Last night, I worked on Chameleon. This is actually one of the first songs I ever wrote, back in 2003. It’s one of those songs that I had put aside because there was something about it that bothered me. I had shelved the song for years, since it ‘didn’t represent me anymore’, it also reminded me of the struggles I was having with music back then… so just the idea of listening to it gave me a sickening feeling.
When I first started song-writing, I used to write in format that resembles a sung poem. It was mostly satisfied with communicating an idea, without the necessity of repetition (chorus), so songs where mostly built on verses and a tiny riffs between. Over the years, I learnt how to build up to a chorus, and the different arrangement of a chorus vs a verse, etc.
When I revisited the song on my piano a few months ago, the song just gave me that sickening feeling again, I just wanted to put it away and pretend it never existed. But the subject matter of the song was interesting and so I decided to take on the challenge and improve it.
I was right away struck with the realisation that I now have skills & the ability to morph, flesh-out the song, twist it , give it an entire different vibe, add new sections, take it somewhere else and bringing it back, come up with great riffs, work on transitions, making it all smooth… These are all new skills that I have subconsciously gathered over the years that made me somehow better at my craft.
The need to change the song probably came from a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the old & stagnant… I guess we all have a natural desire to progress, move forward, improve!