Corgan hoping fan involvement will lift Pumpkins’ Record Club 1:52 pm // Tuesday, April 17, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, community, interview, news, oceania, record club.
UPDATE (4/18): In this hour-plus phone interview (listen here), Billy Corgan elaborates greatly on last week’s vague announcement from Smashing Pumpkins friend site Crestfallen.com of “The Lucky 13.” Corgan says the “13″ will be a group of fans selected by his interviewer, Crestfallen webmaster Jonathan Monte, to serve as liaisons between the Pumpkins fan community and the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club as it sifts through music from the band’s massive archive. The group is supposed to identify items and formats for release that will garner enough interest to sustain the Record Club’s efforts from project to project.
As stated by Corgan employee Rynda Laurel back in January, the Pumpkins intend to employ a Kickstarter-like model which will enable the band to put out material that its fanbase might be interested in, but might not be commercially viable with a mainstream audience. In the new interview, Corgan runs through several potential scenarios for how such a model might work. In discussing the “Rubano tapes” (hours of pre-Gish material recorded by Mike Rubano, including many of the Pumpkins’ early live shows) Corgan imagines several scenarios. In one, the Lucky 13 discovers there is interest in a deluxe box set package of the Rubano tapes, determines how much the box set will cost and how many they must sell to recoup their costs. If they get enough subscribers for the box set, which could cost several hundred dollars, then digital files will be made for anyone to pick and choose from; Corgan threw out the number of $5 for 12 tracks of your choice from the Rubano tapes catalog. However, if the Lucky 13 determines there is not enough interest in a box set to justify its production, then consideration could shift to a purely digital release of the Rubano tapes with a different pricing scheme.
I cite the Rubano tapes as just one example among many Record Club ideas Corgan throws out over the course of the interview. He muses about releasing Pro Tools files from his 2005 solo tour so fans could remix the live recordings themselves, the legal intricacies of releasing pro-shot live videos, and how he can realistically evaluate the audio quality of the band’s live recordings from the Siamese Dream era. Corgan says that the first item of business for the Lucky 13 group is to determine what the fan community is interested in hearing among the back catalog of studio material, though eventually they will also work on determining interest and release models for live recordings and post-2000 material. Personally, I am most immediately intrigued by the Rubano tapes, given Corgan’s obvious appreciation for the material.
Corgan also provided some new details about EMI’s reissuing of the Smashing Pumpkins catalog of albums. For the Pisces Iscariot reissue, whose tracking and mastering are already finalized, Corgan tipped that the opening song “Soothe” has been remixed, since Corgan did the original mix himself with low-end equipment. The Pisces reissue does not currently have a street date, but presumably it will come out before or around the same time as the reissues for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and The Aeroplane Flies High, which Corgan reports he’s working hard on at the moment and are due out around the end of the year. Corgan further tipped that the Adore reissue has been moved back to sometime around Record Store Day 2013, which would leave the Machina reissue for late 2013 along with a potential best-of set of some kind. Intriguingly, Corgan also reports he “has a commitment from EMI” to release a vinyl version of 1999′s Stigmata soundtrack.
Reiterating remarks made as far back as 2010 on his now-defunct official Facebook page, Corgan said he will receive the rights for his Warner Brothers catalog in 2014, opening up the possibility to release as many as 65 unreleased Zwan songs and the entire Chicago Kid project in 2014, with a re-worked version of Zeitgeist following in 2015. It’s apparently Corgan’s hope to have much of the archive material out by 2015; he says there is “a window of 3-4 years in which most of the key materials need to come out.” Corgan states that respect and mature relationships will be essential within the fan community to get everything out within this timeframe.
Finally, Corgan talks about the Pumpkins’ plans for their new album, Oceania. The album, which drops on June 19, may be available to hear for free around a week before that, though plans are still being finalized. He also discusses an Oceania tour, which he hopes will kick off about a month after the album’s release date. The band are reconvening for rehearsals perhaps as early as this coming weekend in preparation for two festival dates in Europe in late May. Corgan also elaborates a bit more on his work with Sean Evans, which he earlier discussed in an interview with Billboard back in March; the two are developing visuals for the Oceania tour which use cutting-edge “digital mapping” technology. The band intends to perform songs from the album in sequence; the visual experience would mirror the music. Corgan discussed some of the challenges inherent to staging such a technologically advanced tour on an international scale, and also cautions that if response to the album is weak, then they may not be able to stage the tour at the level they hope.
I have only skirted around some of the items discussed; listen to the interview for a fuller picture with tone and superior context.