Jason DeVore is a well-read punk.
The Authority Zero frontman came up with the title track for the Arizona band's latest record,
The Tipping Point, while perusing a Malcolm Gladwell book of the same name on tour. "On that trip a buddy of mine had given me a bunch of self-help, positive books so I picked up The Tipping Point and got intrigued by the ideas behind it," DeVore says from his home, days before leaving on a Canadian tour.
The rest of the album, released in April, was finished when the band headed out on tour, but DeVore was struggling to find lyrics for that last song. Book in tow, he returned home and was inspired to finish their fifth release.
"(The book) made sense with what we were going through (as a band)," he says. "We were looking to grow and expand. It was one of those things where it could go either way and it only takes a small thing for a change to occur."
The band has seen plenty of lineup changes over their nearly 20 years playing in the ska/punk scene. Members dropped out to start families or pursue new careers, but the current lineup is on the same page. "The changes have brought new life into the band," he says. "The band members are super excited about it. It's fresh blood."
The turmoil also provided fodder for the new tracks. "All the lyrics are just from my own personal life, things I might see, what my friends are going through," DeVore says. "It just comes from everywhere. That whole album has to do with things that were going on in the group."
This summer the band toured across the U.S. largely with punk rockers Ballyhoo! Opening for a band with a different audience was an unusual experience for the veteran group. "I think we have a lot of our older fanbase from the earlier years, they're still coming out," DeVore says. "The weird thing is now their kids are coming out with them. It's crazy to think about. Also, playing with a lot of different bands with different sounds, we're gaining new fans and turning heads and introducing people to music they might not have heard before. I think we're gathering fans along the way."
The band hasn't been up to Canada in years — save for a one-off show in Eastern Canada this summer that wasn't promoted well and didn't have a good turn out — but they're looking forward to returning to the Great White North.
"We're super excited to go there," DeVore says. "The connection we have on stage these days is really exciting and I think that's (evident) at the shows to the kids in the audience. As far as the set list, we've been doing about 23 songs a night. There's not a lot of room for banter. We hammer through as many songs as we can."