Nashville’s Be Your Own Pet made a triumphant return to both the stage and airwaves this past year after nearly 15 years apart. Their long-awaited new album Mommy will be released on August 25th, quickly followed by a massive North American tour, and today they share the record’s newest single. The new track is “Goodtime!,” which highlights the struggle of balancing two kids, a mortgage, and the desire for BYOP to make a comeback. “Used to be the life of the party/ Crashing out nothing to lose/ Now I’m not so juvenile/ I got nothing left to prove,” Pearl shouts over a roiling garage thump, before quickly transitioning to wondering aloud whether everyone else is still hanging out and just not calling her. “The older you get, the more responsibility and compromise, the more people that depend on you—but there’s always a little bit of missing the freedom from when you’re younger,” she explains. Stein agrees: “You can be nurturing an adult life with your family but still looking over your shoulder like, ‘God, I wanna be partying.’”
Following a whirlwind two-year career in the late 00’s that saw Be Your Own Pet, just four teenagers at the time, release two records (via Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace in the US and XL Recordings in the UK), become magazine cover stars, and play to ravenous sold-out crowds around the world, it became clear that the flame burned too quickly and they needed to call it quits. Now, a decade and a half later, the band haven’t skipped a beat, as evidenced by shows supporting Jack White, a massive SXSW return and now their long-awaited new album. The album was written and recorded by the three founding members Jemina Pearl Abegg (vox), Jonas Stein (guitar), Nathan Vasquez (bass), and longtime drummer John Eatherly. “For better or worse, we all were slapped in the face that it wasn’t as easy on our own,” Stein says of their hiatus. “We were all moderately successful, but nobody found that Be Your Own Pet chemistry.”
The bond returned the very first day the band stepped back into rehearsal, which is also when they began writing the new album.And while Pearl had previously fitted lyrics into the others’ songs, this time she brought her own song ideas into the writing room for Mommy. “Mommy is the bitch in charge, the one in control,” Pearl says. “It’s a reclamation of myself.” Bolstering the group’s patented garage punk ferocity with matured songwriting, inspired musicianship, and a fervor to claim their space and define their future, Mommy signals a much-anticipated reunion of one of the most iconic bands from the ‘00s.
Photo Courtesy: Kirt Barnett