Meet pete

Imagine if a local band that hung out at, say, the Zephyr Lounge decided to call itself “Steve” or “George.” That’s pretty much how pete got its name—the quartet lifted the moniker from a man who always seemed to be the life of the party at a Newark, N.J., watering hole.

pete has had a busy summer, having been on the road since May playing with such bands as Collective Soul and Live. The band plans to tour until the end of the year. Last month, pete was featured on HBO’s Reverb music program, along with Staind and Adema.

The members of pete want their music to appeal to many people.

“We cater to down-to-earth people who like good music,” said lead vocalist David Terrana in a telephone interview. He noted that he and his band mates—guitarist Rich Andruska, bassist Lars Alverson and drummer Scott Anderson—all came from modest upbringings, and living together in an old Victorian house with a garage studio has helped to cement the band’s blue-collar work ethic.

Terrana said that the members of pete felt that they had to get out of Jersey to find audiences who appreciate original music, explaining that there were a lot of cover bands in their hometown. He said that pete has built a fan base playing in large and small clubs all over the country.

“It was great. In a lot of these clubs, people were really receptive to new sounds and would just flow into clubs just to hear original music,” he said. “We basically discovered that if you can hold onto another band’s crowd, you know you can survive on the road.”

He also implied that audiences are receptive to their brand of dark melodious sound, full of guitars crashing, heavy bass and smashing drums. The juxtaposition of thunderous sound with melodic passages forms the unique sound of pete.

“We’re not just screaming into the microphone,” he said, adding that it doesn’t stop them from tearing it up on stage.

Teranna said much of the music on pete’s self-titled debut album, which was released this summer, is about personal experiences. He says the CD’s third track, “Burn,” was inspired by one band member’s dysfunctional family. Other songs, such as “Awake” and “Bury Me,” express raw pain and hopeful redemption. The LP’s first single, “Sweet Daze,” is getting significant play on hard rock radio stations.

The band was signed to the Warner Bros. label through some rather unique circumstances. pete dropped a demo tape with Newark’s hard rock station, WRAT. Soon “Burn” began receiving heavy airplay and became one of the listeners’ most-requested songs. After the program director mentioned pete’s popularity to record industry representatives, they were eventually signed.

Earlier this week, the band cancelled three tour dates in Texas and Colorado due to a family emergency with one of its members. But the band’s publicist said pete is still scheduled to play a show with Red Cel and Keen at 10 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Cantina Los Tres Hombres, 926 Victorian Ave., Sparks. The cover is $1.04.