The Smashing Pumpkins will return next Tuesday with Oceania, their first proper album in nearly five years, but Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan is already making his presence known with a series of eye-opening interviews — including one where he claims to have “killed” the band’s backward-looking fans and a new chat in which he takes shots at the music industry and one of its most sacred cows: [artist id="1123"]Radiohead[/artist].
In an interview with Antiquiet, Corgan let it be known that he’s grown tired of a lot of things, chief among them an industry-wide “pomposity,” which values the contributions of newer artists over those that plied their trade in past decades, and then he provides an example of said pomposity to back up his point:
“I can’t think of any people outside of ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic who have both embraced and pissed on rock more than I have. Obviously, there’s a level of reverence, but there’s also a level of intelligence to even know what to piss on,” he said. ” ‘Cause I’m not pissing on Rainbow. I’m not pissing on Deep Purple. But I’ll piss on f—in’ Radiohead, because of … this value system that says [Radiohead's] Jonny Greenwood is more valuable than [Deep Purple's] Ritchie Blackmore. Not in the world I grew up in, buddy. Not in the world I grew up in.
“So I find myself defending things,” Corgan continued. “Is Ritchie Blackmore a better guitar player than me and Jonny Greenwood? Yes. Have we all made contributions? Yes. I’m not attacking that. I’m attacking the pomposity that says ‘this’ is more valuable than ‘that.’ I’m sick of that. I’m so f—ing sick of it, and nobody seems to tire of it.”
Also on the list of things he’s f—ing sick of: music journalists who have repeatedly tried to typecast him throughout his career. And, not surprisingly, on Oceania, Corgan said he’s ignoring all of that and just going for broke — armchair psychologists be damned.
“Musically, I’ve done riskier things. I knew what I was doing. I was conscious. … But it’s really hard to produce great work if you don’t open up that part of your heart that just doesn’t want to be opened,” he said. “It requires a level of honesty and vulnerability that’s just really uncomfortable, certainly at 45. Because I’m just tired of hearing it. I’m tired of hearing who I am. … From ’89 on I’ve had people tell me who I am. And they pick my personality as if it’s a one-or-two-dimensional thing, and I’m more like a tetrahedron.”
What do you think of Corgan’s opinions on music? Let us know in the comments!