For the record I didn’t mean to be sensationalistic about the headline, but Billy/William Corgan talking about the evolution of artists and how a mediocre album can lead to a great comeback album to me was very interesting.  The Pumpkins frontman recently did an interview with soundandvisionmag.com , here are a couple of excerpts from the interview:

You’re your own best editor.
I have to be. If I’m putting out something, it’s a decision I’ve made, and sometimes it doesn’t have anything to do with musical quality. It has to do with personal satisfaction. I’ve earned the right to f—ing suck. [laughs] I learned that from people like Lou Reed and Neil Young, who both decided, “You know what? This year I’m just going to be me, and I don’t give a f— what you think.”

When people look at that release in a linear timeline, they say, “Oh, that’s the album that wasn’t very good.” But they don’t understand that 4 years later, when the artist makes the “comeback” album, it’s because they made that other album 4 years ago. They don’t understand that for an artist, work is cyclical. Periods revolve around each other. When Neil Young had the acoustic comeback album Harvest Moon [in 1992], it was a return to the Harvest feel, even down to the title. But if he had been doing only Harvest music for 20 straight years, he wouldn’t have been able to revisit it as an older guy with that additional viewpoint. That’s what people don’t understand.

William also said this regarding the former SmashingPumpkins.com webmaster:

I had a Web guy for a while, not a very creative person, who ultimately got fired. At one point he wanted a raise, and I said to him, “You haven’t grown the Web site. When I write a song that becomes a hit song, I sell more tickets and more records. It’s a results-oriented business. So if 10,000 people visit the site every day and 6 months later there’s only 9,000 people visiting the site, that’s a real thing. I can’t guess what they’re thinking, I can just see the numbers.” He said, “Well, if you would visit the site more often or post something, then our numbers would go way up.” I replied, “Yeah, but there’s a reason they don’t put somebody on TV 24 hours a day. It’s the Scarcity Principle.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/mouthfulosoup?feature=mhum danny axel

    ya know, for all the times I’ve poked fun at Corgan i must admit thats some insightful shit he said.

  • GrungeJunkie

    So basically William, you’re saying that you can put out crap albums so that when you actually put out a good album, people will like it more and be more likely to consider it a comeback because they will be comparing it to the bullshit albums you put out before it? Nice sell out move dude. Thanks like a girl that’s not that hot having an ugly friend go out with her so that she seems better by comparison. Fantastic work there Billy… You’re not that cool and you don’t have the right to suck. You shouldn’t ever settle for sucking because SP is not a band that typically sucks. So maybe you can just let us fans know when the album that seems good compared to the crap albums before it comes out so we don’t have to punish our ears until then.

  • Guy

    Yeah I don’t agree with his idea. Whenever a band releases a bad album, to me it means that they have lost their talent. When/if they create a good album again, to me it means they are back on track but still I still keep caution. If they do this several times, to me it means that they don’t care about their music and just want money, so why bother listening to them? I never see a band from their comeback period as best of their career, as Willie says. I am a musician and would never think of doing anything like is. It’s pretty bad he brings Neil Young into this.

  • Ashley

    What are you guys talking about? Putting out bad albums is some kind of tactic? I don’t think that’s what “William” was getting at, but I guess I’m missing the point.

  • Michael

    Its one thing if Corgan is attempting to be progressive and expressive himself; its another if he’s attempting to justify a poor album.

    In reality, I love Corgan’s early works. However, once the Zwan era struck, “Honeslty” being it’s highlight for me, I was left a little jaded. The once fantastic Smashing Pumpinks has REALLY taken the plunge into total disregard and eventual dismissal.

    It just goes to show you Corgan’s ego was never justified by Smashing Pumpkin’s success- he just took the bows for the bands hard work.