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Billy Corgan Says the ‘Walls are Coming Down’ During Future Shows

Billy Corgan
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Billy Corgan put on an epic, career-spanning acoustic show at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival last weekend and apparently nobody was more inspired by it than Billy Corgan.

In a post on the Panopticon, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman wrote a recap of the event and said it raised the bar for future shows:

Impressions from my end were the crowd enjoyed the panoramic journey of the set, and even our ability to uncoil what was stodgy; to show, I suppose, why from now on shows in any configuration: be they solo, SP acoustic, or SP rawk will be a can’t miss event. Because from here on out my entire song catalog will be open game. Or as I messaged one stalwart, the ‘walls are coming down.’ As we refuse to pander to the reductionist theory that fans want to hear less music, not more. I’m not talking about playing long for long-sake, I’m saying that the shows themselves need to be more dynamic, more vibrant, more everything if SP et al is going to compete (and defeat anything) in the technocratic era.

Corgan said he especially enjoyed the idea of using material from all of his projects — including his solo work and side-band Zwan:

Personally, I no longer desire to play into the idea that there is some difference between the differing periods of my music. For a Zwan song like OF A BROKEN HEART belongs next to DRUM + FIFE, and so on if it makes musical, emotional sense. New dynamics creating as such new vistas to explore, musically. Tours being shorter (overall) these days, we’ll try to tweak up more by eroding our own notions of what is possible. For as a smart journo asked me the other day, ‘what is the difference between these albums if you essentially wrote them all?’

The answer is self-evident…

As a solo artist, it’s my wish to explore the whole song catalog in the way they were written: More intimacy, sure, but also less weighed down by strum and drang of a rock show.

Corgan also said he’d like to record with the guest performers from the show including Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun of Ex Cops and vocalist-bassist Sierra Swan. “All said,  my favorite part of the evening was the quartet section with Amalie, Brian and Sierra,” he said. “Expect us to maybe record some music, Mama’s and Papa’s style. Yes, I just said that …”

Watch Corgan Perform ‘Of a Broken Heart’ During the Ravinia Encore

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Next: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Smashing Pumpkins


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