I recently became a serious Buddy Holly fan. Like, fell off the Buddy Holly cliff. My life is forever changed, realizing that all the music I have loved over the years is derived quite clearly from Buddy Holly’s massive, but far too short, 16-month career. He died February 3, 1959, at 22 years old. But even at such a young age, Buddy Holly was one of the hardest working, most focused, forward driving, bad ass mother fuckers ever born.

In studying Buddy’s work, I saw something I have seen in almost every artist I have ever heeded: a system of slow tweaks. Not a bright sudden burst of genius.

He formed his base for music—country and western—in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas, and kept adding to his understanding and practice—including rock ‘n’ roll as we know it today—at a rapid pace until the day he died. He never slowed down, never stopped searching, tweaking, growing, learning, breaking his music down and putting it back together.

It is with this attitude that we approach our work in ice cream and, in particular, American Licks, our new collection of ice cream flavors from pre-1980 America. We didn’t see this collection as a way for us to look back, but rather as a way for us to move forward. We have always been a company who plods ahead, never resting on our laurels, always searching for better. American Licks is us getting to know ice cream better, and admitting that we can’t move it all forward unless we understand where it’s been.

For the start of 2016, we felt it was important for us to do some recalibrating and to drop down to basics. In doing so, we had a ball, fell in love, and found inspiration. But we also feel like the process released us to go wherever we want to next. We felt called to these flavors. We felt that if we didn’t do them, everything else we create can’t be taken seriously. This was a way for us to find our footing anew after a very trippy year.

Once in awhile, isn’t it important to acknowledge that every idea, every movement, every rebellion has ancestry? And to build upon that? And be honored to take part in the slow drive forward, rather than just throwing new stuff out all the time? I think so. I think it’s important to deeply understand what you do and why. We never do anything without knowing why we do it. I have never, will never, blindly follow a trend or a marketing plan. We are driven by our curiosities, your curiosities, and possibilities. We are trying to transport you, to give you an experience, and to find something new to say when it seems like it’s all been said.

We want to make ice cream the way Buddy Holly made music.