This fierce, haunting debut album has an inner life: autobiography as tension, rock as release. Inspired by months of playing and living together in an old Victorian house in Newark, New Jersey, pete’s inherent power and emotional honesty is immediately striking. Guitars crash with jackboot force against bottom-heavy bass and smashing drums, while the lyrics scream of fury, pain and release
David and Rich founded a long time friendship through their obsession with music. The addition of Lars Alverson instantly impacted their sound, lending his own deep, heavy pulse. The three began playing together regularly, gigging around town. In a short time, they found a manager and expanded their sound toward something more moody and tribal. But as drummers came and went, the group had yet to fully articulate their vision.
Meanwhile in Minneapolis, drummer Scott Anderson was looking for a new gig. His old band shared the same manager, who, by chance, happened to be working with David, Rich, and Lars. A few phone calls were exchanged and an open invitation to play with like-minded souls was all it took. Scott packed his equipment, his dog, and a bit of blind faith into a run-down old van and drove out to New Jersey.
The sound of pete is raw, organic, but dynamic and full, moving effortlessly from quiet, melodic passages to thunderous rock. “We like that contrast,” says Lars. “It makes our music that much heavier. We respect the quiet parts of a song, it’s much more intense.”
“One thing I can tell you,” adds Rich, “Our ideas and our sounds are constantly changing – it changed even while we were in the studio making this record. We try to keep evolving. We always will.”
This is pete: four musicians who have lived through their music and found a sound all their own. Together they share a vision, a rage and a combined skeleton of twisted spirituality. They have become a band through hard work. “We lived the music together,” says guitarist Rich Andruska. Adds singer David Terrana, “It’s how we became a family.”
David Terrana – Vocals
Rich Andruska – Guitars
Lars Alverson – Bass
Scott Anderson – Drums
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In the spirit of improving as a band, the members of pete took to riding themselves of the drug needles that once littered their home in Newark, New Jersey.
"It was a nice little Victorian house that we had lived in; we had fixed it up and used it to rehearse," says pete vocalist David Terrana. "When we first got the house it was all fucked up. There were hypodermic needles all over the place. Once we cleaned it out, it was a great place for parties. Sometimes it took us three days to clean up."
While the memories of great house parties remain entrenched in their minds like puke stains on a carpet, the band is looking to entertain more than just houseguests and party crashers with its self-titled debut, a testimony that rock in its purest form is less prone to erosion. Whether it's the guitar-forged passageway on "Drugstore Alibi" or the ominous ballad drama on "Untied," the band's darker side contrasts its rising melodies, like in "Sweet Daze," where Terrana declares "All my fears and all my friends/and I'm afraid they're all the same."
"I think that's where we like to be," Terrana says. "That's where we feel more comfortable. It's just the kind of people that we are, so we just tend to write a little darker and sadder. It's not really happy music. I never feel motivated to write happy songs."
The early years of the band (Terrana, guitarist Rich Andruska, bassist Lars Alverson and drummer Scott Anderson) go back to Terrana and Andruska, who met through mutual acquaintances, started jamming, and formed a garage band that would eventually become pete. Several bass players later, Alverson joined, and after a slew of drummers, in stepped Anderson, who had just left his band in Minneapolis and heard about the opening through his old band's manager, who knew the members of pete. About five years ago, Anderson moved to Newark to join the band, painting houses and living in his van ala rock-star-in-the-making. While Anderson's address has since changed, the band's lineup has remained the same.
"Things didn't really happen until Scott joined," Terrena says. "He added a heavier element to the music. The chemistry of the people made things go their own way." That direction also applied to their performances. The band, which was having a hard time earning a following in its own backyard, starting playing outside of the Newark area and began to focus on the Midwest, at the suggestion of Anderson. The band released several independent demos, one of which members of the band painstakingly wrapped individually with yellow and purple velvet with fabric they purchased by the bundle.
While the band was building a bigger following outside of their home state, it was Texas radio station WRAT (95.9 FM) that gave the band its first shot for bigger plans. Terrana brought a copy to a WRAT-sponsored show, and handed it to the people at the station, which later gave the album a chance-signed or unsigned-and put it on rotation. "Within a week it just took off," Terrana says. The band didn't anticipate getting as much response for a song from a band that wasn't quite a household name, even in those were Peters lived.
"The director of the station [Carl Craft] liked the record so much that he took the record themselves to the labels. He had no motivation other than he had new music. He was just a guy that was trying to help us out. We had been rejected by a lot of record companies, but when it started getting play on the radio without their help, they reconsidered." After a bit of wheeling and dealing, the band found a home in Warner Bros.
So if no one in the band bears the name, why are they called Pete? Thank a drunk, Harley-riding guy with the name that walked into a local bar as the band heard everyone chant his name ala Norm from "Cheers." It was something that meant all and nothing at the same time.
"It's a name that doesn't say anything. It doesn't make a statement," Terrana says. "If you hear of a band called Slayer, it sounds like a heavy metal band. When you hear Pete it doesn't make you think of anything. It doesn't sound heavy; it doesn't sound light. It just sounds like…Pete."
"It's very simple, that's the kind of thing that works for us."