Stereotyperider’s latest release, the 11-track ‘Prolonging the Inevitable’ (on Suburban Home), is an energetic, melodic yet heavy and edgy amalgamation of punk, post-hardcore, and rock – or something to that effect… See, these guys – who started in ’99 after the dissolution of their previous bands Mandingo and Adam’s Alcoholics and currently features vocalist/guitarist Mike, bassist Anthony (a.k.a. beardedshortdude), and drummer Dave (they’ve had line-up changes in the second guitar position and as of now, have no one in that slot) – can’t really be categorized; they incorporate too many styles and tones into their music.
As the Arizona-based band’s Website reads, “Stereotyperider is a fuckin’ rock band.” Anthony says they went with that particular description because there are just way too many genres and subgenres today and they don’t feel they fit neatly into any specific one. “Some people would say we’re a post-hardcore band, some people would say we’re indie rock, some…would say we’re pop-punk/rock-type stuff. Either way, though, there’s always some sort of rock influence,” the bassist explains. Stereotyperider have got plenty of hard-rocking, more aggressive songs like “Back to the Argument”, “Static”, the fast-paced “I Own a King”, and the hardcore finale “New Wave Smoke Signal”, but even these are infused with melody, and, a pop-sensibility, if you will.
And when people won’t stop harassing the band as to what “type” of music they play, they respond by telling them to listen to the covers album they put out earlier in 2004, for the bands whose songs they chose to play have influenced them greatly. Yes, Stereotyperider’s last record, ‘Under the Influence’, which just so happens to be the first in a series released by Suburban Home Records, featured the guys covering Fugazi, The Cure, Pixies, Seaweed, Descendents, Quicksand, and Archers of Loaf. Elements from these bands (all legends in their own right) come through here and there on ‘Prolonging the Inevitable’, like the hints of Archers of Loaf (especially in the guitar work) on “By Today’s Standards, Old and Jaded”.
Perhaps the greatest of the 11 tracks is the phenomenal “You’re Not Safe with Us”, a song whose chorus and melody get stuck in one’s head immediately, with vocal harmonies to die for (drummer Dave supplements Mike’s crooning). And as it features lyrics like “I hope you can deal with all the songs that sound the same,” I naturally had to ask (jokingly, of course…) if the guys were referring to their own music. Anthony’s answer? “The radio’s kind of [in] a sad state of affairs these days, and that’s pretty much what it’s talking about,” continuing, “The marketing scheme for most major labels or bigger labels is [that] they find something that sells and try and make all these cookie-cutter projects that sound like that band. And it’s just sad that people are afraid to take risks anymore and go out and find something that sounds new.”
“When I was growing up, that’s what it was all about: bands that were original. Nowadays it seems like the exact opposite. If you’re doing something that doesn’t sound exactly like someone else, you’re almost shunned upon,” he concludes. Which certainly brings up a good point. Look at what so-called “punk” is today to many people and how it’s represented in the mainstream. Fuckin’ gross, nonthreatening, regurgitated shit, produced in order to make a buck or two. But let me stop now before I start ranting and raving…
Now, be forewarned: this next bit of info may dissuade some of you who are too “punk” (ha!) into checking out these guys, but please don’t allow it to form/change your opinion of Stereotyperider. Yes, they’ve had some of their music in TV shows like ‘Viva la Bam’ and the season five DVD of, ahem, ‘Dawson’s Creek’. When I breach the subject, Anthony quickly admits, “[It’s] pretty funny as far as I’m concerned,” BUT, he reasons, “In the same sense, none of us are above trying to make some money off our band. People always say the selling out thing and this and that, but it’s like when I was 15 years old selling out was making money off your band and by the time I turned 18, I realized selling out is working a day job and not playing music you love and trying to live off it.”
PLUS, Stereotyperider are all about the D.I.Y. ethic; they’ve not forgotten this important aspect of punk and hardcore as many have. One necessary evil of this, however, Anthony concedes is that they find it difficult “to get shows nowadays when you’re booking your own band,” which they still do to this day. Also, he adds that people fail to remember why they started their bands in the first place. He pontificates, “You start doing something for a love of music and you keep on doing it for that reason. People forget about that and they get tied up in all the money and all the bullshit side of music and the industry part of it.” Perhaps in the future Stereotyperider will make some money off their band in order to survive off it, but, adds the bassist admirably, “I would like to think that hopefully we’ll never become a part of the industry itself.”