Outside Help

The Stereotypes are down to a trio, but the loss of three members hasn't slowed them down. Built around singer John Finkbiner, multi-instrumentalist/producer Mike Kamoo, and bassist Tim Hines, the group recently lost guitarist Dante Conti, who relocated to Austin, while drummer Charlie McCree and keyboardist Steve Blake are working on their own projects.

The band isn't playing live at the moment, but Finkbiner says, "If something big comes along, we can always call the old members and have them fill in."

The Stereotypes release a fifth album, Black & White 5, on their Earthling Records label in January. The group will get a major push that month when ABC-TV's sci-fi drama Kyle XY uses their songs "All My Life," "The Lines," and "Did You Know" in three consecutive episodes.

The band recently had their contract with Coleman camping gear extended through 2010. The company has used their songs "New Situation," "Stars," and "International" in marketing campaigns.

The song "Outside" has been the recreational equipment giant's staple: it will be heard in a commercial set to launch during 2008's NCAA "March Madness" series; next year, a "rock 'n' roll" lantern that plays "Outside" will be marketed in Japan.

Several Spanish-language versions of "Outside" were attempted for use in Latin markets, including one sung by Static Halo front man Dylan Martinez. The idea was scrapped after "somebody at Telemundo thought the translation sounded like an invitation to step outside and fight," Finkbiner laughs.

"When they got through looking at the demographics, it turned out most people also spoke English, so they just stuck with the original version."

(The author has previously worked on musical projects with Stereotypes members.)

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