The Bobtail Yearlings aspire to be the most historically consequential rock band of the 21st century! We’ll do so by leading the interdependence revolution while amassing a solid body of creative works.
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’s 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 his final years. This isn’t the case in rock yet— which proves that these are still the early days of the canon.
To set an example for future generations, the Bobtail Yearlings promise to be a working band for at least as long as Bennett is alive, with our best works always ahead of us.
To keep more of their earnings for themselves, indie artists divert time and energy toward administrative work that would otherwise be handled by business partners. Some of them also forgo having bandmates, allowing them not to split their earnings further.
But what competitive edge could a part-time, solo artist possibly have that would 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 Yearlings, including artists in other mediums, allowing us to create works greater than the sum of their parts.
And we’ll work closely with BYCombo, our band incubator, to make the system work again for other bands who desire interdependence like we do.
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.
Meanwhile, the most creative works are often backed by those who are completely naive about art. For this reason, 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 pleasant and 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.
The band leader decides on 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.
For each project, one Yearling will be assigned the role of project manager. The project manager will oversee artistic development of that project.
One Yearling will be a full-time admin, in charge of administrative work such as social media engagement. This will shield every other Yearling from such responsibilities. The admin will also oversee development of our extracurricular projects, such as Bobtail Dominoes, Bobtail Method, and of course, BYCombo.
Every Yearling will work forty hours a week to benefit the band, for the duration of their time in the band. This work will largely be self-directed. Examples include practicing one’s instrument, writing song parts, and so forth. Naturally, touring and performing count as band work.
Some projects will require certain Yearlings to undergo extensive artistic development, such as learning a new skill set. In such cases, the project manager will work with them to ensure that expectations are reasonable, and needed resources are provided.
Of course, we’ll take holidays, vacations, and sick days off.
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 in other mediums. Of course, we’re free to mention who contributed which parts, as Lennon and McCartney often did.
Ongoing earnings from our extracurricular projects will first go to new Yearlings to grow their savings, if needed, up to a fixed limit. Any leftover amount will then go into our general band fund.
While we won’t select new Yearlings on the basis of race or gender, we’ll openly address the benefits of diversity and the hazards of unconscious bias.
We also understand the need to juggle band life with adult responsibilities. So if bringing a life partner into the band will help a Yearling maintain their commitment, then we’ll do our best to make this work.