BILLY CORGAN RIPS THE GRUNGE GENERATION & PAVEMENT FOR BEING NOSTALGIA ACTS, CALLS FOR ROCK REVOLUTION

“My point of having a problem with nostalgia acts for the artists that are from the Grunge generation is it basically subverts the original meaning of the Grunge generation’s music, which is rebellion. So basically, everybody in their 40’s are now all phoning in, let’s call it for what it is. And yeah maybe we’ll put out one new song on the greatest hits album but it’s not really getting back on the horse. We need those artists to step up and take on the social issues particularly that are going on right now. And they’re choosing an economic model over a sociopolitical one, so as far as I’m concerned fuck them, because they’re lazy or they’re scared. I grew up in a generation that had a message, where is that message? If it’s going to be subverted by simple economic downturns, then the message wasn’t real at all. No better case than Pavement, complaining about me in the 90’s, now doing the greatest hits tour. Why? Ca-ching, cashing in. Maybe that’s why they were obsessed with integrity, because they didn’t have any. We play just as many old songs as any other band, and we should, we have some great songs from the past. I understand people coming to shows, they want to hear those songs too. It’s just when that becomes the story, if that is the story, then I am dead as an artist and there is no future for my band, so what the fuck am I doing standing there? I am nothing but a rodeo clown doing the act from 25 years ago. That’s not why I got into this, and I don’t like that expectation. As far as I am concerned, fuck that expectation. Now, if you come to hear what the band’s about, and in the midst of that we want to create a historical context and an emotional context to tell a story, great. I just went to see Roger Waters do the Wall for a 2nd time, that’s a work from 1979, 1980. He didn’t play but one new song in the entire set. He’s re-contextualized the work to have a modern air, he’s talking about everything from Apple to Gulf Wars and all this stuff. He’s re-contextualized the work, he’s updated it for modern audiences. That’s the same thing we do, we update our music for this audience in this time. It’s not a sentimental ‘let’s go back to the old days,’ fuck the old days. The old days weren’t that great, I don’t like this sentimentalism it’s killing our business, and it’s not good for culture. Rock and roll should be at the center of this culture and it’s not, it’s been marginalized because everyone’s afraid. Artists drive the narrative, they always have, that’s why governments are afraid of artists. Only rock and roll bands and radical artists, filmmakers/poets can change shit up from the outside in, because that’s the power of the word that’s the power of the song. Hence artists need to stand up and sing those political and revolutionary songs, that’s what we’re here for at the end of the day. But I’ve been very critical at the lack of my generation standing up and having something to say about what is a very intense time economically and politically in our country politically.”

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    how many ppl here will actually watch the interview and how many will make snarky comments just based on the headline? I say 20/80 ratio.

  • slagun

    jesus christ, am I the only one completely fed up with this website being loaded with mainly articles about this guy, I try to scroll down and read some interesting article but no it’s just another blabbing from Corgan…

  • Xforewarnedx

    @slagun When Pearl Jam puts out their next record and does the amount of press you have to do now because you have a successful album, you still going to be mad? Don’t like it, don’t read it.

  • Wachee

    c’mon peeps, bash billy. think about it and you’ll realize, if you even have the ability to, that’s he’s achieved more in 20 years than you’ll probably ever do. bummer for you, he’s got talent and even if you don’t agree with his opinion he still has the right to express it just as you do, often by bashing him. i get bummed out everytime i see any courtney on this site, what do i do? bash and whine like a little baby making stupid lame ass comments? no, i just skip the article. try that for a change!

  • http://www.twitter.com/six7six7 Joe

    Is he only talking about Pavement?

    What grunge bands are phoning it in? Only PJ and Soundgarden remain.

    PJ has never phoned it in live. Ever. and Soundgarden got together and recorded a new album. Although they are basically doing the greatest hits right now.

    I’d like him to elaborate.

  • Shadow on the Sun

    I am officially done commenting on these pumpkin articles. I’ve pretty much lost most if not all my respect for Corgan. Somebody get this guy a box of Kleenex,I’m sick of reading about his whining and bitching.

  • Creative Grunge Reference

    I agree with the overall point he is trying to make, but which song exactly since the economic collapse of ’08 has Billy put out that deals with political and social issues? I like most of the songs he’s done since then and give him credit for not trying to cash a nostalgia check but when he gets on his high horse about what rock n roll should be and its power to change and challenge the system I get the sense he is trying to imply that’s what he is a part of doing and I just have to call bullshit on that. I think a lot of people these days use music as a way to escape how shitty and hard their day to day is, so if someone wants to escape by re-living their youth with Pavement then so be it. As much as I like the Smashing Pumpkins (new and old) they aren’t changing or challenging a damn thing.

  • Eu

    Billy, suck my dick and swallow my milk pride.
    You’re a crazy diva or a fucking bitch?

  • CorganSTFU

    Billy,

    You are a horse’s a()(). I think you should be strung up by your feet and left to hang for a good three days without food or water. That should do the trick on getting you to shut the f()ck up.

    After the three days are up, we can then untie you let your bald head go “smashing” into the ground and punch you in the adam’s apple as you beg for water. Sincerely, up yours.

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    nice trolling going on again

  • CorganSTFU

    Nope, not trolling at all. I stayed on subject, and have stated how I should whoop this guys a()(). His annoying posts are wasting space, just like yours lala.

  • CorganSTFU

    Billy,

    Why not talk about your band? Oh wait… it doesn’t exist anymore. Iha, Chamberlain, and Wretzky all know you are a tool. You are a fantasizer. I will never forget your idiotic letter in the Tribune five years after the Pumpkins broke up. You have sounded like a moron ever since you brought the Pumpkins back. I have zero respect for you, your side projects, or your new wannabe pumpkin band. You suck.

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    way to troll!

  • bill

    LMAO what’s with all the Corgan hate here? The guys 100% correct on this, and if you guys weren’t so blind you’d know that AIC and Nirvana are two of his favorite bands, and he’s also said while he doesn’t care much for Vedder he has a ton of respect for them.

    BTW Brett only posts these interviews because AIC and PJ is being very quiet, Nirvana’s gone, and CORGAN JUST RELEASED AN ALBUM. When Soundgarden’s album comes out and kicks ass in a few months it’ll be all about them.

    Jesus, you guys are so sensitive.

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    there isn’t much Corgan hate here. a couple of trolls that use different names. sad people

  • Adam

    corgan is doing a great job of keeping his name in the conversation, you have to give him that!

    i like a lot of his music, but he is tiresome.

    i’m with joe, elaborate!

    i could care less if he cares for vedder personally, but with some of his complaints it seems like he just doesn’t really know pearl jam’s history past ’93. they have been relentless.

    “We need those artists to step up and take on the social issues particularly that are going on right now. And they’re choosing an economic model over a sociopolitical one, so as far as I’m concerned fuck them, because they’re lazy or they’re scared. I grew up in a generation that had a message, where is that message?”

    ~ corgan likes chains, so that can’t be aimed at them.

    ~ pj’s history, to me, doesn’t match up here.

    SO!

    soundgarden?

  • Ultramega

    Once again, Billy’s 100% correct. If you don’t like all the Billy articles here, it’s super easy to just not click on the headline. Problem solved.

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    he is talking about Pavement and that his generation didn’t do as much as it should. he is 100% correct. AiC wasn’t active very long, PJ made some decision that had too much to do with politics and not music, Nirvana we know what happened, we know the Pavement story, we know that he likes Cornell but doesn’t like Scream, etc. What aren’t you people understanding?

  • Calvin McLain

    I look at Corgan news similar to Courtney Love news…Who cares? Don’t get all worked up over what people’s opinions are. It isn’t fact, it’s his opinion, and this country allows everyone to have one, and voice it if they so choose. It says much more about him then it does about whatever he decides to speak about when he rambles on again and again.

  • psychic vampire

    billco is right. people see him rolling and they hatin

  • iHopi

    He really cares that Pavement is touring? Making a living with there music they made? Sad big man with little brain.

  • Adam

    “Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam. Constantly defend your favorite band.”

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    Pavement insulted SP as sellouts in the 90’s, made fun of them in one of their songs, now they are the selling out and Billy is shitting on them as he should

  • Mia

    Sounds like Corgan is criticizing Soundgarden’s Live to Rise with that movie soundtrack comment. Though I wasn’t thrilled with Live to Rise they’ve got a new album coming out so its not like they’re living in the past. And I don’t think Oceania is so great that Billy can consider himself a model for the 90s rock star.

  • Jarofchains

    I completely agree. I actually think his generation (Gen X) was great back in the day. As people get older though things change obviously. The 90s (at least early to mid 90s) were really an organic time in terms of rock music. As the decade moved forward the music labels did their best to find those cookie cutter imposter acts to fill the void of the initial wave of bands.

    However, its a different time now. Music labels and the industry never accepted the digital age ushered most famously by Napster. This was over 12 years ago and they still have not been able to come up with any innovations as to how to cater to today’s changing society. Digital music really hurt the record industry as most people do not seem to listen to whole records – I believe Corgan said that recently too.

    I hope that an other rock movement does happen though. This stuff is cyclical. I think the early 90s alt movement was a response to the hair bands but also to the real generic pop of the 80s as a whole. For the better part of the last decade I would argue it has been more of the same.

  • GenXLady

    Please do elaborate, Billy. I see the merit in some of your points about liking to see bands evolve as they continue making music. Some of that is purely subjective to the listener though.

    To say Pearl Jam went too political (Lala), isn’t that the very point that Billy is making that bands should do?? To have a provocative, relevant message with the music? Also, to say AIC and Soundarden are not continuing in a relevant way, ummm…really? Soundgarden just put out a record. AIC did have a hiatus for awhile, but for well known reasons, which were not having to do with cashing in or not wanting to be relevant. But they too made a new album fairly recently, and are said to be working on another one right now. Who has the right to say their work isn’t relevant? Billy can say that for himself, but that doesn’t speak for everyone. What is relevant to one is not always relevant to another.

    I would love to see a rock and roll revolution too, but don’t think my opinion is so “right” as to think I can define what that revolution should look like. Billy talks as if he knows how it all should be done. That is the underlying piece of the rants he goes on that make me think he is a tool.

  • johnatan

    have they found the “next nirvana” yet?.. there will not be a revolution in rock music, becouse when the next “big” thing happens, it will be instantly capitalized in a manner where the artist will be fucked. what happened in seattle was that it was so remote that no one would care about those bands.. so they had time to work in “commune” kinda way. bouncing ideas around with a healthy competition. and as soon the grunge wave broke there was these post-grunge bands with no Authenticity that clearly did whatever the “suits” told them to. it got so chewed up that the real punk attitude just washed away.
    just like the baby-boomers in the 60s with their let’s change the world attitude.

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    @GenXLady

    Pearl Jam political insanity made their music suffer. That Ticketmaster thing was stupid. Not touring was stupid. He isn’t saying anything bad about AIC. Cornell made a bad decision with Scream and new SG have to prove that they still got it. the new record isn’t out yet.

  • Sonic_Junkie

    Corgan likes being the villan… he also has more balls then most artists do in that he’ll say whatever is on his mind and not worry about the backlash. There are a lot of artists that “play nice” to the media but are assholes behind the scenes. At least Corgan is authentic.

  • Sonic_Junkie

    Also…. Corgan isn’t the only artist to openly criticize Cornell about Scream. Trent Reznor ripped him, too. I love Cornell but they’re right, what the hell was Cornell thinking???

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    @Sonic_junkie

    I heard Timbeland married someone in Cornell family and they became friends and made Scream. I don’t like or understand Scream … but at least it was new groud for Chris

  • Sonic_Junkie

    @lala

    Interesting. I’m all for my favorite artists trying to cover new ground and experiment but Scream was not well thought out. To Cornell’s credit, he has rebounded quite well since then with his solo acoustic tours and a new Soundgarden album on the way.

    Anyways… Corgan is 100% right about Pavement. What a bunch of hypocrites those guys are.

  • wasogrunge

    This guy is a megalomaniac

  • Junior

    Cornell made a bad decision with Scream? SG “need to prove themselves” with this new album? You literally just proved GenXLadys point about what’s wrong with what Billy has to say here by doing the exact same thing he is.

  • Adam

    @lala

    there are political references in every single pearl jam album. what specifically are you referring to when you say the music suffered for/from it?

    billy clearly talks about rebellion in his statement, how could pearl jam be any less rebellious by taking on that giant? they stood their ground and that’s why touring through the “no code” era was tough for them.

    “I would love to see a rock and roll revolution too, but don’t think my opinion is so “right” as to think I can define what that revolution should look like. Billy talks as if he knows how it all should be done. That is the underlying piece of the rants he goes on that make me think he is a tool.”

    well spoke, genxlady!

  • Junior

    lmao. GenXLady, “I see the merit in some of your points about liking to see bands evolve as they continue making music. Some of that is purely subjective to the listener though” is looking to be very true around here, and not just with Billy but with some of these “music fans” comments here as well.

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    @Adam

    We don’t even know if Billy was talking about PJ so it stupid to make comments like yours. I love PJ, Eddie did a great think with WM3 thing, great that he put lyrics from Echoles into a song, etc. He was probably talking about Pavement and the too early fall of the “grunge” bands.

  • Adam

    @lala

    “Pearl Jam political insanity made their music suffer. That Ticketmaster thing was stupid. Not touring was stupid.”

    “We don’t even know if Billy was talking about PJ so it stupid to make comments like yours.”

    sadly, what is stupid is you riding the fence on all your points.

    i like your comments, though, they’re full of piss and vinegar.

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    @Adam

    what don’t you understand? my opinion is that the ticketmaster PJ thing was stupid and FANS suffered and the music suffered. also alot of PJ “political” songs are not my thing. example: world wide suicide

  • Adam

    @lala

    you’re not getting the question i’m asking you, but it’s cool.

    moving on…

    in your opinion, how did the music get effected by the ticketmaster suit?

    “no code”, or so forth?

    i can understand how vedder can get polarizing with his politics, but it makes me wonder how much corgan has really kept up with vedder/pearl jam? he made some comments that, to me, were saying his grunge peers haven’t stayed focused or with good cause, you agree?

    good conversation, lala. both pj and sp fans are passionate, i’m happy to be a die hard of both as i see you are, too!

  • Dreux

    “I think the most irresponsible thing any artist can do is politicise their art. There are people out there who think it’s their obligation as an ‘ah-tist’ to be politically and socially responsible. If you’re like that, why waste time playing guitar? Why don’t you get a degree in political science, or write some essays?”

    – Kim Thayil

    You’d think someone as smart as Corgan would realize that the kind of audience that even the most politically charged artist attracts (RATM) doesn’t really give a shit about politics. People listen to music to feel like they’re a part of something, and when it has a heavy message of rebellion or political change it only translates into a good party, but with pretentious dialogue.

  • Adam

    dreux hit that shit right on the head. nicely put.

  • mark

    i love smashing pumpkins music but billy corgan is a big pussy bitch who needs to get his ass kicked

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    @Adam

    PJ fans suffered because of the lack of touring back then. PJ political focused stop them from evolving like they should! where was the artistic growth on Riot Act, Pearl Jam and Backspacer? At least on Binaural they tried some crazy things. Pearl Jam album and Backspacer are solid, good albums. Still the political tone of some songs and the lack of experimentation limits those albums for me. So my point being … albums with some vague political agenda themes (similar to Zeitgeist) suffer in emotional value.

    p.s.

    my fav PJ albums are VS and Binaural and I only don’t like Ten which everyone else seems to love. For me you can hear that those songs were done in 2 weeks. I have nothing else to add to this.

  • dakotablue

    so Pavement dissed Bill 15 years ago and he’s been waiting all this time to get’ em back—
    like a scurvy spider!

  • Markus

    How come that PJ, SG, AiC, SC and NV Fans get so well along with each other and SP and STP do not. The first 5 Bands are Grunge Bands the other two Alternative Rock Bands – they are not bad at all but they don’t belong to this site.

  • paulonious

    does he not find it remotely ironic that he’s jabbering on about nostalgia acts, then goes on to praise Roger Waters, who is touring an album from 30 years ago? Saying he “updated it for the current time” is a load of bullshit. Waters is cashing in, no question about it. he’s no different than any other band touring one album from their past.

    Billy, I love your music, and you have a right to your opinion, but you are a douche.

  • Vann

    BillCo hates nostalgia acts, so he praises Roger Waters and is in the process of reissuing all of his old albums. Makes sense.

  • nigelknox

    He’s carried that Pavement grudge for 18 fucking years. Not letting go of shit like that over that period of time explains why he continues to come across as such a lunatic. Malkmus had him pegged 18 years ago (when Range Life came out): “I don’t understand what [he] mean[s], and I could really give a fuck.”

  • Lynda

    I’m going to see The Pumpkins later month in Sydney, Australia. I never saw them in the 90s so am looking forward to it. Isn’t it just human nature to feel nostalgic for your (lost) youth? I listen to some modern music as well but there hasn’t been anything original for many, many years out there and all the commerical radios play to the masses is Nickleback and Coldplay ad nauseam! Went and saw Soundgarden earlier this year and sad to say, they sucked

  • MJM

    I’d like to rip the pussy of Taylor Momsen

  • SuperSG

    what way did they suck? CC may not always be his personal standard of perfect, but he is still awesome no matter his range. Was the experience lacking?

  • Elderly woman behind a counter in a small town

    blah blah blah. shut the hell up bald man just focus on your suck band.
    you suck nowadays / .

  • King Cornell

    Vann hit the nail on the head. Look, I am a renewed fan of Billy musically after the great Oceania. But I have read and seen every single interview (including the one with Geddy from Rush recently) and I can’t make heads or tails of what he is saying. I honestly do not know who he is attacking here. PJ? SG? AiC? All of those are doing work that has integrity while staying loyal to their signature qualities. Mike Ness made a similar argument before Lollapalooza directed at SG. What don’t these guys see? SG is doing things right business wise and music wise. Billy has to stop these cowardly veiled attacks. Say names or don’t speak.

  • Stopmaking90%ofarticalsaboutcorgan

    STOP FUCKING MAKING 3,000 ARTICALS ABOUT BILLY GOD DAMN CORGAN

  • droosed

    Touring on the wall isn’t cashing in or a nostalgia act the wall is relevant forever

  • Dreux

    ^^^^^
    And Chris Cornell’s poetic, existential lyrics aren’t relevant “forever”? Everyone with an ounce of humanity and self-consciousness, not spoiled by materialism, has “fallen on a black day”, or dealt with the harsh reality of who they are (ala “The Day I Tried to Live”). “Grunge” may have been a bullshit trend or lifestyle, but there was real, honest, and timeless music there with genuine and heartfelt lyrics touching on universal themes. Is there a market for nostalgia that these songs fit in? Absolutely. But to label all of the brilliant work put out by the key groups of that generation as nostalgia, and nothing more, is naive.

  • no

    “Here we are now, entertain us!!”

  • thefreewheelinMarkArm

    Billy is nothing more than a living, breathing mass of negativity. For all the lovey crap he sings about, he’s a total wad. That said, I love all the original SP stuff. I just wish that I never knew him for more than his singing voice. If I could edit my browser to filter out any mention of the words, “Billy Corgan,” I would.

  • Jason

    I won’t say I’m totally correct in saying this but I feel there may be some incorrect assessing of his comments and I’ll tell you why:

    First of all, Billy interprets what they all did in the early nineties as “rebellion”. The music, what they all sang about, what they looked like (clothes)…it all contributed to a rebellion against what was happening at the time.

    Secondly, stepping up and taking on social issues…were the “grunge” bands not doing this in their music…writing about things relevant to the generation that paid attention to them…therefore addressing social issues as an aside (depending on how you interpreted their lyrics)? Whether obvious or not, the music spoke to a generation and he feels that those bands still have that power (they sure have the history, praise and catalogue to prove their worth) and have to continue on with that (he feels this as his opinion). He may be naive in thinking the “younger” generation today will pay attention to them but he really is trying to approach this concept with positivity…although it would seem most here think he’s doing it in a negative way…

    So what is he trying to say to here…well…the message the bands had back in the day was powerful and spoke to people. It stood out above the noise of the world and saved people by understanding and the belief of rebellion, to stand up for their worth and by saying we know what you are going through / let me put my arm around you. That message (in it’s current form) may now not be as relevant as it once was (not saying it isn’t at all) and he still feels his generation can achieve the same quality of message (to far younger peeps that the ones who know ALL about them)…but only if they push themselves and update their message to be relevant with the times. He’s upset that bands who held this flag high back then (perhaps some sang from the same hymn book but now seemingly have fallen onto the very thorn they so vehemently protested against) simply don’t want to push that boundary back and he clearly doesn’t see anyone else doing that any time soon. His reference to Roger Waters is the “example” of the point he’s trying to make. Go out there and do your thing as you always have…but make sure you update the message so people now can relate and react…rather than doing it because the money is great. Sure, some are happy to just do that…Billy isn’t, he’s been trying things and upsetting people with his music, but least he’s trying.

    And there you have it…that’s what I think this ramble was all about.

  • tyrant

    I don’t like him, but I think he is right and he is smart. And I am not annoyed by the amount of news about him as much as I am annoyed by the “Stop posting about him, Brett” comments. Get the fuck out.

  • dave

    what he’s really saying

    ‘nobody likes my band anymore cos i’m shit and ruined it!! waaaaaaaaaah’

  • chris

    I just don’t understand how he can start a rock revolution when he just released a synth pop album with 3 rock songs?

  • http://youtube.com/spoceania lala

    @chris

    synth pop? clean your ears. yeah he should have released a grunge album in 2012

  • Kristen

    he could have cut out all that other bullshit he said, and just said the last sentence only. Just sayin’. He needs to stop his whining and put his energy toward something that us rock fans want to hear. Good effort for trying to “motivate” his generation, but they are already two steps ahead of ya Billy, PJ, AIC, Soundgarden are already working on new music, (Soundgarden already put some out), some of the others are probably in the works too. Patience!