Corgan gets even with Chris Cornell, calls out U.S. alternative radio 10:35 pm // Friday, August 31, 2012Posted by jjb in billy corgan, interview, news, pavement, radio, radiohead, soundgarden.
In an interview published earlier this month in Manila’s Philippine Star newspaper, Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan somewhat confusingly lumped Soundgarden together with Pavement among bands of his generation that he said reunited not to forge a new future in music but merely for “one more round at the till.”
This morning, alert and sympathetic deejay Josh Goodman of Denver’s KTCL-FM had Corgan on the phone and, as part of their conversation, he prompted Corgan to expand on those comments related to Soundgarden. Goodman’s full interview with Corgan can be heard online.
Below, we of Hipsters United offer a partial transcript of the interview that corrects and extends a partial transcript posted earlier today by the diehards at New Jersey-based blog Grunge Report. Our transcript picks up just past the 4-minute mark in the online audio file, which of course is superior for conveying tone and so forth.
Josh Goodman: I love reading your interviews, and I interviewed you back when you played for Big Gig here in 2010, and I love that you don’t censor what’s on your mind, and…
Billy Corgan: [laughs] Maybe I should, though.
Goodman: No, you shouldn’t, man, it’s good, I think people need to hear it. But, you know, along those lines of what you were saying, about bands going out and playing sort of their rehashed greatest-hits stuff, you did specifically call out Soundgarden in that vein, saying: Hey, man, they’re just going out to make money, and let’s just call it what it is. I’m curious, did you ever, have you heard from the guys in Soundgarden? I know you’re a fan of the band. Did you hear from Chris Cornell or anything? Did they have anything to say to you directly, or not really? (more…)
Corgan revisits making of ‘Siamese Dream’ for Australian rock mag 7:12 pm // Sunday, July 15, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview.
In advance of the Smashing Pumpkins’ tour of Australia, which kicks off on July 26, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has done print interviews for both Triple J Magazine (outtakes of which are online) and the Australian edition of Rolling Stone (which put a simulacrum of Corgan on its cover). In both interviews, he reflects on his entire career trajectory and how the Pumpkins’ new album Oceania relates to his earlier body of work. In addition, for Rolling Stone, Corgan reflected on the making of Siamese Dream, including some interesting anecdotes about the band’s interpersonal relationships at the time. Below the jump are three excerpted quotations. (more…)
Smashing Pumpkins may work on new studio material in August 4:56 pm // Sunday, July 1, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview, news, oceania, teargarden by kaleidyscope, thefutureembrace, zeitgeist.
Bill Palmer of Beatweek Magazine has published a wide-ranging new interview with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. In the interview, Corgan discusses the dynamics of the current Smashing Pumpkins lineup, their plans for future recordings, and how the Pumpkins’ reissue project has influenced their live performances, among other topics. Below are three excerpted quotations.
I think in that way I’ve never made a bad album. I would say the album that was the least fulfilling of its potential was Zeitgeist…I think every other album was in the range of its potential as an A or a B. I wouldn’t necessarily rate Zeitgeist as a C, it just didn’t hit its potential and it kind of got lost somewhere along the way in the process. Some of the best songs are in the demos that didn’t get recorded and that kind of shit. I think it’s up there, but I also think it has to do with familiarity. There’s a certain ring here that people are comfortable with, and I’m okay with it or obviously I wouldn’t have put it out. But I think TheFutureEmbrace was a great album, and it was completely overlooked, my solo album. Over time now, over the last seven years, now people are starting to really get into it because it’s got a bit of a visionary aspect to it. So again, what was the point of the album? The mainstream always assumes that every album you’re throwing yourself out there with your bust, and I’m not that type of artist. I pick my spot and I go for that spot, and I rate it on whether or not I hit my spot.
Of the first Teargarden by Kaleidyscope songs, Corgan says that “I think there were ten official Teargarden releases. In those ten there was at least two or three really good songs.”
On the future of Teargarden, Corgan had this to say:
I’m kind of mulling that around. There’s a lot of demos that are really fairly quality at least in terms of the songs. They’re just interesting, dusky sketches. The problem with the world we live in now is everything is judged so fast so hard and is given too much power, for lack of a better word. Three months from now I would love to just reach in and toss out a couple of those demos from 2009 so people could hear some different songs, maybe some things that helped lead to Oceania. But then invariably some asshole with a blog is going to write about the new Smashing Pumpkins song and how it sucks. I’m mature enough now that I don’t really care, but at this point we’re in a positive place and maybe we just need to play a positive game. Maybe we just need to be like everybody else and shine it up real nice and bright before we put it out. We definitely want to do another album. We’re already talking about starting to do some demos in August. It’s tough. I do want to put out some of this stuff that I’m sitting on. I do want to finish the project as I sort of originally sketched out. But right now we’re riding a wave and I’m not really sure where that wave takes us.
Go over to Beatweek and read the interview in full, because it’s fascinating stuff.
Back with Alex Jones, Billy Corgan links ‘Oceania’ to ‘Zeitgeist’ 12:15 am // Wednesday, June 27, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview, news, oceania, politics, radio, zeitgeist.
Billy Corgan spoke with info-warrior Alex Jones on the latter’s radio show today, phoning in from South America where the Smashing Pumpkins are, as I write, onstage for their first-ever concert in Venezuela. This is Corgan’s second appearance on the program this year; he sat down at Jones’s Austin studio during SXSW back in March.
Over the course of the new, 40-minute interview, Corgan and Jones discuss systems of social control, in particular as they relate to Corgan’s experience in the music business. Here’s one transcribed excerpt:
Alex Jones: Let’s cut right to the chase with this new album. Beyond political, you’re talking about the nature of reality: You know, ["Quasar," and "The Celestials," and "Panopticon,"] and of course, “Oceania,” right out of 1984. Break down the spirit that you were basically channeling when you put together this new album.
Billy Corgan: Well, I think some of the roots start—on this album—start from the last album, in 2007, Zeitgeist, which you know, on some conscious or unconscious level, listening to you, and doing my own research on the Internet, kinda led me to a dark place where I felt, you know, what’s happening to my country? How do I grapple with these feelings that I’m having? When I started in music, you know, it was all cheery, Reagan, flags-a-wavin’, everything is great, and there was a lot of middle-class discourse on stuff that maybe now seems really small in comparison to what we’re really grappling with as we see what’s coming economically down the pike.
So, I think if you can draw a line from sort of a darker place and trying to grapple with the American Dream, which Zeitgeist had something to do with, five years later, now Oceania I think is a way to say, you know, I’m just not gonna live in that spirit, that energy, that dark energy. I’ve heard you talk about it, and certainly I’ve thought about it a lot, which is, you know, we gotta live. You know? Some of the most inspirational stuff I’ve ever heard you talk about is when you just talk about nature, about how God’s kingdom inspires you to fight the good fight and think of families and what life’s really about. And I think my album is really about that, it’s like, we all go through hard times, our country’s going through a hard time. It’s not a political album in that sense, but at the same time, if the politics is part of the backdrop, in the foreground I just wanna embrace my life, and get right with God, get right with my spirit, because I think that’s the way to lead us out of this kind of craziness that again seems to be coming, and God knows where it’s coming from. But everywhere you go, people feel it. And they can’t put their finger on it.
Billy Corgan made the great lost record. 3:28 pm // Saturday, June 23, 2012Posted by jjb in amusing, analysis, billy corgan, chicagosongs, interview.
During a Los Angeles meet-and-greet yesterday, this exchange (video) took place between KYSR-FM deejay Darren Rose and Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan:
Billy Corgan: If I told you my real opinions of every album, you’d probably laugh.
Darren Rose: Do you have a favorite?
Corgan: Not really, no. Honestly, I think the best album I’ve ever made I haven’t released. It’s sitting in a can at home. I did a solo acoustic record about my hometown of Chicago. And I played one show, and I thought the show was amazing, and then I went on like an idiot the next day and read what the fans were writing and they said ‘Can he just please pick up an electric guitar again? Screw this acoustic music, we don’t want to hear this shit, dadadada.’ And I said OK, and I put the album back in the can and it’s sitting there to this day. People who’ve heard it say it’s some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever done. It’s just sitting there.
While Corgan seems to blame “the fans” for the album not having been released, another possible reason is that Corgan has to be his own best editor. If he’s putting out something, it’s a decision he’s made, and sometimes it doesn’t have anything to do with musical quality. It has to do with personal satisfaction. He’s earned the right to fucking suck.
Also, exuberance from Corgan about his yet-to-be released records (e.g., Zeitgeist, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, Oceania), as well as negative comments by Corgan about released records that the public has not embraced (e.g., Zeitgeist, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope), are par for the course.
RESEARCH UPDATE: On October 19, 2004—exactly six months after the “one show” Corgan played—a Toronto radio DJ asked him (audio, at 3:55) to “Tell us about the [ChicagoSongs/ChicagoKid] DVD.” Corgan replied: “It’s in the can. It’s all acoustic. There’s been about thirty songs recorded. And we’re just starting to cut it together, and hopefully that’ll be out by the end of next year.”
On CNN, Corgan laments absence of “vigorous democracy” 9:31 am // Thursday, June 21, 2012Posted by apm in billy corgan, interview, television.
A previously recorded interview of Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan conducted by CNN talker and Salon “Hack List” denizen Piers Morgan was aired last night on the cable network. Below is a full transcript.
Piers Morgan: On next tonight, he’s got strong opinions on American politics, he’s written some of the great rock songs of the 90’s, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. He’s not happy with President Obama.
[clip of "Tonight, Tonight" video, commercials, clip of "1979" video]
PM: That’s 1979, a killer song from the Smashing Pumpkins, a band that’s been churning out hits for years selling 30 million albums achieving worldwide fame. Their new album O-Cee-Ana, Oceania, I knew I’d get it wrong.
Billy Corgan: They actually said you’d get it wrong. (more…)
Greg Kot: ‘Oceania’ is “Corgan’s best work since the ’90s” 2:08 pm // Friday, June 15, 2012Posted by jjb in billy corgan, interview, oceania, zeitgeist.
Chicago Tribune mainstay Greg Kot has posted today a great interview with Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan. The two explore motivating factors behind the new Pumpkins record Oceania, managing also to look back with some perspective on the band’s previous LP Zeitgeist and the controversial tours that followed its release, and they touch on other relevant topics too. Here’s an excerpt:
[Greg Kot]: When things are working, great artists say they reflect their audience. Do you feel you’re still in touch with your audience?
[Billy Corgan]: I feel I’m reflecting the part of the audience we don’t hear from. There are a lot of people out there who love music but don’t have a place in music culture as it exists. I meet these people all the time. Soccer mom, 34, has good taste in music. They are your average rock fan who isn’t part of the Pitchfork culture. They don’t follow the train. They’re the difference between 40,000 sales and 400,000. We’ve disenfranchised that part of the culture by playing to the (snobby, snarky) crowd. The Internet has swelled that (expletive) crowd. The crowd that trashes what you do instantly and writes you off. It’s like the ’90s indie-rock crowd all over again: Don’t look this way, don’t dress this way, don’t play long guitar solos, whatever. But there are people out there in their teens who found Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, they don’t care that those bands don’t exist anymore. They exist in their computer. They’re finding this other value system that isn’t contemporary. It’s a wider scope. The unspoken audience, the stragglers, and this new audience who isn’t snarky or cares much about modern record business, that’s our audience.
UPDATE (6/18): Kot’s full review of Oceania is published.
Corgan calls Iha “one of the worst human beings I’ve ever met” 11:55 pm // Wednesday, June 13, 2012Posted by jjb in billy corgan, d'arcy wretzky, interview, james iha, jimmy chamberlin, news.
The June 16 print edition of the New Musical Express has a writeup by Emily Mackay of an interview with Smashing Pumpkins torchbearer Billy Corgan. The discussion revisits familiar thoughts from Corgan regarding Courtney Love, Resistance Pro, and the Tarot, but he does offer fresh—or at least newly extreme—commentary on his relationships with former bandmates Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha, and D’Arcy Wretzky. Following are two excerpts.
Billy Corgan: Success held that band together longer than it should have been held together. It was dysfunctional. There were a lot of years there where I regretted the way it all went down, and now I think it was meant to die when it died how it died. We stole from the Promethean fire to fuel whatever our weird psychic death trip was and then we paid for it. Or got too close to the sun and crashed. It was just meant to be that way. And you can draw parallels from that with Jimmy’s situation [when he left the band in 2009] because maybe that was just a continuance of something that hadn’t been resolved back then.
NME/Emily Mackay: He said in his statement on leaving that he “couldn’t just cash the cheque”…
Corgan: See now, here is a perfect opportunity to bury Jimmy as a fucking liar. But I won’t. That’s a lie. That statement’s just a flat-out lie.
NME: Was it that you wanted to take the band in a commercial direction, and he didn’t?
Corgan: Ha ha! No, it’s the exact opposite. I wish I could explain it, but I don’t trust the world to understand the complexity of it. I think it’s telling that the first thing Jimmy did when he left the band was make a statement about money because that had a lot to do with it. But if you look at what I’ve done since he left, where have I made money?
NME: Do you still feel any rancour towards the other band members about the way it ended?
Corgan: Uhhh… I’m OK with Jimmy. We don’t have a relationship at the moment, but I mean, I have no ill will. I want to see him do well. James Iha I think is just a piece of shit. I think he’s one of the worst human beings I’ve ever met in my life. And D’Arcy, she’s sort of, in her own way, sort of an innocent.
NME: Those photos that were released when she was arrested for missing a court date last year suggested she wasn’t really in a good place.
Corgan: Yeah, it’s terrible. But she’s not a bad person. And I don’t hold any ill will towards her, even though I’ve had to deal with fucking lawsuits and stuff like that. If there’s any culprit in this it’s Iha. But, y’know, he was there at the right time of my life, we did do good things together, I think he is a good musician when he gives a fuck, which most of the time he doesn’t. And that’s about it.
The same issue of NME carries a review of the Pumpkins’ new album Oceania; Mackay’s declaration that it is “the strongest Smashing Pumpkins album in years” notwithstanding, the review gives Oceania six of a possible ten points. UPDATE (6/18): The review is now available online.
‘Oceania’ release party and iTunes stream set for June 12th 8:23 pm // Thursday, June 7, 2012Posted by susan in chicago, contest, interview, news, oceania, radio.
Billy Corgan visited Chicago radio station WXRT this afternoon, where he spoke with drive time DJ Terri Hemmert. Video and audio of the interview are available at WXRT’s website. Corgan and Hemmert discussed the evolution of the Smashing Pumpkins’ ongoing Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, and their upcoming album Oceania. Of that album, he said “coming up here [on the] 12th it will be available to be heard on iTunes, and on the 19th it will be up for sale.” He also announced an “Oceania Cruise,” to take place on the waters of Lake Michigan on June 12th. The lucky fans chosen for the cruise will be treated to a private Oceania listening party with the Smashing Pumpkins, and perhaps a brief live performance by Corgan as well. Fans can win tickets in at least two ways: by texting “PUMPKINS” to 59393, or by posting an essay to Facebook and asking their friends to comment and “like” it.
UPDATE (6/11): The essay contest winners have been announced.
Corgan on ‘Oceania’: “Pretty weird, but it sounds really good” 11:41 pm // Thursday, May 31, 2012Posted by apm in billy corgan, interview, oceania, resistance pro, teargarden by kaleidyscope, wrestling.
Billy Corgan was interviewed by Major League Wrestling’s Mister Saint Laurent in a podcast that was published Thursday. The 40-some minute interview (prepended with perhaps the longest intro music in the podcasting history) mostly touched on Corgan’s work in organizing his Resistance Pro wrestling organization, his childhood love of pro wrestling, and his rediscovery of his love for the sport late at night channel surfing in a Florida hotel room. (more…)
Corgan: “I’ve already talked to Flood” about the ‘Machina’ reissue 12:42 pm // Thursday, April 26, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, G.L.O.W., interview, machina, machina 2, news.
David Swan of Australian live music site Faster Louder has released a new interview with Smashing Pumpkins head Billy Corgan. Corgan discusses topics including his in-progress memoir, recording music with his love interests, the legacy of Zeitgeist, and the themes of the Pumpkins’ upcoming album Oceania.
Swan queried Corgan about the status of the upcoming Machina reissues:
Machina II is a brilliant album, have you ever thought about releasing it properly, maybe when you re-issue the others?
Yes. Our sell-out move, for Machina, is we’re going to remix the whole record and put it in its official sequence the way I’d hoped for in the beginning. I wrote it as a rock opera double album type of thing, so we’re going to remix the whole thing. I’ve already talked to Flood, and he’s been indicating he wants to be involved with that part of the process, and then we’ll finally finish the album, the way it was meant to be.
On how to describe different eras of Pumpkins music:
Is the sound [of Oceania] a new direction for you or is it harking back to earlier stuff?
I can describe what people are saying, but I don’t really get into the sonic part because every time I say anything like that it turns into like a ‘oh, we made this kind of album’. How I describe my music never seems to be the way people hear it. I was listening today to a couple of old songs because we’re getting ready for the tour, just to see if I wanted to play them live, and a song I listened to was the song we did called G.L.O.W. And G.L.O.W. to me sounds like it could have easily been Mellon Collie, it sounds like it could’ve been on Machina, and yet because a lot of people didn’t like the Zeitgeist period it just sorta automatically got lumped into something that it wasn’t. And I was surprised, going back and listening to G.L.O.W. today, like ‘Wow, this actually kinda sounds like classic Smashing Pumpkins to me.’ But my opinion doesn’t seem to matter in those things because people seem to need to make periods about something other than what it actually is. So if I play heavy guitar music with certain people in the room it sounds like this, but if I make the same type of music with other people in the room, it sounds like this.
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. (more…)
Teaser for James Iha’s music video “To Who Knows Where” 10:26 am // Thursday, March 15, 2012Posted by susan in interview, james iha, look to the sky, video.
James Iha’s official Japanese YouTube account has posted a video teaser for “To Who Knows Where.” The video is said to be inspired by the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie. According to Iha’s EMI Japanese artist website, the full video should debut next month; it was filmed in Joshua Tree, California earlier this month and directed by Adam Neustadter. His artist website also provides a link to CDJournal’s new interview with Iha; CDJournal also reviewed Iha’s new album Look to the Sky, which was released yesterday in Japan. Also, check out HU contributor 34′s first impressions of the album.
Billy Corgan at South by Southwest Interactive… live blogged 2:15 pm // Monday, March 12, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview, news.
I’m going to try to compile all of our Billy Corgan at SXSWi coverage here… as best I can. Bear with me as this post may through go changes throughout the day.
Last night, Corgan appeared at Google’s “Android House” at Lustre Pearl, a well known local bar and music venue. Although he was scheduled to go on there around 5 PM, but judging from tweets made at the event he was on closer to 10 PM CDT. Based on the tweets I’m seeing, Corgan made remarks that were critical of the recording industry and promoted his rediscovered love for the album. He was on the ”Google Play” stage, Google Play being the new name for Android Market, which Google is rebranding and rolling out new features for… I’m particularly fascinated by the Google Play Artists’ Hub. UPDATE: Watch Billy’s Sunday night appearance below.
Then today at 1 PM, Billy Corgan was interviewed by Shira Lazar for her “What’s Trending?” show. It streamed live so I know a lot of our readers watched it; feel free to discuss below. There are some choice quotes from Corgan available for your reading pleasure @WhatsTrending; Watch the full interview below.
Next up at 3:30 PM, the main event: Billy Corgan is to be interviewed by Brian Solis as part of an official SXSW panel. The room is already filling up. I’ll try to update this post with any major news items as they occur. I’m making a Twitter list of people at the panel, so follow away!
UPDATE: Oh dear readers, it appears that the panel has concluded and it sounds like this was truly an epic talk… please check out the Twitter list and @HipstersUnited for lots of choice quotes. I’ll try to get some kind of summary together soon, but I’m going out to see some SXSW band action myself tonight.
Career-spanning Corgan interview appears in Mojo magazine 11:44 am // Wednesday, February 8, 2012Posted by jjb in billy corgan, interview.
The February printing of also-online music magazine Mojo has reached us, and it includes an interview conducted with Smashing Pumpkins rocker Billy Corgan prior to the end of 2011. Phil Alexander of Mojo posits questions about all periods of the singer’s life from childhood to the present, and Corgan tells, quite graciously for the most part, about being fired from a Rush cover band at 16, learning to write songs by dissecting the Byrds and the Beatles at 19, and regretting today that he didn’t leave the Pumpkins in 1996 after the death of keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin.
Following is an excerpt from the interview in which Corgan tries to see himself in the way his bandmates must have seen him at age 26:
Phil Alexander: There was a lot of tension within the band. You thought the other three didn’t care enough, didn’t understand your drive…
Billy Corgan: You have got to put yourself in their shoes: you are in your twenties, you are in a successful band, there’s chicks, there’s dudes, everybody is having a good time, the other band is down at the pub having a party, and you’ve got to deal with this guy everyday saying, “No! No! No! Harder! Faster! More! Go! Go! Go!” It’s like, “How much more ‘go’ do you want?” You are in the UK, you are playing a sold-out show and everybody is singing along, and they are thinking, “Why is this guy pissed off? What is he pissed off about?” But I saw a lot of things going on. I saw hypocrisy internally, hypocrisy externally. I was dealing with all these things within myself. You’re dealing with record companies who just see you as having a temporary moment in time and I am thinking, “Now that I am through the door you are not getting rid of me so easily. I am a lifer. If I’ve made it from the bedroom, if I made it from daddy’s bedroom, to here, you’re not getting rid of me, and that means you, record critic, you, bandmate, you, audience!” It really was that for me, I didn’t have a life, I wasn’t raised to have a life, so even when you gave me a million dollars I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t go out and buy myself nice clothes. Why was I wearing a two dollar shirt that I got at the thrift store? It wasn’t one of those indie authenticity things. I didn’t give a fuck about that. I just didn’t know what I was meant to do.
Corgan sits for fan interview via Twitter 8:52 pm // Tuesday, January 24, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview, twitter.
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan answered some fan questions today, fed to him by Twitter Inc.’s @TwitterMusic account. Corgan filled us in on what time in history he’d take a time machine ride to, and even suggested baby names for one fan.
As far as his band’s plans for 2012, Corgan didn’t reveal much, but regarding the upcoming album Oceania did say that “a release date is imminent,” and he doesn’t currently anticipate any tracklist changes. He also said he was “open to returning to South America” after the band’s successful 2010 tour there.
Early 2012 Pumpkins media roundup 5:10 pm // Monday, January 16, 2012Posted by susan in books, god is everywhere from here to there, interview, resistance pro, rumor, studio, video.
We’ve entered a bit of a slow news period as the Smashing Pumpkins take some time off before kicking off what they’ve promised will be a busy 2012. This month bassist Nicole Fiorentino is working with her other band, The Cold and Lovely, while bandleader Billy Corgan works on his memoirs. (Guitarist Jeff Schroeder is presumably furiously trying to finish his dissertation.) I’d thought I’d try to compile some videos and articles you may have missed in the meantime.
This past Friday was the second event for Corgan’s nascent Resistance Pro wrestling company, during which Corgan crowned the company’s first heavyweight champion. Corgan did the media rounds yet again for the promotion, speaking mostly about wrestling and sports. The company has already scheduled its next event on February 17.
On the subject of Corgan’s spiritual memoir, tentatively entitled God is Everywhere From Here to There, we found out that Corgan hired the project research assistant he solicited for on Twitter back in the fall. Pumpkins fan and graduate student Lea Clyburn of Little Rock, Arkansas was hired for the gig, and spoke about her experience in an interview for University of Arkansas-Little Rock PR (Go Trojans!).
Ysanne Spevack, a string instrumentalist who contributed to a few Teargarden by Kaleidyscope songs and was a member of Corgan’s Spirits in the Sky, has been sending some hints to the Pumpkins fan community about her new kickstarter. She says that if she raises enough money for her own album, she’d like to record some songs for her friends.
Finally, Absolute Radio recently (I think?) posted this interview Corgan sat for back in November during the band’s tour of the UK (HT: @B_Wasteland). It appears to have been recorded between the band’s two Brixton shows on November 16 and 17. I particularly enjoyed this one. Though it doesn’t cover a ton of new ground, Corgan is in good spirits and also provides us with the proper pronunciation of “Oceania.”
The pace of news should hopefuly pick up soon; as we know from a post back in December on the website of Pumpkins’ drummer Mike Byrne’s other band, Bearcubbin’, the Smashing Pumpkins plan to reconvene in Lost Angeles sometime around the end of January. Oceania is still slated for a spring release; hopefully we’ll hear some news of that, and of the Pumpkins’ 2012 touring plans, in the next month or so.
Plans for Corgan’s Chicagoland tea house brewing 11:22 pm // Sunday, January 1, 2012Posted by susan in billy corgan, business, chicago, food, interview, news.
The tea house Billy Corgan alluded to in a mid-December tweet appears to be becoming a reality. In an interview with Eater Chicago, Corgan describes his intents for his latest business venture, stating that he is aiming for a retro 1930s French-Chinese vibe and hopes the tea house will become a hub for a diverse group of locals. Corgan reports being dissatisfied with the cultural offerings of his Highland Park ‘hood and hopes his shop will stand apart from the “cookie-cutter culture” of Starbucks. Corgan intends for the cafe to host events as well, saying, “It has a whimsical feel to it… it’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time in terms of space, but what we put into the space will change. My dream number is changing it 15 to 20 times a month where you’re inviting people to talk about film or have an open mic night.”
The tea house is to be located in the former US Post Office at 582 Roger Williams Avenue in Highland Park, an affluent Chicago suburb. The location is within Highland Park’s Ravinia neighborhood, perhaps best known for the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sharon Mackin-Norberg and her husband Tobias, proprietors of the Ravinia Wine Shop across the street from the tea house, will manage the tea house’s day-to-day operations. Mackin-Norberg sat for an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, praising Corgan’s eye for restaurant design and taste in tea, while further touting the tea house as a hangout for young people who want exposure to culture. The Sun-Times also spoke with Nancy Rotering, the mayor of Highland Park, who said of Corgan: “He has some unique ideas to bring more of a fun, cultural vibe to Highland Park. It’s neat that he wants to bring his creativity and his energy to our community.”
According to Eater Chicago, Corgan projects an opening date of around March or April for the tea house, which does not yet have a name. The Sun-Times article further suggests Corgan may perform the first live show in the space.
‘Siamese Dream’ featured on “Zane Lowe’s Masterpieces” 7:56 pm // Sunday, November 27, 2011Posted by susan in history, interview, radio, siamese dream.
We’re back from the holiday week here at HU, and wanted to point out that in case you missed it, Billy Corgan appeared on BBC Radio One last Monday to kick off DJ Zane Lowe’s Masterpieces for 2011. During the program, Lowe waxes ecstatic about Siamese Dream while attempting to place the album in its historic context. Interviews with Siamese Dream producer Butch Vig and Blink-182′s Mark Hoppus are also featured. (Since when do I care about what anyone from Blink-182 has to say about artistic merit? Blech.)
You can still listen to the interview streaming from the BBC’s website – at least for the next 20 hours.
Here’s a partial transcript of Corgan’s remarks about the end of his relationship with former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, which start around 50:30 in the program:
Zane Lowe: How can you guys not be in contact still? Even if you’re not making music, if you have that kind of spiritual kinship? That’s deeper than that! Isn’t it?
Billy Corgan: You know, we’ve all had — and this may sound a little bit strange, but — we’ve all had great romances in our life, you know? And, they don’t always all go the way we want them to. And it doesn’t mean we don’t love, and doesn’t mean we don’t think fondly of… But I think relationships run their course. Jimmy and I made so much incredible music together, so, you know, if we never play together again, that’s okay with me.
He — you know, I want to speak for him for a second, I feel I can — he wanted to have his own musical journey. He was always on my musical journey. And so I have to really bow my hat to him and say…I think it’s that time in his life where he has to have his own musical journey. He’s entitled to it. He’s earned that. I understand why a fan would want to see him play with me and play those songs. He did it. Maybe having his own band and having his own music experience and not having somebody sort of veto over his head what the drum fill should be…I mean, you’ve got to remember, as psychic as that relationship was, he had to deal with me going, “Nah, I don’t really like that drum fill.” You know, “Can you slow that part down?” Because as the songwriter you get to make the calls. And he was always so so supportive of my music, so, I can’t say a bad word about it. I just think we reached a point where there was nothing else to do, and that’s that. The ugliness part is just the part of…that just goes with breaking up.