Leonard Cohen to Jarvis Cocker: 'I've always felt I was scraping the bottom of the barrel'

The two songwriters were in conversation in London ahead of Cohen's 'Old Ideas' album release

Leonard Cohen to Jarvis Cocker: 'I've always felt I was scraping the bottom of the barrel'

Photo: Press

Leonard Cohen discussed his 12th studio album, 'Old Ideas', tonight (January 18) in London, with Pulp's Jarvis Cocker ahead of the album's release on January 30.

In conversation with the Pulp frontman at The May Fair Hotel, Cohen said of his songwriting: "I never had a strategy, I always felt I was kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel just trying to get a song together... I never had the sense that I was standing in front of a buffet table, with a multitude of choices."

He continued, to laughs from the crowd: "There are people who work from a sense of great abundance, and I'd love to be one of them, but I’m not."

Jarvis Cocker then asked Cohen about his distinctive vocal style which he said, "seems to be getting even deeper", to which Cohen responded: "It's what happens when you give up cigarettes, contrary to public opinion… I thought my voice would rise a soprano… it's not going that direction." Later Cohen, who is 77, said: "I'll start smoking again when I'm 80, I'm looking forward to that."

When asked by Cocker how 'old' the ideas on 'Old Ideas' were, Cohen jokingly responded "about 2614 years old – some of them a little older, some fresher." Cocker then inquired about Cohen's songwriting notebooks and if he was scared of losing them, to which he said: "I live in deep fear of losing a notebook. I've lost a lot of them – there were some masterpieces."

'Old Ideas' is the legendary singer songwriter's first new offering since 2004's 'Dear Heather', and his 12th studio album since 1967. The album was produced by Patrick Leonard, Anjani Thomas, Ed Sanders and Dino Soldo and features backing vocals from Dana Glover, Sharon Robinson, The Webb Sisters and longtime Cohen collaborator Jennifer Warnes.

For more information visit Leonardcohen.com

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