It’s been well documented that Billy Corgan is the only original member of Smashing Pumpkins, and has been for awhile. Because he’s the only one left, and because he’s continuing to put new music out under the band name, the lead singer realizes there are some who will never consider any music he puts out now as Smashing Pumpkins as a legit band album. “I deeply don’t care,” he said in a recent interview. “I’m in Smashing Pumpkins no matter who’s around me.”
Corgan along with guitarist Jeff Schroeder, drummer Mike Byrne, and bassist/vocalist Nicole Fiorentino just released a new Pumpkins record called Oceania, a 13-track album that’s part of their grander 44-song work-in-progress Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. The album has been well-received, and debuted at #4 on the charts so the notion of Corgan being the original member seems irrelevant anyway.
Likening Pumpkins to the wrestling word — which is quite fitting since he’s the mastermind behind Resistance Pro Wrestling — Corgan said fans will still watch Ric Flair now even if he’s not in the Four Horseman. It doesn’t change who he was or is. In any event, Corgan said he’s extremely proud of the latest album, and spoke with me on its merits, the state of Smashing Pumpkins, and music in general.
Q. Before we get into the new album and everything, Adam Yauch’s death hit me pretty hard being a big Beastie Boys fan. I know you knew him — can you share some words on MCA?
A. I certainly don’t want to play myself off as a friend, but I did intersect with him, and we had good conversations. We talked about spiritual matters: Tibet and just more pragmatic spirituality. He was a humble, soulful person and I was surprised by that. We all get caught up in that. In rock and roll, you rarely meet truly soulful people. He was very truly one of them.
Q. You released this album without a lead single and music video. Was it therapeutic in a way to just focus on the album as a whole without any pressure? Continue reading