Billy Corgan has been making a lot of news lately, although not all of it is about his band’s latest album, Monuments to an Elegy, which is the second installation of the trilogy of albums that they have called Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. Corgan’s Smashing Pumpkins have been working on this trilogy of albums for years, and the release of the new album is big news for the band.
However, Corgan has been making news outside of simply the release of the new album. The third album in the trilogy is expected to be released next year, and he has stated that this next album will be the end, although Corgan was not clear as to what he meant by that. His comments have fueled speculation about whether he simply means the end of this trilogy of albums, the end of the Smashing Pumpkins, or even possibly the end of his rock ‘n roll career. He has suggested that he just is not as comfortable in the rock business as he used to be.
Corgan also acknowledged that the fan base for the Smashing Pumpkins, who were one of the biggest bands of the nineties, has greatly diminished. He went so far as to suggest that the fan base is basically gone.
Still, that band’s fading popularity did not stop Corgan from making a lot of headlines lately by blasting other iconic bands from the 90s. In particular, he singled out Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters, questioning their popularity, and suggesting that the Smashing Pumpkins are a better band than either of those two bands. During a recent appearance on the Howard Stern Show, Corgan agreed with Stern that Pearl Jam had derived their music from other bands at the time, and were not original. He acknowledged that Pearl Jam had a huge fan base, and that this was deserved. However, he also suggested that he did not understand how that came to be, and blasted Eddie Vedder, the lead singer for Pearl Jam, as being selfish, and always finding a way to make everything about him. He suggested that Vedder felt guilty for surviving while Cobain had committed suicide.
Corgan also took aim at Dave Grohl, the frontman of the Foo Fighters, and the former drummer for Nirvana. He suggested that while Grohl is a great songwriter, the band has not evolved musically, essentially accusing them of having every album sound the same. He seemed to imply that in a popularity contest between his band and Grohl’s, Grohl would win. However, he credited himself with experimenting more, and not allowing is creativity to stagnate. By contrast, Grohl simply has not grown as a musician, according to Corgan.
He also took aim at Courtney Love, the former lead singer for Hole, and Kurt Cobain’s widow. The two used to have a romantic relationship together. He said that Love used to be very sexy in the past, and that the two of them shared an incredible sex life. However, he blasted her for lacking any loyalty, beyond anyone he has ever known before in his life. The two had a very public spat, and only recently had a reconciliation. It is not clear whether that reconciliation was compromised by Corgan’s recent comments, although he defended himself by saying that Stern was just asking him questions, and he was simply trying to answer those questions in an honest and forthright manner.
Corgan has stated that he and Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of Nirvana and nineties icon, were the best songwriters of the nineties, by far. He suggested that he and Cobain were competitors, and that they were easily the two best songwriters of the nineties. Everyone else ranked far behind, according to Corgan, and no one else even came close. He said that the two were equals, and that Cobain’s death left a gaping hole in the music world, likening Cobain to an elite quarterback who was able to manage everything on the field of play.
Aside from talking about other bands, or the possible end of his own band, Corgan’s interviews also made a lot of headlines, as he revealed some little known things about the Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan does not assume that they will be in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, and did not want to speculate on the possibilities of that happening. Also, he revealed that the inspiration for writing 1979, one of the iconic tunes from the Pumpkin’s biggest album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, was that it came to him while being stopped at a traffic light on a rainy day, and that is all that he remembers from it.
By Charles Bordeau
Billboard – Billy Corgan Says Next Smashing Pumpkins Album Is ‘The End,’ He’s ‘Over Rock & Roll’
Billboard – Album review
Photo by slowdawn – Flickr