Billy Corgan Says Smashing Pumpkins Will Break Up If New Albums Aren’t Successful

Billy Corgan discussed The Smashing Pumpkins’ future in a new interview with the Chicago Tribune.

“I’m not willing to wait around 15 to 20 years to have somebody go, ‘Hey, that album that you made is really good.’ And then sell it to the 7,000 people that are still paying attention.”

“When this process is over, I’m either going to bail on this ship for good, like ‘I’m done,’ or I’m going to have a new ship to sail on,” Corgan said, adding that at a time when everyone walks around looking at phones, he wonders: “How do you reach through the fog as an artist? How do you punch your way back through? How do you say, ‘I still matter’? How do you say, ‘How does one of my contemporaries get treated like a contemporary artist, and how do I get treated like I’m supposed to play “Siamese Dream” for the rest of my life?’ At some point you’ve got to fight this fight or go away.”

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  • — J —

    How does one man go about breaking up with himself, exactly?

    • Chris J.

      lol, funny.

  • Hey

    What does yahoo live have to do with this? Or have you sold out?

  • jcal7

    Cut all the archaic flowery concepts and write a song that a listener can relate to personally about the struggles in their lives both lyrically and musically…. Boom! These problems crept in during Mellon Collie, and by the time machina came out it had infested the whole pumpkins aesthetic. You thought heavy metal machine was a joke that no one got but it was on you. Foo fighters are a band that don’t reinvent the wheel but have relatable songs, each album has at least one big single that can cross the monogenre and doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    • Stephen Patrick Kelly

      So make the same song over and over again. Got it.

      • jcal7

        Where did I say that? His music has not connected with people for a long time the way it used. Parallel to that is the rise of the ornate narratives and design, which I highlighted reached it’s nadir with machina and he has not come up with much since rival his own output. I listened to Oceania a bit when it came out and nothing moved me with it, not hate or love it. I was listening to a playlist and try,try,try came up and I remembered what it was like to have an emotional connection to one of his tunes. As I said a band like Foo’s will not technically dazzle you but I find a lot to connect with…. WL was a good album with lots of tunes about tackling adversity and second chances, and it’s engaging for that reason

        • Benjamin Baum

          The last foo fighter album was worse than awful

          • Ben Dawson-Punshon

            I’m not being flippant, I have the opposite opinion, so I’m curious as to why you found it to be a bad album.

          • Benjamin Baum

            it was forgettable, cliched, nothing original. It was as if Dave had just made an album to make an album. Pat Smeeeeeeeeeeer contributed….. uh nothing of any note. It’s just a mediocre album, nothing on it will be rememberd five to ten yrs ago.

          • Ben Dawson-Punshon

            Fair enough, different strokes for different folks!

        • Stephen Patrick Kelly

          The mistake you make in your comment is a common one. Billy may make music that we listen to, but he makes it solely for himself. He’s not going to cater to someone who makes generalized statements like ‘his music hasn’t connected with people for a long time the way it used to’ and he shouldn’t. I would lose respect for him if he did. That’s great that you still enjoy his past work or whatever but that’s not where his head is at right now and it can’t be forced there either.

          He should make the music he wants to make. And if folks don’t listen to it, that’s their bag.

          The only thing I wish he’d stop doing is stop caring as to whether or not something is successful or not.

          • jcal7

            If he makes it solely for himself, why would he give up on SP if it isn’t successful? You are assuming a large part of your argument but can you answer that for me? He advertised the reunion in the Chicago Post the week his solo album was released. You know why? Because he couldn’t generate the same interest in his solo work. It backfired when half the band told him where to stick it and zeitgeist got trashed.

            You must be totally brainwashed to think that any music he has released in the last 10 years hasn’t been released to try and claw back some relevancy. He releases an album and like 99% of music released today it’s swept away in a river of content. QOTSA released an album last year that has stuck, technically, musically and emotionally resonates and sells well.

            Also could you share you rationalisation for what happened with tear garden

          • Stephen Patrick Kelly

            Okay, your first paragraph seems to overlook the fact that Corgan has the flair for the dramatic. The point of is proclamation is to make folks say ‘OH, NO! WE DON’T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN! WE BETTER BUY HIS ALBUM!’ It’s extortion, jcal7. An ultimatum. And unfortunately, it’s the type of thing I’m kinda used to from him. You don’t know what the band told him, so don’t make assertions that can’t be backed up by fact, especially since James hasn’t spoken to him since the band first broke up and D’arcy hasn’t wanted to be in a band for years. And James is apart of Tinted Windows. I don’t really miss him.

            As for your second paragraph, I’m not brainwashed, I just know what I’m getting from him. I’m dedicated, yes. And while his recent stuff might not have resonated with YOU, when I hear the lyrics ‘I’m so alone, so alone/but better than a wretched world/better than a broken pearl/I’m so alone, so alone/but better than I ever was/better than a just laid cause’ believe me when I tell you it resonated with me. Hell, it damn near brought me to tears the first time I heard it. You’d be brainwashed to think that NONE of his recent stuff has resonated with ANYONE.

            As for your last sentence, eh, I couldn’t tell you what happened there. All I can tell you is that when it came out, I listened to it.

          • jcal7

            One last question – did you go to a Cistercian boarding school in Tipp by any chance??

          • Stephen Patrick Kelly


          • jcal7

            Just asking because I knew a Stephen Patrick Kelly, brother’s nickname was Kegs. No bother, let’s see how Monuments turns out. Billy could have the team he requires in tommy and the shredder

  • Ben Dawson-Punshon

    Christ, Billy Corgan is a whiny bitch who thinks he’s the ultimate in ‘artistic integrity’, but he is an absolute hypocrite… Smashing Pumpkins doesn’t exist, it’s just a name he tours under!
    Instead of worrying what everyone else thinks of your music, just go out and fucking do it!

    Look at your ‘buddies’ in Soundgarden, they don’t whine and harp on about “oh man, these people just don’t get me”, and they are a band who have battled their own personal adversities just as much as Corgan has; yet they can still go out there and do what they do, without worrying whether people ‘get it’ en mass.

    Billy Corgan is the reason I’m not an SP fan – he writes good songs, but MAN is he too wrapped up in his own self worth… He just grates on me to no end, he’s just an immature kid in a mans’ body!

  • Raj

    He already said that once before that he was “tired of fighting the good fight,” if that really was the case he would not be making new Pumpkins albums. He’ll leave for a bit then come back again.

  • GhastlyFuckFace

    I’m a Pumpkins fan first-and-foremost, and Corgan has done some absolutely brilliant stuff 2001-2012 that remains unreleased/live boots only. The guy just has terrible judgement with his own music. He tries way too hard to ‘guess’ what fans & critics want, and it ruins the output as a result. Oceania was half-great, half-mediocre. The lesser songs were the ones where he tried to anticipate fan desire and match that. In other words, the ‘throwback songs.’ He shafted great songs like ‘Lonely Is The Name,’ which Jeff came up with the lead for. ‘Blessed Mother’ was good, as well. There are two bsides that are unreleased (‘William Tell’ & ‘Pretty Boy’), which are likely better than what he put on the actual album. This guy has almost always buried his best material, but he has done it much more consistently since the Zwan days. Just take the ‘Chicago Songs,’ for instance. What we have heard from live boots indicates a beautifully intricate collection of acoustic-based songs. Fans at the show were completely satisfied, as were some critics. Yet, he shelved it because of the negative response from a scatter-shot of fans on the internet. Thus, we got ‘TheFutureEmbrace.’

    My point is…he needs to shut the fuck up and make music. Fan/critic expectation be damned,he needs to just make some music, the best & truest to his mindset that he can muster, and just release it. At this point, who cares if he continues under SP? The legacy has already been tainted. All I want now is some good music.

    Billy said the same thing about Oceania. Really,it is a childish thing to say. ‘If nobody notices my new outfit when I go on my errands today, then I’m never leaving the house again!’

    Shut up…

  • Darcy, James and Jimmy

    I prefer the band named “billy corgan” to smashing bumpkins.