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Billy Corgan on Quitting Twitter: Social Media Creates ‘Empowerment of the Mob’

Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has never had a hard time sharing his opinions, but the former avid Twitter user quit the social networking site last year and recently told Rolling Stone he hasn’t looked back.

Corgan said “I’m not a big fan of social-media models that take a lot from people who have notoriety and don’t give a lot in return. I think Twitter, in particular, has been a really poor model in terms of return.”

He said representatives for Twitter actually called him after he quit the site and offered to help, but Corgan believes “a model like Twitter has really ultimately been anti-celebrity.” He said, “You can make that argument across the entire social-media spectrum. I think ultimately artists are gonna figure out how to take advantage of the opportunity to talk people in a very direct way without having to deal with this empowerment of the mob.”

Corgan did concede that online avenues like Twitter can work well for a “very, very select group of people” who say “edgy” things just to go viral. “You have to be over the edge,” he said. “If that edge is part of who you are in public and the public celebrates you for being over the edge, fine. At this point in my life, where I’m a father now and I’ve obviously spent a lot of time rebuilding my musical life to something that I’m proud of, getting on there and getting into Twitter fights just seems beneath my position.”

In the same interview, Corgan opens up about Smashing Pumpkins’ upcoming In Plainsong Tour, where they’ll play stripped-down versions of tunes from their entire catalog. “We’ve organically stumbled into a new way to play,” Corgan said. “Although I know that no matter how many interviews I give where I explain it, there will be some guy in the back of the room going, ‘Why are they not playing “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” real loud?'” Read the full piece here.

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