Photo by Jim Louvau

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Authority Zero has spent the COVID-19 pandemic performing livestreamed shows.

On Friday, December 18, the band will return to the Marquee Theatre stage for two socially distanced acoustic shows.

“We’re taking it back,” says lead singer Jason DeVore. “It’s dinner and a show. You can order food there, and the tables are separated.

“The show is unique. We’ve done these types of shows that are complete rewrites of everything.”

Rewriting the songs was fun, DeVore says. Some of them are unrecognizable.

“Sometimes we said, ‘This is the fastest punk rock song. Let’s make it smooth jazz,’” he recalls. “It’s odd how much that seems to work. It’s kept us creative and entertained.”

New music is keeping Authority Zero busy, too. The band has been in Southern California recording with Cameron Webb, who also helmed the 2016 release “Tipping Point.”

Webb has worked with multiple platinum-selling artists, including Motörhead, Sum 41, Kelly Clarkson, Megadeth, Limp Bizkit and Jack Johnson. In 2004, he won a Grammy Award for engineering Kelly Clarkson’s album “Breakaway.”

“Our personal lives have given us a lot to write about,” he says. “Same with the world. We have a lot to write about and reflect upon. It’s been an easy process.

“It’s going to be a 12-song album and, depending on how time goes, maybe 14. It’s going to be a self-release with the hopes of getting it out in late spring.”

COVID-19 has presented DeVore with the silver lining. Since 2001, he’s been on tour most months. During the pandemic and quarantine, DeVore became reacquainted with his wife. He also spent time writing with his bassist, Mike Spero, and turning lyric sheets into art.

“I’ve been doing silk screen posters, and it’s been another fun art outlet,” he says. “It’s seemingly kept us busy.”

Even more so, DeVore and his partner, Clay Lake, have continued their work with Earth Skateboards, which manufactures products with a focus on giving to foundations and organizations that make a positive impact on the earth.

“We’ve been working on this for seven years,” DeVore says. “I met him at an Authority Zero show in Las Vegas. We started talking about skateboarding and how it coincides with music. He told me his buddies were pros.

“We just went for it. We just started designing quality pressed boards and merch. It’s a fun way to branch out with our name. It’s a labor of love. I wanted to be a pro skateboarder growing up but I broke my ankle over and over again.”

In the meantime, DeVore is looking forward to Authority Zero’s show.

“It means the world to us,” he says about local shows. “If anybody shows up, it’s going to be great—and safe. We’ve been holed up in our houses and doing online shows here and there, playing to a wall. It’ll be nice to see some faces out there. The current state of affairs is up and down. We and the Marquee are making sure everybody’s going to be safe.”

Authority Zero: Dine-In Concert, Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 6 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Friday, December 18, $25-$70.

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