Our mission, principles, and terms

Updated May 2024

Our mission statement

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 artistic works.

Our guiding principles

Historical consequence

Today’s artists gain exposure by creating content⁠— namely, art that engages directly with its audience. But while content has an advantage over past art, it loses once it’s in the past itself⁠— which is why this century’s art seems so inconsequential.

To make history once again, artists must consciously refuse to be content creators. And so the Bobtail Yearlings aim to make art for future audiences, first and foremost⁠— even if this hurts us in the present.

Longevity

In classical music, the best artists got better with age. Beethoven, for one, composed his magnum opus in the final years of his life. But this isn’t yet the case in rock⁠— which means there’s a whole frontier left to explore!

As such, 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.

Competition

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 others with ambitions like ours.

Self-evaluation

We’ll only release our best works, which we’ll evaluate in two ways. The first is to trust our instincts as artists. Certain works by others inspire envy in us, and we can extrapolate from this to make works that inspire envy in others.

The second way is to imagine someone who knows or cares little about us, and then to ask: “Next to all that’s come before and all else that’s out there, is this a work they would study to benefit themselves? And could they enjoy it for the experience alone?”

These two ways likely converge on the same results. That is to say, if a work is enviable, then it’s almost certainly educational and enjoyable as well⁠— and vice versa.

Interdependence

To avoid sharing their earnings, indie artists spend time and energy on business matters that could be handled by partners instead. And some take this a step further, by creating without collaboration. But what competitive edge could a solo artist working part-time possibly have, to make them the best in the world?

And so 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 our parts.

Business partners

Studies show that people 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.

As such, the Bobtail Yearlings prefer to work with business partners who take pride in knowing how to do business, not in recognizing great art.

Emotional intelligence

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 aim to be a model of emotional intelligence, treating others with empathy, kindness, and respect.

This means we’ll only attack systems, institutions, and ideologies⁠— never people as individuals. After all, we’d rather win them over to our side. And if we ever end up on the wrong side ourselves, we’ll admit our mistake and make amends.

Helping others

Mr. Rogers 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?

Well, the Bobtail Yearlings promise to be helpers! 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 help create scholarships for BYCombo’s most promising artists.

Our band terms

Leadership

Bennett is our band leader, at least for now, since this is the de facto reality. He’ll decide the overall vision for the Bobtail Yearlings.

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.

Roles

Bennett will have the additional role of ensuring that each song is a “hum and strum”⁠— that is to say, even when we simply hum its melody and strum its chords, it should still be enjoyable to hear and perform.

Another Yearling will have the additional role of mastering harmony and counterpoint, allowing them to score and arrange parts as needed. Yet another Yearling will do the same for sonic textures and effects. The remaining Yearlings will have the additional role of writing lyrics.

Since the consequential works of this century will almost certainly combine different mediums in unprecedented ways, we’ll also be open to bringing in new bandmates who work in other artistic mediums.

In addition to mastering our respective instruments or mediums, each Yearling will contribute lead or backing vocals as desired.

Duties

Each Yearling will work forty hours a week to benefit the band. For the most part, this work can be self-directed. Examples include practicing one’s instrument, and so forth. Naturally, touring and performing count as band work. Of course, we’ll take holidays, vacations, and sick days off.

No Yearling will engage in solo projects or collaborate with others on their own. When working with other artists, the Bobtail Yearlings will only ever do so as a full band.

For each 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. When this is the case, the project manager will work with them to ensure that needed resources are provided.

Compensation

As they say: “Loyalties over royalties.” Everyone who’s a Yearling during the creation of a project will be given equal credit and payment. This includes the admin, as well as artists of other mediums. Of course, we’re free to mention who contributed which parts.

Earnings from live performances and extracurricular projects will also be split evenly. Since Yearling’s Bobtail was made while Bennett was the sole bandmate, its royalties will be treated like earnings from an extracurricular project.

Recruitment

The Bobtail Yearlings believe in the importance of gender diversity, and 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.

Termination

Hopefully, we should never need to fire a bandmate. But if this needs to happen, the band leaders will consult with all other bandmates before making the final decision.

© 2024 Dogies Almondine Records