Back-up Vocal~ The ebb and flow of a story arc never ceases to amaze me. That notion holds especially true in our current saga. When I took the first steps towards what has become the tale of crafting the second DBS 3 record, I had nothing more than the album title and a decree from Manny that Viking costumes would play a pivotal role in the proceedings. I dove right in, thinking it would a spectacular concept. It was……until the first two Comics were posted and I suddenly realized that I was now committed to the idea. Bottom line, I got cocky. I figured I could power my way through it as I have so often before. Yet, once our journey took on a life of its own (and nowhere near as fast as I would have preferred), the costume element felt much larger than the story itself. This was my own fault, as I honestly lack the consistency of artistic skill to draw each of my characters in their same respective Viking outfits each time and have it all look as great as I imagined and felt it should. My solution was to broaden the wardrobe so that each of them was adorned in different Norse dress for each appearance. Ultimately, that approach started getting away from me, too. The plot itself mattered most and the time had come to reassess. 

So, I set out on a new track to keep things moving. Manny threw me quite the undertaking and breaking all it down became the best pathway forward. Making any real-life album always includes stages: writing, recording, mixing and mastering, plus creating cover artwork. By revisiting the tried and true procedures deployed by all the legendary bands, the road presented itself. After I requested what became a lengthy discussion with our hero, we both agreed to tell the remainder of our tale in phases. Now that all tracks for the record were recorded (except for the grand finale, which Manny must record in solitude with nature), the band was free to part with the grandiose garb and return to their civvies. Believe me when I say that a GARGANTUAN sigh of relief was shared by all of us. Further, I can promise that the boys were much more thrilled than Manny would have liked.  Since he was not on the grounds when winged helmets and pantaloons were exchanged for jeans and high tops, several styles of joyful dance broke out that day. But, I won’t tell if you won’t. So ends Phase One.

All of that said, a handful of fun, cherished new bits and pieces rose to the surface amid the recent shenanigans. Manny’s estate sprawls across all points of the compass and bears considerable exploration. Indeed, the scope of the entire Splendorland realm continues to grow when I’m not looking and provides me with further acres of room to move when I least expect it. Stick with us and we’ll survey it together. Viking helmets are optional.