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Interview:
Banned Tracks Don't Deter Be Your Own Pet
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Be Your Own Pet is proud of its sophomore album, “Get Awkward” — just not the version you’re most likely to get.

The Nashville punk quartet’s label nixed three of the 15 songs for U.S. release, deciding they were too violent for consumption on these shores.

The full 15-track version is available overseas, and the group is still fuming about the decision.

“The whole thing was just a huge mistake on Universal’s part,” guitarist Jonas Stein says, 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. 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.”

The three songs will be released June 24 on an EP, “Get Damaged,” from XL, the label that licenses BYOP’s music to Universal.

The band, meanwhile, is finishing its stint on the NYLON tour and will play three-and-a-half weeks on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, though Stein, 20, says BYOP has ambivalent feelings about that booking, too.

“I think we disagree with a lot of bands that are usually on it,” Stein explains. “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. 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.”



The NYLON Summer Music Tour 2008, featuring Be Your Own Pet, She Wants Revenge, the Virgins and Switches, plays at 7 p.m. Thursday (June 5) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 day of show. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation. com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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