I've Seen the Future, Baby
Leonard in the 1990s

1992 photos from One on One: The Imprint Interviews, 1994

"...My brain, when I write, is completely confused. It struggles at the bottom of a well, trying to find something that will give the song permanence in this world. To bring a song into existence seems difficult. Most successes, however, are simple...Perfection is much too much a luxury for me. It's at a level much more urgent than perfection. It is survival. Personally and for my work. How do you escape the cycle? How can I find a sufficient voice to give life to these songs? It is a situation where luxury has no place, where only urgency is concerned."
-- Throat Culture, 1992

Photograph by Anton Corbun
Details for Men, January, 1993

"Ring the bells that still can ring. They are few and far between... Forget your perfect offering. That is the hang-up. That you're going to work this thing out... [W]e've forgotten the central myth of our culture which is the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This situation does not admit of solution, of perfection. This is not the place where you make things perfect, neither your marriage nor your work nor anything, nor your love of G-d nor your love of family or country. The thing is imperfect, and, worse -- There is a crack in everything that you can put together -- physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But, that's where the light gets in; and, that's where the resurrection is;... that's where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation with the broken-ness of the thing."

-- Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992

"The Future"--
Cohen: "There'll be the breaking of the ancient Western code, I mean your private life will suddenly explode." That is this whole investment in private space that the West has painfully established over the centuries. That is specifically what is going to collapse. "There will be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road" -- a return to suspicion, superstition, return to the tribal paranoia and the white man dancing. It evokes a scene of the end of things but with certain variations.

Interviewer: That's kind of bleak, isn't it, even for you?

Cohen: It would be bleak if it wasn't set to a hot dance track.

-- Interview date November 19, 1992
One on One: The Imprint Interviews, 1994

Photograph by Bruce Weber
Rolling Stone, January 21, 1993

Photograph from Corbis, a photographic showcase, 11/10/95
"I don't do anything else -- this is the front line for me. I try and keep my human associations going, but this is my pledge and my consecration. And though it's not necessary to talk about it in such high-falutin' terms, it's all that's going on for me. I'm a miniaturist. I'm trying to do what the microchip has done -- find a form in which deep experience can be manifested with brevity, so that a six-minute song can have the qualities of a novel, can really take you on a trip. And I think I'm on the edge of doing it."
-- Observer, November 22, 1992

Photograph by Dana Lixenberg
Interview magazine, November, 1995

"Other people singing my songs is something that I've never been casual about. I've always been very touched by it and I always go into immediate critical suspension... Anybody doing one of my tunes has earned my gratitude, and I don't get that many covers where I have the luxury to choose. But as soon as anybody does one of my songs, I rejoice..."
-- Interview magazine, November, 1995

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Leonard in 2000 and beyond