Album Premiere/Track By Track: Authority Zero, ‘The Tipping Point’
Punk veterans Authority Zero will release their new album, The Tipping Point on April 2, but you can listen to it here first. Stream the album below and read along as the band explain the meanings behind the songs in our exclusive track by track.
“No Other Place”
"No Other Place" has to do with everything that is going on at the present time. Touring, life… just everything that is happening in that given instance and living in that moment. A reaffirmation that no matter how hard or painful things are or have been, it's what brought you to this place and to embrace the good in it. The idea came about with being onstage at the show with everyone brought together in that moment, although it also transfers into the day-to-day of life and it's obstacles.
“Undivided” sort of speaks for itself. It’s about unity and coming together to make a difference—not letting our petty differences get in the way of the bigger picture. Survival, friendship, love, family and above all, working as a whole to make a better world to live in for ourselves and future generations.
“Take Or Leave It”
"Take Or Leave It" is about no more excuses, owning up to your BS and persevering. How did you get to this place in your life? It’s about not passing the blame of your own actions onto others and playing the victim ’til you've beaten it to death. When writing this song, there was a lot going on, and it kind of reflects coming to terms with a given situation, dealing with it and moving on with your life. In many ways getting a taste of your own medicine and learning from it.
“For The Kids”
“For The Kids” to me has everything to do with the history of Authority Zero and everyone who has been a part of this journey: original members from back in the early days when we started this crazy train up, to every single fan, friend and new member we’ve met and picked up along the way. So much blood, sweat, sacrifice, energy and time has been put into the history of this group. Not only on our end as individual musicians, but the fans who have stuck by our side all these years making it possible. It’s paying homage to all those kids and every member that has given his or her life to this as well as their families and loved ones who, without question, supported their dream.
“Struggle” is about just that: making it through the hard times and realizing without those struggles, what you’ve strived for wouldn’t be as gratifying—or even possible for that matter. It’s the struggle that makes it worth it in the end. The song is about taking hold of your destiny and realizing it’s a matter of having the guts to make the hard decisions that will bring you and those around you happiness.
“Lift One Up”
“Lift One Up” to me has everything to do about celebrating life and living it up. When writing this song, the true inspiration was the kids at the shows. Not only that, but taking me back to when I was younger and going to my first shows for that escape. Just the idea of everyone coming together under one roof, screaming every word until their voices gave out, sweating out whatever craziness may be going on in their life, and just letting go.
“On The Brink”
This track takes me back a bit. It has everything to do with the changes in music and the industry. I suppose in many ways just missing those old-school songs that were so inspiring and the community of it all. The songs that as a kid you turned to for answers and understanding. Above all, they were always there for you when you needed guidance. It’s still there, but not like it used to be. Times are changing, music has changed, but the fire that’s inside us all is still. It’s a song of hope for a place to go that is undying.
“Today We Heard The News”
This song is very dear to my heart. I was at my house working on the new Authority record when I went online to tragically find out that Tony Sly of No Use For A Name had unexpectedly passed away. It instantly struck a nerve, and I just started writing. No Use were one of the first bands we ever toured with back in 2001. It made me start thinking of the good times we had on the road and how at any given moment (as with many other musicians who have passed on early) it can be taken from you in an instant. There's always that possibility that you may not make it home, so don't take anything in this life for granted. We brought in our good friend Mark Bush (trumpet player of Voodoo Glow Skulls) on this track to lay down some killer horns and add what we felt the song needed to bring it all together.
“The Tipping Point”
The title track for the album is one of my favorites due to the organic way in which it came together. We had already been in the studio for a month working on the album and had tracked everything down to the last harmony. The only thing we hadn’t tracked was vocals on this song. I told the fellas I was super-stoked on this one and wanted to write something that would do the music justice.
Unfortunately, time had run out and I was a bit sapped from the intensity of the month-long recording. Brandon [Landelius, guitar] and Sean [Sellers, drums] went ahead and layed it down anyhow without a click track and the slight possibility that it may not make the record this go around.
Literally I think it was done in three takes. Shortly after recording, we hit the road for a U.S. tour in which I planned on writing along the way. On our way through California during a day off, I would pop back into the studio for the day and lay down all vocals, which is something else I like about this track is that you can hear that it was mid-tour.
Just before leaving for the tour an old friend of mine named Rob gave me a stack of books he thought I would really be into, one of which was titled The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladdwell. Along our trek I read the book, and as time went on so much of it made sense to me with everything that had been happening over the past year or so. The Tipping Point basically had to do with all those little things: decisions, small choices, strange and freak occurrences that can, in one moment cause something to tip into a giant epidemic and spread like wildfire. When the time came, I got so caught up in touring that I failed to write anything solid and popped in the studio that day with a pen and paper and constructed it over the next nine hours. In the end it became one of my favorites on the album.
“Shakedown In Juarez”
This song was fun because it was all about storytelling and something we as a band experienced on tour. Long story short, we showed up in El Paso the night before our show and decided it would be wise to cross over into Juarez, Mexico, at 4 a.m. to hit the town. It was an extremely eerie night and everything was closed down so we decided to go off the beaten path to hit a taco stand. Things didn’t turn out all fun and games. The Federalies came into play, a knife, and a paddy wagon with 666 on the side. This song tells the story of that night in 2006
Endless roads has to do with touring life, living out of a van, traveling place to place and never knowing what to expect. It has to do with the kids at the shows and doing whatever it takes to make it to that next town and venue. As the song says, “We can take this road forever, if we take this road together.”
“21st Century Breakout”
This song is a song of the times. There’s so much tension in the world that it’s like a rubber band about to snap. If something’s not said or done then shit’s going to go off the deep end as it’s already begun to. This song is about that time when everyone has had enough and lashes out, creating an uprising for change. Feeling like you’ve been screaming out and pleading to get someone, anyone’s attention, all the while feeling like it’s falling on deaf ears and you’re yelling at a wall.