EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: TERA PETERSEN

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First Flame, Then Lava

Tera Petersen has a pretty good day job. She's a Flame artist at New York's Splash Design, and she's won two BDA Awards for her work on a Fruitopia campaign. But her days in post pale in comparison to her nights on stage as an aspiring rock star. The twentysomething Petersen will shortly debut her new all-woman band, She Calls It Lava (seen here in rehearsal), which was originally called Lava, but it turned out the name was taken. And the all-women angle is purely a matter of chance, though she's aware that people "expect more from an all-female band. They want to know you really can play your instruments, you're not just riding a gimmick." No gimmicks here; lead singer and chief songwriter Petersen and her bandmates (none of whom work in the ad business) are "all very serious about our careers," she says.

Petersen's previous band, Toledo, where she fronted for four guys, made the New York scene at the Mercury Lounge, the Luna Lounge, CBGB and the like, and "a week after we broke up, someone from Polygram was interested in us but no one wanted to get back together," she laments. She likens the Toledo sound to the Dutch alternapop band Bettie Serveert -- "very textured with layers of melodies" -- and the new group promises to be in a similar mold. One thing's for sure: her connections will come in handy when the band makes a video. "I have a lot of friends in the industry who want to direct it," she laughs.

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