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COM!ONLINE (2/2002)

by Christiane Rebmann

Translated from German by Gitta Pfeiffer

Comeback of a womaniser: After a few years in a Buddhist zen-monastry LEONARD COHEN has published a new Album. He has integrated the Internet into his daily life for a long time.

Com!online: One could read parts of the lyrics of your new CD, “Ten New Songs,” long before its release. They were published on your website

Cohen: Of course. I wrote poems and placed them on my Website. Some parts of my poems turned into songs later. For example “A Thousand Kisses Deep”.

Com!online: But the song is much shorter then the poem which is placed in the internet. Are the lyrics on the CD a shortened version?

Cohen: I Completed the poem-version shown on the Internet while I was working on the album. Therefore, it is naturally much longer. I was working on this poem for a few years.

Com!online: Are you arranging the site yourself.

Cohen: No. Originally it was the site of a fan from Finland. When I saw Jarkko s site for the first time, I was very impressed by his effort. I asked him if we shouldn’t work together. The Internet is a good “vehicle” for publishing.

Com!online: You are using a kind of individual signature stamp to mark what you contribute to the site. Don`t you think that makes a big fuss about it?

Cohen: Well, the texts may therefore become more dignified. I myself, by the way, designed the signature stamp. I like to scribble around.

Com!online: Do you surf ?

Cohen: At this time, only scarcely. I now use the Internet only for research. Years ago I surfed often. But now it takes too much of my time.

Com!online: Do you communicate via e-mail ?

Cohen: Yes, unfortunately.

Com!online: Why “unfortunately?”

Cohen: In the beginning I thought: this is a wonderful opportunity to say “Hello” to friends once in a while. But when I check my mailbox in the morning, I then need up to two hours to take care of my correspondence. As with many other technical achievements, which promised an easier life in the beginning, the Internet too has turned into a burden. The same can be said of mobile-phones.

Com!online: You were always called a womaniser. Have you now, being 67 years old, calmed down?

Cohen: Naturally. But this is also true: while there is indeed a change in the perspective when you get older, the electricity…., the tension, doesn’t die out.

Thanks To Kadir Ercan, Vlad Arghir and Dick Straub for help