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Little Yellow Dog Grows Up

Little Yellow Dog band has only been together since Dec. of 2013. They’ve learned about what it takes to become successful in the music industry and most importantly, how to stand out.

Dakota Buyka, who is a Columbia College student and the leader of Little Yellow Dog says it all started back in 2011 when he was led to write music for the first time.

“I started writing songs in 2011 and eventually decided maybe some people [would] want to play with me and write music [as well],” Buyka said.

As Buyka began to look for potential members, he found Stuart Beaman, who is currently the bass guitarist for Little Yellow Dog. Stuart said he heard about the group in Dec. of 2013 through social media when Buyka posted on Facebook ‘I need a bassist.’ Beaman replied  simply with ‘Me.’

Although, Beaman stayed with the band, other players joined but had to part ways due to their busy schedules. During their time together they recorded their first album entitled “What Is And What Could Be”.

After more searching and waiting for the right band members, Buyka said he gained two new band mates in Sept. of 2014, Griffin Thorne, who is the guitarist and also violist for Little Yellow Dog, along with Gaspare Stabile, who is the lead drummer.

Thorne, who is multitalented, learned how to play the violin by ear at age seven. He said he played throughout high school but afterward decided to take a little time off.

“I played in orchestras through school and outside of school,” Thorne said. “I took a few years off but I actually start playing again [only] because of Little Yellow Dog.”

Buyka said recent performances included the “The House Cafe” in DeKalb, Illinois and at theSide Street Studio Arts’ Jingle Jam in Elgin.

Buyka said it’s interesting how the live music industry works, especially at this level.

He said while he has received money for shows in the past, he has only been handed very little of it.

Buyka said part of the reason is because unsigned artists are expected to book their own shows and draw an audience to their own shows as well.

“At our level to be successful you have to bring in an audience and we definitely try our [hardest] to get people in and a lot of times it works [but] sometimes you get….” said Buyka.

He explained that it is the group’s responsibility to bring in between 20-40 people so they can get paid per head.

“The first 10 people, all that money goes to the house then after that we get a percentage of the cut,” Buyka said. “So, sometimes it’s 50% [but] sometimes it’s up to 80% if you are in a really good situation.”

He said the amount of money that the group nets after their performances all depends on the location of the venue.

“It just depends where the venue is, what day of the week, what time you are playing and a little bit of luck,” said Buyka.

Despite having to go through the ups and downs that lies in the music industry, Buyka said that he is now ready to move forward.

“I am definitely ready to move out of the starving artist phase because I think that is something that people can transcend if they really put their mind to it,” said Buyka.

Beaman said although he can’t point out where the band will be in the future, he will be there no matter what.

Little Yellow Dog is currently working on their new album entitled “This Is A Phase” and Buyka says the tentative release date is January 15, 2015.

As the new year approaches, Buyka plans to not only keep recording but help other bands write as well.

“I like to become a better recording artist and also help other bands record because the creative process of getting people to actualize their thoughts and ideas musically is just something really beautiful and fun for me,” he said.

If you want to check more out about “Little Yellow Dog” you can visit their website, or go to their Facebook page,




















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