Be Your Own Pet Explode on ‘Hand Grenade’, First Song in 15 Years
A decade and a half after breaking up – and a year since reuniting – Be Your Own Pet have returned with an incendiary new song, “Hand Grenade.” “I’m not your victim,” frontwoman Jemina Pearl sings over punky, slashing guitars as her bandmates sing, “I’m not afraid.” The group shot the song’s shadowy and smoky video in Pearl’s basement, which matches the tune’s dark and resilient tone. She opens her eyes wide while singing, “I’m not your victim/I’m my own person. … I set myself free.”
“‘Hand Grenade’ started out as a threat to the people who harmed me, that I will make them suffer as I have suffered,” Pearl said in a statement. “But the song grew like a mirror to my own grief process, through anger, denial, sorrow. In the end, I gain my power back not through violence, but through self-acceptance and rejection of the labels others might put on me. I define myself, no one else.”
The Nashville group, which opened gigs for Jack White last year, are signed to his Third Man Records. (Pearl is married to label co-owner Ben Swank, according to Pitchfork.)
Nearly two decades ago, Be Your Own Pet garnered acclaim as teenagers when they played South by Southwest in 2005. They released music on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace imprint and indie label XL, including two albums, before breaking up in 2008. “We thank you for all your love and support these past few years — it’s been a blast but the time has come for the 4 of us to go our separate ways,” they said in a joint statement at the time.
The band reunited at Swank’s urging, according to a Pitchfork interview, and the musicians – which include guitarist Jonas Stein, bassist Nathan Vasquez, and drummer John Eatherly (who also directed and edited the “Hand Grenade” video) – first jammed together again in December 2021. “It’s crazy how much you immediately remember,” Pearl told Pitchfork. “I remembered basically all the lyrics even though I haven’t even listened to the songs in 14 years, you know? It’s like riding a bicycle—it’s just ingrained in your brain forever.”
The group will play the Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta on May 5th, followed by European dates, including Primavera, in June.
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