Billy Corgan On Smashing Pumpkins’ Determination To Keep Rock Alive

Bihter Sevinc

Speaking to Jen Eckert of Soundcheck in a recent conversation, Billy Corgan discussed how Smashing Pumpkins dedicated itself to the survival of rock music.

The ‘1979’ singer initially talked about the shift that digitalization brought to the music industry, saying:

“We’ve faced a sort of economic, cultural change with music going digital that really changed the unbroken narrative for about a hundred years of how people released and consumed music. And the fact that catalogs are more present with the click of a button, I think, puts bands in a different situation as far as how to reach an audience.”

Referring to the importance of innovation in rock music, Corgan continued:

“So I think there’s less emphasis in rock on innovation and more on sort of keeping your spot — my own band aside, where we’ve kind of pushed to continually innovate, even at the dismay of our fans. So it’s hard to say. Yeah, it hasn’t really evolved the way it would’ve, but that would’ve required a different world.”

The rocker returned to the issue of digital media and explained:

“And, obviously, when the Internet became the thing, when digital media became the thing, it changed everything — it changed journalism, it changed politics. So it’s to be expected.”

Billy also reflected on the rise of alternative music, stating:

“When the alternative thing started, it was kind of very much from the underground. So the first wave of it was, like, ‘Who’s in? Who’s out?’ And then there seemed to come this second wave. And we, as the first wave, kind of looked around and said, ‘Who are all these other bands and where are they coming from?'”

He lastly added:

“Of course, it was a generational moment, and it was to be expected, but at the time, it seemed like a bunch of people jumped into grunge, flannel shirts, and suddenly everybody’s rocking out and kind of doing what we were doing only a few years before. So we treated, I think, people in that second and third wave as sort of interlopers.”

In other news, Corgan has been on the road with his band since late July for their North American summer tour. They have a few dates left, as the final show will take place on September 9.

You can see a small part of the interview below.

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