SMASHING PUMPKINS' CORGAN: 'I'm Not Gonna Be In A Band With People Who Don't Like Me'

Andy Greene of recently conducted an interview with SMASHING PUMPKINS mainman Billy Corgan. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Why are you releasing individual tracks online as opposed to cutting an entire album?

Corgan: It really harkens back to the early days of rock and roll. You're as good as your last song and I'm kind of OK with that. Right now, everybody likes my new song, and the next one they'll fucking hate, you know? One day I'm an idiot and one day I'm a genius. And I've been both and I'm probably somewhere in the middle. I'm probably just a pretty good musician.

What we're aiming for now is just perpetual presence. I believe this is going to be the new way. From an artistic standpoint, I think it's actually more interesting because you're in that constant kinetic back and forth like you were when you were younger, in a club. The corporate rock thing that was imposed, particularly over the last 30 years, is very counterintuitive to creativity. You go in some dark room for a year, you're supposed to produce some masterpiece, then go out and tour it until you exhaust every potential person who wants to see it, and then after you come off of that, you're supposed to wring yourself out and do it all over again. That just doesn't work. Were you happy with the response to the last PUMPKINS record?

Corgan: That album sold over 500,000 copies, it went gold. But people didn't listen to it. Now, is it the best album I've ever done? No. But I could tell that people weren't listening to the album. In the past if you put out an album, people at least knew the first song. We would go out and play the first song and I could tell they had not even listened to the first song. I don't view it as a gross disappointment. It's disappointing to me that what I was trying to communicate didn't get the chance to be communicated. It's remarkable to me that things can come and go and people don't even know they happened. When the HOODOO GURUS had an album, at least I knew they had an album out. Now I go to the shop and I go, "Oh! This favorite band of mine put out an album?" I didn't even fucking know! Because I didn't look at the right website. A lot of fans are very focused on the original lineup.

Corgan: In that lineup you had two people who could play with a high level of musicianship, and two people who couldn't. And somehow that worked. James [Iha] and D'arcy and Jimmy [Chamberlain]... fascinating people. Jimmy, world-class drummer. James, very creative when he wanted to be. D'arcy had a really incredible intuitive sense. But that band was not built to last. Believe me, if that band had anything left in it, not only would I do it because it would be creatively interesting, but it would be incredibly financially lucrative. People say, "Well come on, just shake hands backstage and ride in separate buses." Part of my being and spiritual person is, I'm not gonna be in a band with people who don't like me.

Read the entire interview from


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