'Summer Sickness Tour' celebrates dual album release

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, July 25, 2013

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Authority Zero

W ith almost 20 years under their belt, Mesa, Ariz.-based punk band Authority Zero is ready to wow their fans as they wrap up their Summer Sickness Tour with their final dates bringing them back through New Mexico and Arizona.

"It's a great way to close it out, close to home," said front man Jason DeVore during a phone interview with the Times an hour before their show in Orlando, Fla. on July 11. "I think kids won't want to miss out. They will not be disappointed."

Authority Zero's first stop of the final dates will be at the Launchpad in Albuquerque today, July 25, with co-headliners of the tour being punk band Ballyhoo!, who catches the crowd's attention with their punk and reggae sound.

Band members for Authority Zero are DeVore, lead vocals; Sean Sellars, drums; Mike Spero, bass and Brandon Landelius, guitar.

Ballyhoo!'s lineup is Howi Spangler, guitar and vocals; Donald Spangler, drummer; JR Gregory, bass and Scott Vandrey, turntables and keyboard.

"We're all just a bunch of friends out here and we've all done tours together before so it's a really cool vibe," DeVore said of the other bands on tour with them.

"It's been really awesome, the shows have been really good and a lot of fun," said Ballyhoo! Front Man Howi Spangler.

With the upcoming dates being the final shows of the tour DeVore said fans "can expect chaos and awesomeness" because "we're pretty much giving it everything we've got until we're not able to sweat anymore."

"We play as many songs as we can," DeVore said. They don't have a lot of filler time when on stage because they like to keep the ball rolling by giving the fans some old and new songs to jump to.

The Summer Sickness Tour is a dual-CD-release tour promoting Authority Zero's recent album release "The Tipping Point," and Ballyhoo!'s "Pineapple Grenade."

"It's a conversation-starter for anything," Spangler said when asked about their new album, "but it's pretty much full of melodic songs with punk energy."

"It's a nice rollercoaster, musically, emotionally," Spangler said of how "Pineapple Grenade" differs from their previous albums. "We try to do that with every record but, I don't know, there's something about it, it feels kind of special."

Spangler said this album is definitely a good representation of the band's sound and people who've never heard their music before won't be disappointed starting with this album (or the previous four, for that matter).

Authority Zero's recent album "The Tipping Point" was released on April 2 and DeVore said it's probably one of his favorite albums the band has done to date because it's been getting a lot of good feedback from their fans, old and new.

"This kind of parallels with the excitement I had for A Passage in Time when we first released that album (in 2002)," DeVore said. "It's an Authority Zero record with fresher sound and different elements."

"It's got that real raw energy to it and more of that live performance type sound, but without making it too gritty and not too polished either," DeVore added. "It's almost like a new life to the band and I think you're going to hear that on that record."

"It's a very positive-driven album and each song has its own individual saying to it," Devore said.

It was named after the Malcolm Gladwell book "The Tipping Point" where Gladwell defines the tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point."

"It kind of has to deal with the band in general, the growth of it, and with what the future might bring," Devore said. "It's the tipping point that things can go any way."

Over the past few years Authority Zero has experienced numerous lineup changes with DeVore being the only original member left in the band. Even faced with that type of challenge, the band has managed to move forward.

The Summer Sickness tour stops in Albuquerque July 25, The Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, Ariz. on July 26 and The Rock in Tucson, Ariz. on July 27.

"It's always cool because all the kids are always fired up," DeVore recalls of his time playing on the Navajo Nation years ago. "People just seemed genuinely happy to have us there, that was very cool."

For ticket information: www.authorityzero.com or www.Ballyhoorocks.com.

Contact Shondiin Silversmith at 928-871-1138 or editor@navajotimes.com.