Thursday, 22 November 2018

Top Tens: Dan and Jason of Authority Zero's Top Ten Punk Rock Influences

Dan’s 10 influential bands:

Green Day
Rage Against The Machine
The Clash
Suicide Machines
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Less Than Jake

These are the bands that my friends and I were all listening to as we began learning how to play our instruments and started our first bands. There was a common core of albums that everyone had. I think because we were all pulling from the same influences, that it helped us step into a room with each other and kinda know where to go as we wrote our first songs. Green Day’s Insomniac record was the first album that I ever learned front to back on guitar. It was the first album that as I played along to it, what I was doing on guitar sort of sounded like what was happening on the album. That feeling blew my mind. It opened up a whole musical world to me and made songwriting and being in a band feel possible. Going to see most of these bands when I was young further solidified for me that this was where I belonged and what I wanted to be doing. Punk rock has and always will provide a home for young people that need it.

Jason’s top 10 influential Punk Rock moments that lead me here:


The Joykiller concert 1993/94 in the DV8 basement. I was recently, at this time in my life, introduced to punk rock through skateboarding. I was roughly 14 years old. They both went and still do go hand in hand with intensity and a sense of complete freedom and belonging. My friends and I snuck out of our houses one night in small town Evanston, Wyoming, and drove across the border into Salt Lake City, Utah (where SLC Punk was filmed), and had an amazing experience. Jack Grisham (the singer also of T.S.O.L.) was the frontman and was outrageous and entertaining. At the end of the show the place had cleared out and I saw him walking around. I grabbed some garbage off the ground and ran up to him asking if he could sign it for me, being my first show. He asked if I had any stickers and told him I was broke. He went back stage and came out with five stickers and one signed. I told myself then and there that if I ever started a band that that was how I wanted to interact and be there for people through music and life.

# 2

I started a very small punk rock band with some of those friends called D.E.A. (DERANGED EGOTISTICAL ASSHOLES). We had made plans to hit the road ASAP, eat hot dogs the rest of our lives, and drive as far as we could til the end.


I was introduced around that time to Green Day’s earlier 1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, Pennywise, Minor Threat, Bad Religion, The Offspring, etc. You name it, they all came flooding in and caught my young ears and filled me with fire and ambition. I knew instantly this was something I longed to perceive.


I went to visit my dad in Phoenix, Arizona (where I was originally born). Within the apartment complex he lived in there was a kid next door named Jerry. We became instant friends and he had some friends in guitar class. We all met up, jammed out some acoustic songs and wrote a couple. They asked me if I wanted to start a band and I said sure, haha. At that time I was more into skateboarding so wasn’t too enthusiastic but was up for the fun of it. That was the very start of Authority Zero.


Playing early shows at JUGHEADS in Phoenix and The Big Fish Pub for literally 2–5 of our close friends and the owners of the club, Donnie and Sid. Simply because they were being nice and supportive. We’d crawl all over their bars knocking over drinks, kicking holes in the walls, and causing as much mayhem as we could in one evening.


Our friend Craven Moorhead (Derick Seidensticker) played a song called Open Eyes off our first LP that we recorded in two days on his radio show called “Backyard BOLLOX”. We freaked out and from there we then recorded our next EP titled “A Passage In Time”.


Signed our first record deal with Lava/Atlantic Records. To us… that was pretty punk rock at the moment and we went on to record our first major full length release, A Passage In Time. We hit the ground running and went on tour for the next 365 days straight. It was our first major tour and paved the path for the rest to come.


Leading a bit into the last answer with touring, we went on one of our very first tours with a band called H20. We played hardcore festivals with them on that run and especially at the time we were very inexperienced and certainly not hardcore. It was quite the eye opener and inspiring.


Playing our first DIY shows in Rocky Point Mexico. Self booked, self funded, and we gave away about 1000 self “burned” two song demo CDs. It was a hell of a good time.


In closing – hard work, patience, perseverance, dedication, love, and family got us to where we are today.

Authority Zero are gearing up for the release of their seventh album Persona Non Grata on December the 7th. Click this link for all the details on ordering physical and digital copies of the album. Authority Zero will also be back in London next April at the New Cross Inn, details here

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