When Jack White announced the many artists opening for him on his forthcoming tour today, the long list of supporting acts included one particularly exciting name: a reunited Be Your Own Pet. The Jemina Pearl-fronted Nashville punk band, notorious for putting on wild shows in the ’00s, broke up in 2008 after releasing two albums: their self-titled LP in 2006 and its 2008 follow-up Get Awkward. The band will perform on April 38 and 30 at his shows in Atlanta and their hometown of Nashville, respectively.

“I’ve been really blown away by the response today, to be honest,” Pearl said over the phone from her home in Nashville after the news was shared. “I wasn’t sure if people would give a shit. I’ve had so many people like reaching out to me—I feel like it’s my birthday or something.” 

Saying goodbye to Be Your Own Pet in the first place was not easy for Pearl. “Things ended tumultuously, and honestly, I didn’t want the band to break up, so it was hard for me to let it go,” she said. But in the years since, she’s stayed plenty busy. “I’ve done some seamstress work, I’ve sold vintage clothes, but mostly, I’ve really focused for the past nine years on being a mom, which is wild,” she said. “It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had, but also the best one.”

Her husband Ben Swank, co-owner of Third Man Records, was always in contact with his friend and Pearl’s Be Your Own Pet bandmate Jonas Stein. “Ben really was determined to help us find a path to being friends again, which has happened, and honestly it’s been really amazing for us all,” Pearl said.

Last summer, the members of Be Your Own Pet got back together in the same room for the first time since their breakup; the meeting place was the Blue Room Bar at Third Man Nashville, naturally. Once the idea of a full-on reunion was thrown out, the band’s four members—Pearl, Stein, John Eatherley, and Nathan Vasquez—all agreed to give it a shot. She said they also received the blessing of their founding drummer, Jamin Orrall of JEFF the Brotherhood, to reunite without him. 

Be Your Own Pet, photo by Stefano Masselli


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