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Be Your Own Pet (Band Profile)

Some straight-edge band somewhere a long time ago had the cry, “Yr only young once DON’T FUCK IT UP!!” It made a lot of sense to the legions who back-flipped off local stages in agreement. Some kids just got a creative inner coil switched to blast furnace temps and the only thing they can do is dedicate their youth to rock n roll. Be Your Own PET are a case in point. Nothing’s gonna stop ’em. Four friends (3 dudes, 1 femme) get together in Nashville basement and compare notes. Likes: caffeine, spicy food, T Rex, Television, bicycles, Iggy & the Stooges, skateboarding, Afri Rampo, sea horses, Velvet Underground, asthma inhalers, Animal Collective. Dislikes: boredom, posers, posers, boredom, flat tires, runny eggs, lameness, boredom. Actually boredom’s pretty cool cuz then you can SMASH IT! Be Your Own Pet smash through it all. Jemina Pearl’s voice is a wild wonder whipping through the motorcycle guitar thrash of buddy Jonas Stein and landing on the wicked beat/note interplay of rhythm monsters Nathan Vasquez (bass) and Jamin Orrall (drums). It all started sort of in 2003 when Jamin’s bro Jake played bass and they were called the Night Shift Nurses. 1st gigs were at Guido’s Pizza and a local coffee joint called Bongo Java. Jake split to Evergreen State and Nathan came in with a seriously killer amp-blasting concept and a most excellent ‘fro. The basement-released CDR “Damn Damn Leash”was an instant fireball anthem and an MP3 fell into the hands of Zane Lowe of BBC Radio One. London label XL Recordings re-released it with an extra track and more hearts were ignited. The band continue to play local freak scenes with their coterie of friends and fans going ballistic. Small house parties are where the energy develops. Lucky for the rest of us they like to get in the van and cruise outta town. They destroyed and dominated 2004’s CMJ in New York and subsequently South By Southwest.. Rough Trade UK were in attendance, tongues dripping with rock juice, and released a single. Next move was to record an LP and Steve McDonald of Redd Kross manned the controls. What has blown forth is a street party of artful punk and beauty. Jemina shines, her voice at once in flames and then achingly sweet. To hear Jonas’ guitar is to hear sublime awesomeness and Jamin’s drumming is incredible, the dude’s been playing since he was like 1 years old. Nathan pushes and pulls the whole deal with amazing bass rock action. This record flat out destroys, a revolution jam for 2006! Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore had been following the band since ordering their 1st CDR on the web when it was released in 2004. And now his label Ecstatic Peace / Universal will release this newest landmine June 6. Preceding this will be an EP of the Rough Trade single tracks + 2 tracks from the Steve McDonald demo sessions, released in April.

Average song length 2:20
Average live set length 15-30 minutes
Formed 2004 and have played close to a hundred shows.
Toured with The Kills, Le Tigre, and Electrelane.
All four bandmembers have asthma.
All four members draw their singles covers with crayons.

They make their t-shirts in the kitchen with a silk screen (and once started a fire drying freshly painted shirts in the oven) and then personalize them with magic markers. Jonas and Jamin doubled up classes to graduate high school a year early. Jemina dropped out. Nathan is taking senior English on the internet.

The band argued with their UK label over what the first single off the album would be – and the band picked the frenzied 58 second “Let’s Get Sandy.” The album is released on CD, vinyl, downloads and a boxed set of 7″ singles.

Nathan Vasquez – bass; b. October 2,1988
Bob Marley fan since age 4. Spends his lunch money on records. Prefers vinyl to CD. Wrestling matches in the back of the van. Hates stage barriers between the band and audience. Zane Lowe describes “the greatest rock moment of 2005” as Nathan diving midsong into the audience at the Barfly, but then timidly apologizing and making sure no one was hurt. Obsessive fan of Beck, Flaming Lips, Mudhoney, XTC, Sonic Youth, early Eno, Sun City Girls. Describes BYOP as “uptight fun”.

Jamin Orrall – drums, b. April 20,1988
Started making subversive films at age 9. Shot BYOPs first two videos (Damn Damn Leash, Let’s Get Sandy) on a cheap digital camera and a laptop. One video was shot in the woods in the dark, and on the other he spent the entire $200 budget on red fabric to make a giant band-eating monster. Jamin is a band slut. He plays in about a dozen other groups (ranging from art thrash to high school swing band) many of them released in CDR pressings on his own label. Jamin’s record collection ranges from Lightning Bolt to Leonard Cohen. He stands 6′ 2″ after a recent growth spurt.

Jonas Stein – guitar; b. October 16, 1987
Likes to fuck shit up. Doesn’t always tell the truth in interviews. Jonas is the enigmatic one. He also is the first to get a driver’s license, drives the band van, and rides a motorcycle. (the other bandmembers ride bikes). He’s a road veteran of his junior high hockey team, which played against schools all over the south. If overalls and tank tops qualify as fashion, then Jonas is the band fashion-plate. Heroes – Lou Reed, Television, Black Sabbath. Jonas and Nathan were both originally drummers and switched instruments just a few years ago.

Jemina Pearl – singer b. June 20, 1987
Grew up singing in school musicals, church choirs and in her early teens her parents let her attend something called Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp, where at the end-of-summer concert, she led a screaming, avant-noise trio (The Lap Children) wearing prom dresses. “I remember the first time I heard about “punk rock.”My sister had a Sid Vicious postcard – he was all cut up and bloody and looked like the coolest person I’d ever seen. After that I found out about the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Stooges and the New York Dolls, and that changed my life.

With lyrics about zombies, taking Xanax, breaking limbs, brains on fire, shooting guns and drowning boyfriends, the album might lead you to psychoanalyze the lead singer, but be warned that more than half the lyrics are written by Jamin and Jonas. On the other hand, Jemina entirely penned all the music and lyrics to “Take That Walk” an amazing gem hidden on the 2005 Rough Trade single.

But the point is that there are four talented and fascinating individuals with unique and sometimes contradictory personalities. All four of them write the music, three of them write the lyrics (Nathan saves his lyrics, (mostly about puke and excrement) for his other band Deluxin.)

Be Your Own Pet::
Damn Damn Leash Video

Adventure Video

Let’s get sandy Video

Bicycle, Bicycle You Are My Bicycle Video