The Bobtail Yearlings aspire to be the most historically consequential rock band of the 21st century! We’ll do so by launching the interdependence revolution; amassing a solid body of creative works; and helping future bands to surpass us.
In the past, the rock music of the English-speaking world was the canon. It was always the most original, and often the most accomplished. But today’s indie rock isn’t better than any foreign canon out there, which is why it seems so inconsequential.
To make history once again, bands need to be the best in the world— and this requires deliberate effort. So every decision the Bobtail Yearlings make will be informed by our five vowels of historical consequence.
In classical music, the best artists got better with age. Beethoven, for one, composed his magnum opus in the final years of his life. This isn’t the case in rock yet— which proves that these are still the early days of the canon.
For this reason, the Bobtail Yearlings plan to be a working band for as long as Bennett is alive and well. There will never be a hiatus. And we’ll ensure that our best works always lie ahead of us.
Any artist who respects the listener will acknowledge that getting heard is a de facto competition. Those who say otherwise are being disingenuous. They still want to compete— just on terms more favorable to them and less obvious to others: being skilled at social media, having industry connections or a trust fund, and so on.
This is why every movement started by minorities is highly competitive: Disadvantage forces you to engage with the actual reality, not some cozy fantasy in your head. And so the Bobtail Yearlings compete, just like rappers do. It’s realistic, not ruthless, and we have the highest respect for any band with ambitions like ours.
To avoid sharing their earnings, indie artists spend time and energy on administrative work that would otherwise be handled by business partners. And some take this a step further, by choosing to create without collaboration. But what competitive edge could a solo artist working part time possibly have, to make them the best in the world?
As such, the Bobtail Yearlings will readily work with business partners, allowing us to focus solely on our craft. We’ll also periodically bring in new bandmates to be equal collaborators, allowing us to create works greater than the sum of their parts.
Studies show that people actually dislike creativity— and experts more so than anyone else. This is why, time and again, business partners who care most about backing great art— who thus pride themselves on knowing what great art looks like— end up backing the least creative works.
And so the Bobtail Yearlings prefer to work with business partners who take pride in knowing how to do business, not in recognizing great art.
If the Bobtail Yearlings are to achieve our mission, then others should find it rewarding to interact with us. And it should feel just as meaningful for us to work with each other. So each Yearling will vow to be a model of emotional intelligence, who’ll treat others with empathy, kindness, and respect.
Of course, we won’t hesitate to criticize indie rock as an ideology. But we’ll always remind ourselves that those who’ve devoted their lives to it are people like us, and they’re the heroes of their own stories.
Mr. Rogers once told us that when times are bad, we can look for the helpers. Well, times are bad in rock now… so why aren’t there more helpers? It’s because indie artists are celebrated for empowering themselves— and self-empowerment isn’t a trait that lends itself to helping others.
But the Bobtail Yearlings promise to be a helper. We’ll do so by being generous with our creative tools, such as Bobtail Method and Bobtail Dominoes, and by collaborating with up-and-coming BYCombo bands. In the long term, we’ll draw from band funds to create scholarships for BYCombo’s most promising artists.
The band leader decides the overall vision for the Bobtail Yearlings. For now, Bennett is our band leader, since this is the de facto reality. However, in the long term we should be open to having multiple band leaders, or even none at all.
The consequential works of this century will almost certainly combine different mediums in unprecedented ways. As such, we’ll always be open to bringing in new bandmates who work in other artistic mediums.
Ideally, we’ll have one bandmate whose sole responsibility is to handle administrative work. This admin would also oversee development of our extracurricular projects such as BYCombo, Bobtail Method, and Bobtail Dominoes.
Each Yearling will work forty hours a week to benefit the band, for the duration of their time in the band. This work can largely be self-directed. Examples include practicing one’s instrument, composing song parts, and so forth. Naturally, touring and performing count as band work. Of course, we’ll take holidays, vacations, and sick days off.
For each artistic project, a bandmate or two will be assigned the role of project manager. Some projects may require certain bandmates to learn new skills in different domains, within reasonable expectations. If this is ever the case, the project manager will work with them to ensure that needed resources are provided.
Everyone who’s a Yearling during the creation of a project will be given equal credit and royalties. This includes the admin, as well as artists of other mediums. Of course, we’re free to mention who contributed which parts, as Lennon and McCartney often did.
Ongoing earnings from Yearling’s Bobtail, as well as our extracurricular projects, will first go to new bandmates to grow their savings, up to a fixed limit. Any leftover amount will then go into our general band fund.
The Bobtail Yearlings believe in the importance of gender diversity, and so we’ll do our best to achieve it when recruiting new bandmates.
We also understand the need to juggle band life with adult responsibilities. So if bringing a life partner into the band can help a longtime bandmate maintain their commitment, then we’ll do our best to make this work.