Back-up Vocal~ Oh, how I love to include Hapler. He’s not the easiest of my characters to deploy or maneuver. But, he’s always extraordinary fun to unleash when the chance presents itself. As the sophomore DBS 3 album was designed to be a sweeping epic in content and scope, Manny demanded all hands on deck. So, Hapler had to play a part in the whole shootin’ match. Putting him to work in the sound effects department both got him involved and placed him where he could do the least amount of damage. As close to a win-win as we were going to get. In making this Comic, I was reminded of how technology has advanced to the degree that multiple alternate mixes of albums are now commonplace. YouTube and various other outlets offer them for both curious, casual listeners and hardcore audiophiles alike. I devour any kind of literature on Marillion and they frequently talk about how their Producer works. He emails them bits and pieces of elements they’ve recorded whilst making an album, picking out which ones he likes enough to suggest they be further developed. Documentaries covering the making of albums always include segments revealing isolated instrument tracks that bring life to a song, but are buried so deep in the mix that they might not even be heard in the finished product. Yet, take them out and we find one of the crucial load-bearing pillars is gone. 

This very line of reasoning provided the means to insert our boy, Hapler. At heart, he lives life as hot-tempered, narcissistic jackass with delusions of grandeur to spare. That internal machinery gives us moments where he takes matters into his own hands and does things like cook up his own ridiculous mix of the new album. Most would label it “egomaniacal drive”. Hapler would prefer “pioneer spirit”. No matter how we paint it, the last thing the band should ever do is let Hapler influence the direction of their new release. In ANY way. At all. Since they all know better, the little weirdo opted to go rogue. On its best day, the “Hapler Mix” might find a home on the Dark Web version of YouTube (I assume they must have one). It could provide moxie to a slam poetry festival. Perhaps it might serve as a delightful soundtrack for a knitting circle. It may even offer credibility to some sort of college drinking game. Regardless, I suspect the deeper it stays underground, the better. 

As for Biz Markie? That there’s a MY generation jam. I invite my much younger readers to ask your parents. You’ll get an answer AND make them feel old! For the last 25 years, I have wanted to hear the IRIS “Crossing The Desert” album played on one particular SUPER expensive, Internationally respected stereo system I don’t believe I can name here. Especially because after creating this new Comic, I would rather hear it through Manifold© gear.