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Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Says Rock Has Been Taken Over by ‘Posers’

Billy Corgan
Juan Naharro Gimenez, Getty Images

Billy Corgan has never been one to sugar coat his opinions on the state of music. That was the case yesterday (March 12) when the Smashing Pumpkins mastermind expressed his displeasure with the way the industry has evolved during an interview at SXSW.

Corgan took part in a one-on-one chat with author Brian Solis during the interactive portion of SXSW entitled ‘The End of Business As Usual.’ The musician held nothing back during their conversation in Austin, Texas, accusing budding rock stars of putting fame over art in today’s YouTube generation. Corgan feels he would have to set himself on fire on the video site to gain any kind recognition as a new act.

The Chicago rocker wasn’t done yet. He said young artists “have grown up thinking that being famous is the goal, not to be respected – not to be dangerous,” and compared them to prostitutes.

“You’re just the fresh stripper,” Corgan bluntly stated.

He was not surprised that much-hyped sensation Lana Del Rey bombed during her Saturday Night Live performance in January.

“It doesn’t surprise me that she crashed and burned, because she wasn’t ready for it,” Corgan said.

While the Smashing Pumpkins were part of the 90′s alternative revolution, Corgan was well aware that the system he was part of wasn’t perfect. “I knew I was being exploited,” he shared, “but there was a Faustian bargain to be made.”

“Don’t call it rock & roll,” Corgan says, referring to today’s music. “I was part of a generation that changed the world, and it was taken over by posers.”

In a twist of perspective, Billy Corgan was interviewed at the Samsung Blogger Lounge praising social media, which can be seen below. He says that the music industry has been painfully behind the curve when it comes to technology. Corgan sees the potential that social media has with connecting artists and their fans.

“There’s nothing wrong with technology,” says the alt rock icon. “It’s when technology is the story and not the artist, that’s the problem.”

Watch Billy Corgan’s Samsung Blogger Lounge Interview

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