Leonard Cohen at Nov 18, 2012 Edmonton Concert, quoted in Godfather of Blissful Doom by Mike Ross (Edmonton Sun: Nov 18, 2012). Originally posted Nov 19, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
[I bring] anything I can bring to it [writing a song]. Thought, meditation, drinking, disillusion, insomnia, vacations… Because once the song enters the mill, it’s worked on by everything that I can summon. And I need everything. I try everything. I try to ignore it, try to repress it, try to get high, try to get intoxicated, try to get sober, all the versions of myself that I can summon are summoned to participate in this project, this work force. I try everything. I’ll do anything. By any means possible. [Interviewer: ‘Do any of these methods work best?’] No. Nothing works. After a while, if you stick with a song long enough, it will yield. But long enough is way beyond any reasonable estimation of what you might think long enough may be.
I work very slowly and abandoned hope for many of them [the songs for New Skin For The Old Ceremony]. However, last summer I went to Ethiopia looking for a suntan. It rained, including in the Sinai desert, but through this whole period I had my little guitar with me, and it was then I felt the songs emerging – at least, the conclusions that I had been carrying in manuscript form for the last four or five years, from hotel room to hotel room.
From Leonard Cohen: Cohen’s New Skin by Harvey Kubernik. Melody Maker: 1 March 1975. Originally posted Dec 18, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation. Photo of “Leonard Cohen playing for my mom & uncle, early 1950s, at my great grandmother’s summer camp” by noahbloom
One idea on [The Future] is that the human predicament has no solution. We were tossed out of the garden; this isn’t paradise. And to look for perfect solutions is a very difficult burden to bear. That’s my theme: It’s a mess – thank God.
From “7 Reasons Leonard Cohen Is the Next-Best Thing to God” by David Browne. Entertainment Weekly, Jan 8, 1993.
From Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead (and other things I learned from famous people) by Neil Strauss (The Truth About Lies: July 9, 2011). Image from back cover of Flowers for Hitler by Leonard Cohen, Jonathan Cape (UK): 1973. Photo by Sophie Baker.