I have an old old song called “bring it back“. What it’s about is how I would sometimes go back into my older material, listen to it, and find out that it was better than I thought, and get all inspired. As if I was listening to someone else’s music.
I’ve found over the years that this process is kind of crucial for me. every so often (a year? two? fifteen?) I end up going and listening through a bunch of stuff that I’d practically thrown away I thought it was so bad. But I always find ideas and notions – as if I were my own muse.
I do this with other people’s stuff too, of course. That’s most of what I do with listening is just pour over people’s stuff and wish I could make something like that and file these ideas away in my head.
What i was noticing tonight, listening to some of my older more angry stuff, is how wrong I’ve been in thinking that I just want to throw away my whole self – I don’t want to be as angry and upset as I was 10, 15, 20 – 2? 🙂 – years ago, but there’s a fierceness and a fearlessness in some of what I was doing that I don’t want to lose…
I have to figure out how to balance these notions. To be fierce, strong, wild, tough…these are useful tools – even anger is a gift, as ‘ol Zach Del Rocha once said (over and over 😉 ). But a violent fearful attitude, even when spoken fearlessly? I don’t know that I want that – no – I know that I don’t.
Maybe that song “bring it back” was a little more deep than I thought. It’s not just about looking back at your art – it’s about looking back at yourself – at life – at history maybe? And bringing forth the good from it into the future – and, hopefully…leaving the rest behind.