, The SkaPunk Show with Craven Moorehead, back on the airwaves. Punk fans and bands alike rallied together trying to get the show onto 93.3 Alt AZ.
"The whole ska-punk thing became an awesome communal thing," DeVore says. "It [had] the feeling of people genuinely working together on a bigger scale. You started seeing kids and bands coming together, and the whole community of the punk rock scene wanting to make something we all loved and grew up on.
"It was a place where we had all of the music that spoke to us," DeVore says about why The SkaPunk Show is important to the Valley. "A lot of people say it's just punk rock music, but there's a deeper message that can help people find understanding."
Fans can expect Authority Zero to relay their own punk rock message at the Marquee, where, DeVore says, "We want to always give a show that we would want to see. You want to see a band that really gives a shit about everything they are singing about and playing."
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