‘Banned’ Be Your Own Pet Tracks To See Release
A trio of tracks banned from the domestic edition of Be Your Own Pet’s sophomore album will make their way to U.S. shores next month.
XL plans to release the songs on a mini-EP, “Get Damaged” — a play on the album’s title, “Get Awkward” — due out digitally on June 3 and in stores on June 24 in both CD and 7-inch configurations. The legal department at Universal, which distributes BYOP’s albums, deemed the tunes “Becky,” “Black Hole” and “Blow Yr Mind” too violent for consumption in the U.S., trimming “Get Awkward” from 15 to 12 tracks in the Nashville punk quartet’s homeland.
“The whole thing was just a huge mistake on Universal’s part,” guitarist Jonas Stein said, contending that the lyrics, written by singer Jemina Pearl Abegg, are “tongue in cheek.” “It seems pretty hypocritical for them to not let us put these songs out because our ‘demographic’ is supposedly suburban young teenage girls — who I guess don’t listen to all the vulgar rap Universal releases.
“Unfortunately, this makes the relationship kind of sticky between the band and label,” he continues. “We kinda feel like we got screwed. Every band’s fear of signing with a major label is not getting to release something you recorded because of somebody’s so-called ethical standards.”
BYOP is swallowing its pride in another area, too. The group, which is currently playing with She Wants Revenge on the NYLON tour, has signed on to the Vans Warped Tour from July 9 to Aug. 2, even though Stein says “we usually don’t like to support events like this.” But despite discomfort with the level of sponsorship and some of the bands that have been part of Warped, Stein says he and his bandmates understand the benefits of being part of the tour.
“We were feeling a lot of pressure from people we work with at our label,” Stein acknowledges. “But after hearing some pretty wise words and mentally growing a little bit, we’ve learned that any show is beneficial to a band. It’s not the show that shapes the band, it’s the band that shapes the show.
“So regardless of the big, corporate companies sponsoring (Warped), you’ve got to work within the system to change things for the good,” he continues. “We were very hesitant to be part of it, but regardless of if we’re hated or loved we’re just gonna go out and try to melt some faces when we play.”