SOUNDGARDEN drummer Matt Cameron has responded to comments by Billy Corgan in which the SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman called out Nineties contemporaries, including SOUNDGARDEN, for cashing in with their reunion tours.
"There are those bands that are essentially coming back only to make money — playing their old albums, and maybe somewhere in the back of their minds they're thinking there might be a future," Corgan said at a press conference before a show in the Philippines.
He continued: "I am not in that business, obviously. I condemn anybody who's in that business but doesn't admit [he's] in that business. When SOUNDGARDEN came back and they just played their old songs, great. I was a fan of SOUNDGARDEN, but call it for what it is. They're just out there to have one more round at the till; same with PAVEMENT and these other bands."
Corgan later appeared on the Channel 93.3 radio station in Denver, Colorado and explained his beef with SOUNDGARDEN. He said, in part, "[SOUNGARDEN singer] Chris Cornell was somebody I considered a friend, and would never have said a harsh word about.
"When [SMASHING PUMPKINS] came back in 2007, [Cornell] was quoted in an interview saying, basically, he didn't consider our reunion, in quotations, to be 'legitimate.' So that's something that's… I kind of have an elephant's memory when it comes to somebody punching me in the face."
He continued, "Cornell's one of those people who is extremely talented. I was a fan from literally, I think, their second EP. I met them in 1991 and [I] still believe in what was great about the band. But when we're sitting there having conversations about who is doing what, I am no longer gonna shield somebody. If they wanna punch me in the face, I'm happy to punch them back in the face.
"My point is don't lump us in with people who are sort of just doing the reunion lap. Now, of course, fans are lighting up my Twitter saying, 'Do you realize SOUNDGARDEN is doing a new album?' OK, well, if they are, great. That's what they should be doing. [They are] great musicians, [and] they should make new music, and hopefully they'll make great albums, because we need artists to make great albums and great music in this day and age of the robots and the posers and, you know, the 'faux hawk' bands."
In a brand new interview with the WXDX-FM radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (hear audio below), Cameron was asked if he was surprised by Corgan's comments.
"I watched a couple of interviews that he did, kind of recently, where he was just talking about the current music scene, and I kind of agree with him on a lot of stuff," Matt replied. "I think Billy's a super-smart guy."
He continued, "I personally would never, sort of, begrudge another musician for having a gig. Because that's kind of what we do this for.
"It's just amazing that SOUNDGARDEN has an audience and that PEARL JAM has an audience.
"Ultimately, we do it for ourselves as artists, but when you can connect with an audience, small or large, that's kind of what keeps you going.
"I mean, I certainly understand why people would question bands that reunite… So, I'll just leave it at that."