"Cold-Hearted Criminal Pricks" Won't Keep Authority Zero Away From Respectable Street

Last week, while punk rock band Authority Zero enjoyed a off day in San Antonio, it was met with some bad news.

Its van had been stolen.

“Our tour manager went down to the van to grab something and found it had been taken,” lead vocalist Jason DeVore said in a recent phone interview. “He came upstairs and told us the news, and we went into a confused panic mode.” The four-piece scrambled — calling tow truck companies and trying to make sense of things. “From there, the reality of it set in that it had been stolen,” DeVore said. “We were extremely upset and helpless.”

A day later, the van was recovered about 45 miles away from the hotel parking lot it was originally left in, but it was empty. “It had been completely gutted,” DeVore says. “They took all the equipment, all the merchandise, our stereo, damaged our van and trailer, you name it.” In total, the band was out about $51,000.

Authority Zero was only on the fourth stop of its 31-show summer tour with Counterpunch and Rubedo when its plans got interrupted. But despite the hiccup, DeVore said halting the tour was never an option — “not for a second.”

“Things like this are what we sing and play about,” DeVore said. “Pulling together and pressing on when all seems hopeless and lost. Never admitting defeat and certainly not allowing some cold-hearted criminal pricks to strip us and, more importantly, the fans of all that we all love and do. This music and these kids mean everything to us, and there was no way we would let this stop us.”

Counterpunch and Rubedo are loaning instruments and assisting with transportation to help the band. Orlando-based screen printing company Enemy Ink Apparel chipped in some new shirts free of charge for the band to sell at the remaining shows and threw in some clean shirts for the band to wear as well

To make up for the rest of the lost funds, a friend – Rob Rover Rushing, who runs the rock ’n’ roll cancer foundation Love Hope Strength – started a GoFundMe campaign for the group.

“The support, generosity, and community response we've gotten throughout this all has blown our minds and been above and beyond,” DeVore said.

As of publication time, the page has raised $18,402 of its $30,000 goal. Comments on the GoFundMe page include lines like “Bastards can't steal your music or your passion. Chin up! Love from Kranj, Slovenia,” “the show must go on!” and “We've driven over 7000 miles around the Northeast to see you guys and hope to catch you when you're in upstate NY. Best of luck and keep on rockin'!”

“People have been coming up at the shows expressing their thanks for continuing on as well as their sincere apologies for what happened,” DeVore says. “The entire thing sticks to our hearts. You don't see this kind of thing every day, so when you do, it holds true, and it really is indescribable.”

With funds, transportation, support, and morale up, Authority Zero is set to play Respectable Street in West Palm Beach this Friday.

“Florida is somewhat our second home and stomping grounds,” DeVore said. “When we first started touring back in 2001, Florida was the place that came out in numbers and has continued to. We've made a great deal of very close friends from back then and throughout the years and always love returning to throw down and hang with everyone.”

Authority Zero performs with Counterpunch, Rubedo, and Break the Hero. 7 p.m. Friday, July 31, at Respectable Street Cafe, 518 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach. Must be at least 18 years old. Tickets cost $12 in advance and can be purchased here or $15 at the door.

Donate to Authority Zero’s GoFundMe page here.

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Emily Bloch