Billy Corgan Discusses How Fans Have Changed, His New Book + More
Last month, the Smashing Pumpkins released ‘Monuments to an Elegy,’ their third album since reuniting in 2006. Now, frontman Billy Corgan says the follow-up to ‘Monuments’ will be the last in their cycle of albums, ‘Teagarden by Kaleidyscope.’ Corgan says that when the band reunited, they expected to pick up where they left off, while continuing to move forward as a band. However, he says the fan base he returned to has changed more dramatically than he originally anticipated.
“Previously, we had been a band that just basically played live, whatever we wanted to. We never necessarily focused on our hits. We were really celebrated by our fan base for being adventurous,” Corgan said in an interview with Loudwire. “So coming back and realizing we were now facing what was essentially a 'greatest hits' crowd, that wasn’t going to change, then the changes in the music business and all that boring stuff.”
“It’s been an exploration to whatever it even means to be the Smashing Pumpkins anymore,” Corgan continued. “Considering everything that happens with the band is always in the shadow of a past that isn’t, from my perspective, isn’t even real. It’s more of people’s impression of the past than what actually happened.”
Corgan alluded that this dynamic may contribute to the perception of him as uncompromising to what fans and critics want of him.
“So you’re either a difficult artist who won’t get in line or you’re a compromising artist who’s going along with the party line of the day, which is just make the fans happy,” he added.
As for modern music, Corgan says as a songwriter he can’t objectively listen to what’s out there today.
“It’s part of the problem of being a songwriter. Once you go there you hear every song from the point of view of how the songwriter that you’re listening to is engaging you,” Corgan said. “It’s hard for me to listen to songs clearly anymore. I feel like that ship has sailed a long time ago. In many ways I don’t listen to popular music like I used to. I mostly just listen to classical music.”
In addition to their next album, the Smashing Pumpkins singer is also working on a book, which he says he’s “about 75-percent of the way through.”
“It’s more based on the idea of memory and how it changes the perspective of one’s life,” Corgan explained. “So it’s written more like a fable. It’s pretty honest in a way, but it does not talk about the things that most people would figure it would. It talks more about the inner relationships of my life as opposed to the public relations in my life.”