Billy Corgan talks to @GraffonMusic about the next Smashing Pumpkins album & the new tech on their tour po.st/MtzsRQ via @billboard— Hipsters United (@HipstersUnited) September 06, 2012
He also says that the post-Oceania set on the US tour will be songs “related” to Oceania and not greatest hits. Definitely looking forward to the tour even more now.
What excites me the most about this article is when Billy says that the new album will be more rockin. That’s exactly what I want to hear from the Pumpkins after Oceania, more rock less pop. I like Oceania but I think there’s too many pop songs on that record. I want to hear Mellon Collie style rock songs again. If the band can pull that off they would be on top of the world yet again.
Doesn’t he say EVERY album will be more rocking, though? I feel like he’s been promising this since 1999.
@Susan, no actually, in 06/07 he kept on saying that Zeitgeist would be a straight up rock record which is exactly what it turned out to be (for better or worse).
But I agree greatly with Eric, Oceania is just too pop for me. I dont mind the band experimenting (Adore is my favorite album) but Oceania is not much of an experimentation as it is a “safe” record. In my review, I argued that the album was borderline Power pop with some Arena rock songs thrown in.
I know Oceania is the better record but I honestly enjoyed listening to Zeitgeist as an experience more than Oceania. It was more of a Pumpkins record in spirit than in sound–its just edgier and more risky which is something I greatly associate the band as a whole to have.
Zeitgeist was too rockin Ocenaia is not enough. No one will be 100% happy.
SEEMS like a rockin album… there’s no telling what it will actually wind up being. A good guess is that whatever he is writing now will be scrapped by the time he hits the studio in November. And even if he goes with these songs he’s working on now, once he gets into the studio, he could produce them differently.
In my 18 years following SP, I’ve learned to take his album predictions with a grain of salt.
December 2013 seems like forever away…. at least we’ll get some good stuff with the reissues between now and then.
depends on the definition of rockin… Oceania is rockin too actually but I just couldnt care less about 2nd half of the album. Chimera, Glissandra and Inkless are so bland and similar that i cannot tell one song from another. Wildflower is cringe worthy, the song Oceania lacks climax.
I really love the songs and atmosphere of backward clock society performance, I’d go mad if those songs dont get studio treatment.
I agree that Wildflower is cringe worthy but Glissandra and Inkless are so bland? I strongly disagree.
“Oceania has sold 102,000 as of August.” Not bad, glad it was able to break 100,000 I hope it can reach gold.
They just started playing Panopticon tonight on my local radio station in London, Ontario, Canada, FM96 (95.9)! Awesome!
vip tix go towards record sales i take it? that should bump the number a little thru this tour.
People are complaining about Oceania now because it’s too “pop”? Why can’t you throw labels aside and just appreciate good music for God’s sake?
@ sir robin. I get what your saying about lables but this is the Smashing Pumpkins we’re talking about who are not really known for making pop music. To me the pumpkins will always be the band that made songs like Siva Drown XYU Tales of a Scorched Earth and so forth. The heavy songs are what I like most about the pumpkins not One Diamond One Heart that sounds like it came from a Justin Beiber album. I’m listening to that song right now and its a good song but damn its not a good pumpkins song in my opinion. I want the pumpkins to sound more like themselves and not like they’re trying to make a hit record because that bullshit doesn’t matter. Look at Gish it didn’t have any hits on it but its fuckin flawless. You get my point?
@ Eric B
No, I don’t really get your point. The Pumpkins haven’t made only heavy music. The whole ideology of the band is that basically it can be anything; it doesn’t have to be constrained to one sound. If you want to see them as a band where only the music with big guitars is valid, I won’t take that away from you. I choose to see them as the band that made both Siamese Dream (heavy) and Adore (not heavy at all).
@ Eric B, what about the people that associate songs like, 33, disarm, in the arms of sleep and sooth with the pumpkins? or the people that associate song like pug, the fellowship or eye? The thing with the pumpkins is that they have such a varied range of music and sounds and different people associate with different aspects of the band.
Ok I get both of your points and they are valid but I think one of the reasons why Oceania sounds the way it does is because Billy is too concerned with the pumpkins being a commercially succesful band again. That’s fine if that is indeed what he wants but I think his music suffers if that’s what he is really thinking. Billy Corgan would have never let a song like pinwheels on any of the classic SP albums and I don’t see why he’s playing that type of music whereas he left As Rome Burns off the album. I just don’t get it. And I really hate pop music so maybe that’s why I’m making these statements about Oceania.
It’s always interesting to see when this pop debate crops up.
There was one HU podcast where I stirred things up by claiming that what I really like about the band was Billy’s pop songs. And to some degree that’s true, although maybe I was being just a tad bit provocative. I mean, I like “The Aeroplane Flies High.” But, truthfully, some of my favorite Billy Corgan songs are what are essentially pop songs in alt-god trappings. If you can’t see that large swaths of the Pumpkins’ classic catalog and the better part of the Zwan catalog were gorgeous pop songs… then… I don’t know. Certainly that’s not all that they/Corgan are capable of, but to act like Billy has never released poppy stuff, even predominantly poppy stuff, is kind of silly. Zwan’s album?? Very poppy, other than Jesus I/Mary Star of the Sea.
In my opinion, the biggest negative association with pop is that pop musical is very often made with financial gain being the highest priority. As such, the music and lyrics are crafted in a way that will specifically manipulate the listeners’ emotions so as to grab as much cash as possible. Futhermore, it reads false and disingenuous.
And while SP does do some poppier songs, again in my opinion from listening to them for 18 years now, Billy places communicating the truth as he sees it in the moment over grabbing as much cash as possible. Billy has always tried to “give the audience what it needs, not what it thinks it wants.” The truth and integrity of his message comes first, and then he does try (on some songs) to make it appeal to a wider audience – as long as it doesn’t take away from the integrity.
The list of examples of Billy shooting himself in the foot commercially in order to get his point across or stay true to his vision is far longer than the list of him bastardizing that vision in order to dumb things down for a wider audience.
To say that Oceania is like Beiber just because they both exist in the world of pop is like saying the movie Batman and Robin is like The Dark Knight.
So yes, I like SP pop songs, and I think they are every bit as artistic/exciting/viable as the other stuff. It just sounds different and pulls on different emotional strings.
Yeah, people don’t understand that pop doesn’t necessarily mean Top 40 type music.
And Eric B, about your “Billy trying to be commercially successful” argument: Back in the days of Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie he was obsessed with trying to be successful and that didn’t negatively affect the music.
and the only real reason they got so huge is they followed that angry ratinacage song up with 1979. a pop song that helped bring them into more peoples homes than anything else theyve done.
i like oceania, yeah the ending isnt as epic i dont mind wildflower at all, but overall giving what else is out their and how thirsty my ears are for new music oceania is great. i could care less where it stacks against their other albums, i only care about how it stacks up against my other musical options now and it works wells. it is a good thing though that so much debate goes on about their albums, it shows people put the pumpkins in a higher level then most bands around
@Steven, but to Billy “communicating the truth as he sees” is the same as “make[ing] [his music] appeal to a wider audience”. He wants everyone to experience his vision and art–as well he should–and so, much of his music is catchy. To which I say, thank God. But I can agree with your assessments of the connotation “pop” music evokes, at least in alternative audiences.
And @Eric B, I don’t understand what makes Oceania even markedly more “poppy” to you thank, say, any other Pumpkins album. The example you give of the sort of “pop” song you dislike–Pinwheels–is a nearly six minute piece of music, half of which is instrumental, and much of which has little instrumentation beyond an acoustic guitar strum, with very few lyrics. Conversely, the example you give of a “classic SP song”, As Rome Burns, is highly conventional in terms of arrangement, instrumentation, and lyrical content (it is very verse-chorus-verse, is standard drums-guitar-bass, and is abstractly about doom and gloom, something familiar to many alt rockers and metal-heads). So it would seem you’re confusing “pop” with “happy(er)” sounding music.
For the record, I still love Oceania.
@ drowning swan. I like what you said about people debating the SP albums. Its really cool that we have a forum like this to talk about the band. I really do like Oceania and all I’m just more of a fan of an album like the Machina albums. Those records were hardcore pumpkins in my opinion.
First of all, no one has claimed that “pop” means Top 40. Clearly we are all going by what we think pop music sounds like as a genre.
Second, to further Susan’s point, Billy has always been a pop writer, even songs like Moleasskiss are nothing but pop hooks with the Pumpkins signature guitar sound. However, it is that balance that makes the band so appealing and amazing. Oceania (to me) does not have that balance. Thus my statement on post #4, “It sounds too pop,” and it does both by sound and in how its presented. The record sounds very manufactured perhaps done on purpose (which is a great thing if some of the songs were stronger)
Though I disagree with how Eric B views what the band should be, I would definitely agree with his statement about Billy making the Pumpkins commercial again. I mean, Billy has faced that criticism for a long time. He’s been trying to make the band relevant again and has blamed everything but rarely his song writing. My point being that Oceania sounds like it sacrifices that art in order to appeal to a wider audience. Its not about Billy writing songs for “me”, its about him writing songs that are at that level we hold the band.
I don’t know, I am starting to sound overly cynical. I am usually a positive skeptic and my post history can voucher for that, however, I just have an issue of how over hyped Billy made Oceania seem. To those that say that is nothing new–its not, but at least before he had something to back his claim up such as the idea behind Teargarden. On top of that, he would constantly do interviews (and still does) on how musicians from his generation and future generations need to push the boundaries of rock music and take risks. Teargarden was a huge risk, (whether it was successful or not is up for debate), however Oceania is anything but a risk. It has to be the safest Smashing Pumpkins record I have ever listened to.
I want to end that I still enjoyed Oceania and I will greatly anticipate anything Billy does in the future.
I’m not interested in this argument at all, but I wouldn’t say As Rome Burns is a “highly conventionally” arranged song at all. It has some very odd and inventive time signatures going on. The breakdown in the middle section that has all the crazy drum fills is a very risky thing to perform live, as it could very easily get off beat and fly off track. I’d say they did such a good job playing As Rome Burns tightly, that they succeeded in making it *seem* deceptively simple.
Actually when someone says a Pumpkins song sounds just like Justin Beiber, I think they are essentially saying the “pop” they are talking about it top 40s.
I am not defending Eric B. but I read that remark in particular as a hyperbole. Again, I don’t see eye to eye with his statements but One Diamond One Heart (among others) are very pop-esque kind of songs. So are Beautiful, and 1979 and many others but…*looks at previous post to avoid being redundant*
Ok people, Oceania is not made up entirely of One Diamond, One Heart. What about Quasar and the Chimera? And I have to reiterate what’s been said by Susan in particular that pop has always been a part of the Pumpkins sound (except for on Zeitgeist). Seriously, saying that it sucks because it’s pop just shows your ignorance towards the genre.
@gsmamz, The point was the juxtaposition between the two songs referenced. I just find it dubious to consider As Rome Burns as some sort of inventive non-pop entity and then dump on Pinwheels, a much more unusual and interesting song (side note–I really like As Rome Burns!) as being “pop”.
Ok I was just listening to Oceania and I decided that I really don’t like it. For one As Rome Burns in my opinion was a fan favorite and there is no good reason it was left off the record. Also why is Billy always playing games like this with the fanbase? Teargarden was a joke. Billy even said that there were only a few good songs on it So why the fuck were these songs even released. This is bullshit. Billy seriously needs to get his shit strait for real. Why all the fucking games? Where’s the fucking Metro DVD? Do you see what I’m saying. He’s about to lose one of his biggest fans! In the 90s I lived in my parents garage. I had sp posters on every fucking wall. Dude seriously get your shit strait or all my sp shit will be in a dumpster somewhere.
To be honest, I don’t think Billy would mind losing a “fan” like you.
Hey you can say whatever you want but Billy has been very inconsistent over the years. What happened to the expiriment he was talking about for Oceania? I didn’t mean to come off like some derranged fan but he is not taking care of business the way he should. I absolutely love SP. I’ve seen the original four twice once on the Infinite Sadness tour and then for Arising. I’m actually rooting for the band here because I know they have potential. The problem is Billy has a knack for ruining that potential with the things he does and says. Like why did he have to say he would piss on Radiohead? That’s bullshit. Radiohead is way more innovative than SP. He really needs someone to guide what he’s trying to do. Oh wait he had Kerry Brown but they don’t speak anymore. I don’t know what happened could have been Kerry’s fault but still all of the original SP are gone. What’s wrong with this picture?
“THAT’S IT. I’M OUT”.
What do Billy’s comments about the indie media, incorrectly transposed onto Radiohead have to do with his musical output….? I actually heard that Van Gogh was a loon in real life. Like, he cut of his own fucking ear! His art is irrelevant now. He is dead to me.
Wasn’t intending to come here, but I have to lol at the fact that Eric B thinks that Kerry Brown was a positive influence on SP’s music.
Zeitgeist = pretty bland album made with Kerry
Teargarden = good songs ruined by shitty production by Kerry
Oceania = Diverse, textured, overall great album made without Kerry.
I think we can see where the problem lies.
Also, Eric B hasn’t provided a single valid reason for not liking Oceania. It’s ok to say “it just doesn’t gel with me.” But to say it’s complete shit and the only reason backing it up is that it’s pop music is a sickeningly bad argument. Oh, I guess he did talk about what was left off the album as a negative also, which has nothing to do with what’s actually ON the album.
And I agree with Johnny
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