Billy Corgan Wants To ‘Find Peace’ With Original Smashing Pumpkins Members

We have been busy transcribing a lengthy interview of Billy Corgan with Jennifer Weigel. We have released transcriptions regarding Donald Trump and Corgan’s views on social media and humanity’s future. These transcriptions so far have been based off of video recordings from a 9 part series released by Big Media Productions on YouTube, but we also found access to the entire two hour interview, with audience participation. Unfortunately, the audio quality of the full interview is poor and some sentences are just invariably lost to audible gargle. Here, we found a bit of Corgan speaking about the possibility of a full band reunion with James Iha and D’arcy Wretzky, Chamberlin included.

JW: “Do you think it’s time for a reunion, with the originals?”

BC: “Are you really asking me this question?”

JW: “I think it makes personally…but everyone wants to know that for some reason. I know that’s so not who we are now. I guess the question would be, would it make sense to sit down and have tea with either of them [Iha or Wretzky]? Because you spent so much time together, would you like to know who they are now?”

BC: “I know who they are…and they know who I am. When you spend that amount of time with somebody, of course they matured…I think the only way to answer every one of these questions is…I have no interest in doing anything that’s inorganic. I have people in my band now that I talk to…and they don’t want to talk to me and I don’t want to talk to them. If they try were lying on the side of the road, I would stop my car and bring them to the hospital, but we don’t send Christmas cards to each other. There’s no relationship. And so when you’re talking about the natural human instinct to find forgiveness and heal a relationship, I think that never ends. That’s a human thing, it has nothing to do with the band or people creating memories. The business of it all, I find quite gross…I think people rarely get out of those things [original reunions] what they think they’re gonna get. Because when a relationship breaks, and I would take it back more to something you’ve experienced in your family life or your romantic life, whatever, when a relationship breaks there are times it’s not gonna get any better. It’s what it was for what it was, underneath a particular set of circumstances…[inaudible]…There’s no temptation there for me. Strickly on my part I think it’s like, “Would I like to find peace?” Absolutely, of course. But beyond all the other stuff…I can’t even imagine that being able to watch.

Corgan also spoke on various aspects of the band’s past and his relationships to the music industry and audiences:

BC: “I didn’t get into this business I got into…to scream in an empty alleyway. I didn’t design this world [music industry], someone else designed it for me. They gave me a number and said, ‘Okay, now go stand over there.’ Now my natural, Eastern European gypsy spirit wants to kick everyone in the head in response, but it’s not an effective strategy anymore.”

BC: “Like when people would see us back in the day, they wouldn’t understand the combatant nature of the band or my verbal tirades and stuff like that. They didn’t understand it was performance art. We were purposefully pressing buttons being in a generation where they had it all figured out. When you try to engage someone with a different point of view, someone who assumes you align with them socially…and the minute they realize you’re not on their team or determine you’re not in their tribe, how quickly they turn. Generation X in particular led an incredible betrayal of values. The sellout, which was the word at the time, really is…the word of the generation. There has been far more selling out than buying in.”

Corgan has come a long way with this. Since the dissolution of the original lineup, there has been little talk between ex-bandmates outside of Chamberlin. But here, he shows a desire to make peace with them, which doesn’t equal a reunion. It means closure with people who were once part of his life and band, which is something a lot more important than a “reunion.” People will inevitably continue to criticize Corgan for anything he says. But the fact of the matter is, Corgan, Iha and Wretzky are human, not machines who play music for drooling middle aged people. Healing takes time. Respect that.

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  • Billy

    well i gotta say, maybe it’s the fact that he’s having a kid, but BC is starting to sound like a more humble person. Very nice!

    • jcal7

      Yes, for sure but his tirades were/are not ‘performance art’… he needs to own that… he went on plenty of tirades off stage and when he as at his peak his music invoked enough of a reaction

      • Billy

        BC seems to like pushing people’s buttons and most of the interviews i read of him have turned me off of alot of his music, but there’s a hint of hope for a changing man.
        Maybe i’m just stunned that he was open to burying hatchets lol

        • jcal7

          In the media there is a gradual loosening, and he is still talking about the same stuff. He is no longer at odds with the world the way he seemed, and it’s difficult for an intelligent guy like him with social media and more digestible content everywhere. I think this is no clearer than on the Monuments album, short & sweet, at peace with his legacy. Looking forward to Day for Night especially since Jimmy is back. Strange to think Jimmy has only been on one album since the reunion, and that’s almost 10 years ago.

          • Billy

            BC has been his own worst enemy at times. I agree about the loosening, Being at odds about everything has to wear on you as u get older.
            I hope this does get him back on track.
            I liked Oceania, but not Monuments.

  • Junior Moore

    I just think Billy is desperate. Don’t know why I feel like that, just do lol

    • Billy

      I think he’s coming to terms with how he has behaved in the past and is coming around. Or it’s an elaborate ass saver, so that if he does reunite the original lineup, ppl might not call him out for doing what he has railed against for years. He is a smart man, i wouldn’t put anything past him even if there is a sense of social manipulation lol

  • Waxmuseummeltdown

    It’s really easy to the point of obnoxiously simple for ‘fans’ to put all the onus on Billy’s relationship to the others in the band, but were/are any of you flies on the wall to see how everything went down in the late ’90’s? It’s not black and white. I’d love to see Billy bring out James for an encore, ect. and see Darcy in good standing emotionaly and relationally with the band. Sure. But fundamentally it’s just nice to hear less angry tension in Billy’s tone and more passive acceptance. It’s a journey and like I said, you weren’t there behind closed doors dealing with drug problems, egos, ect. It’s not always a matter of the great pumpkin being a churlish arrogant prick. Just sayin’. Great article Elias.

    • Elias Fulmer

      Thank you, very much.

  • — J —

    As much as he keeps talking about how he doesn’t want to reunite with the old members, you know the end result is going to him doing just that in 3-5 years. Having a kid will mellow him. A 3 million dollar reunion offer from Coachella will make it happen, as he realizes it will pay for his kid’s college education. You just wait and see.

    • Aloysius L

      Are you actually saying Corgan thinks he needs more money? You gotta be joking. He could pay for his imaginary child’s college education with the change in his pocket.

      • — J —

        Bigger paychecks usually lead to people buying bigger houses and more expensive cars. So while he has a lot, he’s also still spending a lot. You need to keep making that kind of money to keep being able to pay those kind of bills. Plus he’s funding Smashing Pumpkins out of his own pocket at this point.

        You think those extra expenses aren’t potentially also spending that “fortune” faster as well?

        Kids cost money. Life costs money. Bands cost A LOT of money. His expenses monthly are probably more than you or I make quarterly.

    • RIKKI

      a kid…he’s gay…right?

  • Martha Bartha

    They were a good band. Very talented!

    • Ishmael

      Yep, they were great. But these times are gone.

      • Martha Bartha

        These or Those?

        • Ishmael

          those, i suppose. english is not my native language, so sorry for not spelling perfect.

          • Martha Bartha

            Perfect. P E R F E C T Perfect.

          • Clifford Browning

            Im not used to seeing asshat comments from females.

          • Martha Bartha

            Get used to it!

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  • Raj

    While Corgan is the creative force behind the Pumpkins I think he still has an uneasy feeling about leaving Iha and Wretzky on bad terms. His ego got the better of him, if he does eventually reunite with the old members and tours again then he will be a hypocrite for chastising his other 90’s contemporaries for being a nostalgia act.

  • Jay_the_Sharp

    Iha and Wretzky are nowhere near as capable musicians as the people Billy has been playing with as “the smashing pumpkins” for the last decade. I would like to see a reunion of a few songs w the original members for something like the talking heads or r.e.m. did for the hall of fame induction- but other than that he’s better off without them. And I would know as I’ve seen every line-up/ incarnation of the band live (sans pre-jimmy, drum machine lol)

  • iLeonD

    Siamese Dream stands as one of the better albums of the 90’s. It stands outside of its genre classification as well. He played the guitar and bass on that album. Jimmy played the drums. Not to be mean but those not named Billy Corgan in that band were along for the ride. It’s always been that way.

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