Just over a year ago, famed Nashville garage punks Be Your Own Pet shocked us with a reunion we’d long given up hope for, roaring back to life to support Jack White at shows in Nashville, New York, and Atlanta, along with a couple of headlining pop up performances around those dates (including Nashville’s Soft Junk). What the future might hold beyond that seemed a little uncertain- even to the band- but given the rapturous response to their return, their clear nostalgia for making music together, and the electrifying chemistry in picking up where they left off- we weren’t surprised (but were incredibly thrilled) when the group began joining festival lineups like Primavera, Shaky Knees, and SXSW for 2023. And, as if to dispel any doubt that they’re really, truly back, BYOP dropped their first single in 15 years, “Hand Grenade,” back in March- a fitting and exciting return for one of the greatest Nashville rock acts ever!
A band that preceded this site by just a few years, but for a brief moment felt like one of the most exciting and important indie rock bands in the world, if we were ever pressed to pick any one Nashville band to reunite, it would’ve been Be Your Own Pet, despite the prospect seeming ever-unlikely year by year. Formed in 2004 while still in high school, the group went from burned CDs and DIY shows to world tours, major labels, and endless critical accolades at lightning speed, performing major fests like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, and Reading & Leeds, earning praise from Zane Lowe, appearing on late-night television, and touring with the likes of Sonic Youth and Arctic Monkeys all while still in their teens. Adopting a pop-laden garage punk sound and a wild and unpredictable performance style, BYOP released just two albums and a handful of EPs before burning out in 2008, largely due to the immense pressure of touring, major label pushback, and the constant attention brought on by their meteoric rise. Since their split, singer Jemina Pearl tried her hand at a brief solo career and married Third Man Records’ Ben Swank, guitarist Jonas Stein launched another popular Nashville group who’ve since disbanded, Turbo Fruits, along with second drummer John Eatherly, who later fronted New York post-punk outfit Public Access T.V.; bassist Nathan Vasquez has long been apart of local group Deluxin’, and, of course, original drummer Jamin Orrall found fame with his band JEFF the Brotherhood (and isn’t part of their reunited lineup, though he gives his blessing). Since originally splitting on rocky terms almost 15 years ago, Be Your Own Pet had begun to feel more and more like an amazing band cut short who’d simply be relegated to history, a footnote for those too young to obsess over the next big thing during what’s recently become dubbed as the “sleazy indie” heyday. But recently, after noticing reunions from peers and beginning to reconnect as friends, the band had warmed up to the idea of staging a comeback for fun. And once Jack White came calling, they couldn’t say no, immediately beginning to write as soon as they began to rehearse.
The result is their newly-announced third album, Mommy, which arrives Aug. 25 through Third Man Records, more than 15 years after their sophomore effort, Get Awkward. Along with the announcement, the band dropped new single and salacious opening track “Worship the Whip,” along with an accompanying music video which reminds us that Be Your Own Pet definitely aren’t kids anymore- watch it and prior single “Hand Grenade” below!
And finally, to celebrate their new album and proper return, BYOP will embark on their first tour in just as long, kicking off this fall after their summer festival run, and preceded by a very special Sept. 16 hometown show at Third Man Records’ The Blue Room! This one’s guaranteed to sell out in a flash, and tickets go on sale this Friday, June 2 at 12 p.m. CDT right here.
Sept 16 – Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records Blue Room
Oct 18 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Oct 19 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
Oct 21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Hall
Oct 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Oct 23 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
Oct 24 – Detroit, MI @ Third Man Records
Oct 25 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Oct 27 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Back Room at Colectivo
Oct 29 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
Nov 8 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Nov 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Nov 11 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
Nov 12 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Moe’s Alley
Nov 14 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
Nov 16 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
Nov 17 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Nov 18 – Vancouver, BC @ The Pearl