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U2 News » Benjamin Wagner im Interview mit The Edge

Am Rande des Sundance Film Festivals (wir berichteten u.a. HIER) führte der Songwriter Benjamin Wagner ein kleines Interview mit The Edge, welches auf seiner Homepage veröffentlicht wurde. Im Interview äussert sich Edge auch kurz zum kommenden Album, ohne jedoch - verständlicherweise - viel darüber sagen zu können.

The Edge "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man" Interview | Sundance '06 BW: Tell me about your introduction to Leonard Cohen. The Edge; I first discovered Leonard Cohen¹s music back in 1978. I was 17-years-old. Courtesy of a friend who played his album with the track ³Suzanne² which in those days we were listening to exclusively punk music the softest we got was like Magazine or some of the experimental music. I don¹t know quite how he manages to make his way into our circle of friends but he was different. He was considered in some ways welcome in a way that very few artists were. And he stayed with me. That¹s the thing about his work: it stays with you. If you become a Leonard Cohen fan you never stop being a Leonard Cohen fan. BW: His music has real texture, which I hear in your work. Real sonic soundscapes, a richness. And also his lyrics are so substantive. Can you speak about what in his music resonates with you? The Edge: Well, I think to understand Leonard¹s work, you have to understand his very unusual process for writing. Leonard¹s writing process is unique. He might spend years, five years, on one song, coming back to it, rewriting it. And its not necessarily a passive just five years, it¹s like he will write multiple verses, he will whittle it down until it¹s almost a crystalline, pure form of words, some kind of perfect song. But it takes a long time. So if you¹re a lyric fan, as I am, when you hear a Leonard Cohen song, it¹s like every word is so perfectly placed, and chosen, it just connects in a very deep way. The first time I heard his songs, that was what hit me. BW: How do you balance that work ethic, that process, with the urgency of the pop music machine: the next album, the next tour. To what degree has that work ethic been an influence, or something you consider when working with U2? The Edge: Well I suppose where we as a band and as writers would connect with Leonard is in the need to completely separate ourselves from commercial considerations at the moment where you writing a piece of music, or a lyric. Because it¹s the only way to keep it pure, in a sense, is just to ignore what¹s going on out there. A friend of ours who is a poet once said, ³The best way to write is to imagine that you¹re dead,² that you¹re writing from this unassailable position. And I think Leonard in some ways is the one who does that the most. He¹s really cut off. And it¹s his own choice. But he doesn¹t really do the 21st Century. He is off, out there, looking for little clues, trying to hear the whispers from the angels. And he comes down with these amazing songs from the mountaintop. Every time he releases something, we get very excited. BW: In the film, you talk about going some place quiet, that you have to find the quietest place to find God, or the muse. Where do you? MTV: For me it¹s really about just clearing my head from anything that¹s of a trivial day to day nature and looking into something that¹s timeliness, something that in some ways I¹m not even conscious that I know, or understand, but the unconscious things that we know and understand, if you can somehow tap into that. So you can be in the noisiest place, if you can just find your way into that zone, you can write. And sometimes the quietest place is the worst. I think Charles Bukowski said, ³Nothing worth a shit was every written in peace and quiet.² I think there¹s an element of truth to that. It doesn¹t work always for us to be somewhere silent, but you have to somehow eradicate the din of what¹s going on out there to be in yourself quiet, to find those things. BW: As is requisite here. The Edge: Mmm hmm. BW: I would be derelict of my MTV duties if I didn¹t ask about progress on the next record. The Edge: We haven¹t really got to the point where we¹re thinking seriously about the next record. We¹re at that wonderful place where we¹re just experimenting, and trying things, just really letting our imaginations go. It¹s my favorite phase of making an album because there are no constraints, you just write and explore possibilities. That¹s where I am now: loads of possibilities, but nothing concrete. BW: That¹s a terrific line, "Write like you're dead." The Edge: It is a good line. We try to live up to it. But it¹s hard.

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