|Clarification from my interview with Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune.
||[Dec. 9th, 2008|11:16 pm]
I enjoyed talking to Greg. He is a very well-liked and respected writer, and outside of one small misquote (I don't recall saying we needed to write songs like '1999'. I think I said '1979'), the interview is an accurate potrayal of my feelings. But let's be clear here. I never said I would never play any old songs ever again. That's just drama if that's what people hear, or want to hear. What I've said is that we aren't going to play most of those old songs any more because it locks us into permanent reunion band mode, and we are over it. For some fans to be upset at a band that plays 48 songs over 2 nights, the great majority of which are old, shows you the level of insanity we deal with. The word is called entitled. If they are entitled to demand, we are entilted to be who we are without reservation. There is no apology in that. We feel good, happy, and strong, and that should be the story here. Nobody owns us. We own us. Where is the happy ending of 'the band that once self-destructed is back and playing great and is looking forward to the future?'|
If you come see us on some crazy big tour you will hear a few familiar songs, because that is the right forum for it. But it certainly won't be the main focus. When we play small venues we won't be playing those songs pretty much at all cause that won't be the place for it anymore. But that doesn't mean we are even gonna play at all. It doesn't make sense to some now and we understand and we are ok with those that leave because they are stuck in some year from a different decade. We'll be fine without them. Thanks, and goodbye. Just remember us when we say 'I told you so'. Because we are on our way back, and that's that. (Insert smiley face right fucking here). As I said to some fans, if after 20 years we are one song, or one show away from losing your loyalty, good riddance then. We don't need that energy around us.
Our message has been consistent: don't ask us to do or be anything that will once again lead to the death of the band. The band's survival comes first. We can debate aesthetics and marketing platforms later. If you want us to fall away, fade away like some dust and relics it aint gonna happen. We are here to stay. We deserve to be here, and are proud of what we have gotten right thru the years. And we are truly grateful to those fans that trust us like family. The kind of extended family where you can make a mistake, say something not quite the right way, and still be welcomed home. There will never be anything wrong with flying too close to the sun.
God bless everybody here, BC
The band has not survived. After 20 years, you're one fake reunion past losing my loyalty. Good riddance to you, as well... I don't need the energy of your poser band around me, scarring the legacy of the real Smashing Pumpkins.
I don't get people like you. scarring the legacy of the real Smashing Pumpkins
There are new people, and old people are missing, but the main members are still there. How can you praise him for one song and hate him for another? This shit just doesn't make any sense. This legacy you speak of was created by the same person you're denouncing.
I don't see it that way at all. Also, so what if he happened to not have respect? I don't see why people think they deserve something from musicians or artists. Why can't you just be grateful that they made music in the first place and allowed everyone to be a part of it?
Would you go up to a person on the street and demand their undying respect and loyalty? Would you tell them how to run their lives, or how they should produce their art?
If Billy Corgan said fuck you to every single one of his fans, I'd still like his music. I'd still fondly remember being 13 and running for the bus in the snow, clutching my brand new copy of Mellon Collie.
You don't know him personally and he doesn't owe you or anyone anything. Even then, the point is he didn't say anything disrespectful.
I understand your need to keep saying this, but frankly I think you said this back when Zeitgeist was first released.
After all you had said back then I actually went to your concert here in Australia expecting to hear none of the old songs and was extremely happy that I did get to experience some of the songs I loved as a teenager live on stage.
Use those energies to write more songs, play more music and do anything else that makes you happy. We don't need clarification after clarification. Zeitgeist has its space next to Gish, SD, MCIS and all the rest and I don't think of any of them as valued any higher over the other. I am just happy to hear more from the Smashing Pumpkins and to see that your new album is doing well and will not be relegated to the "attempted comeback" drawer of history.
People will never understand you. You bust your ass for years to produce something meaningful, and selfish people will still complain.
Obviously I fell in love with the band's old music, but that's because that's all there was at the time. While I will always look back fondly on everything, I can also appreciate the present and the future.
Of all the albums I've bought in my life, the only ones I can specifically remember buying were the ones by the Pumpkins. I can remember what the weather was like, and who I was with.
It probably seems silly, but I remember my hands shaking from the excitement. My mother was a born again Christian so I had to hide all my music, but once everyone went to bed, I went into my closet to pull them out and listened to them all night.
The most miserable years of my life were a little better because of your music. How can anyone not be grateful for that?
That's great, but unfortunately the old songs are just BETTER than the new ones. Sorry buddy :)
This is exactly how I feel. I'd be perfectly happy to hear new material over old material, if it stood anywhere near in quality.
I don't really agree with the idea that the band 'owes' it to fans to play old songs; buying a ticket is a risk WHOEVER you go to see, and you're never guaranteed a setlist you want. But I do agree that if the band wants to leave the past behind them, perhaps a name change is a better idea. Then they wouldn't have to constantly confront all these expectations to play old material and lots of hits. I get that they want to do what they want to do, and it's fine, but not everyone is going to think that the new stuff stands alongside the old stuff in quality, and I don't think they deserve to be shunned for that opinion. We can be fans and still apply some critical thinking to their work.
I ain't going anywhere.
Edit: Wow. I posted this before reading the other comments, and I didn't expect to see quite this much rancor.
I can see both sides; I would like to hear old songs too, although some of them haven't aged as well. And I think Zeitgeist is a little more glossy, I guess, than what I had been hoping for.
But as an artist I have to come down on BC's side. David Byrne said something once about why he doesn't play old Talking Heads songs anymore, because he's a different person now. I could go back and do more versions of my best old paintings, but those paintings are from a miserable time of my life, and I'd make myself miserable continually repainting them over and over.
I don't know that I would put it in terms of "don't let the door hit you in the ass" like this post does [or I might, it depends], but in general, I agree with it.
Edited at 2008-12-10 01:10 pm (UTC)
opinions are like assholes. everyone has one. and that's fine and dandy.
but for a change, try and put yourself in someone else's shoes.
"Q So "Zeitgeist" was the last album?
A We're done with that. There is no point. People don't even listen to it all. They put it on their iPod, they drag over the two singles and skip over the rest."
So I must be the only person on the planet who, after falling into the album over a year after it was released, listens to Zeitgeist habitually and completely.
Last year in Phoenix the band opened with United States, and I thought, "Wow, I can't believe they're playing my favorite song first." Ya just never know. I think Zeitgeist was the best album since OK Computer. Stay fresh and keep up the great work.
...And I always said that I would follow wichever direction you take, musically. So You can't say that I'm not a loyal fan...
Man. It's gotta be so annoying dealing with all the lame-o haters on a daily basis. Kudos to you and SP for being able to keep some sanity and THANK you for doing your own thang.
As for the playing old songs, i would be so thrilled if you guys actually played a concert near me you guys could sing twinkle twinkle little star and i'd be the highlight of my year. ;p Kids in big cities take for granted the fact they get to see their favorite musicians at all. Silly, silly.
Who cares about the stupid fucking fans and what they want. People are selfish assholes, across the board.. including me, Billy Corgan, and your fucking mailman. Music and art are transcendent. I don't care if he never performs an old song again, just as long as he continues to create. Just as long as he stays true to his vision. It's a truly unique vision that more people should just give some thought. It takes courage to stand in front of that ocean of assholes, to keep performing even though people aren't going to get it. I respect that.
Besides, one day they'll all be old songs. =)
2009-03-24 04:56 pm (UTC)
Dude, I'm going have to ask you to not talk shit about my mailman.
Whatever helps you sleep at night, Billy. Have fun with your 15 minutes and your 15 year old fans. It's been fun.
all righty then.
You remind me of when Coca-cola decided to change their formula.
Although with them they decided to change the name and call it New Coke.
Then because noone liked the New Coke, they changed the name again to Coca-cola Classic.
And now they are back to just Coca-cola again.
Your band name Smashing Pumpkins is dead. You are telling your fans not to live in the past but you are doing that in name.
If you truly wanted to sleeve off your past, you should have changed your name. I've personally tried to like your new stuff
and i'm just not into it and that's ok. I understand that you don't want to play old songs because of whatever, but at the same time
it means you aren't smashing pumpkins either you are just Billy.
But I don't hate you for not wanting to be commercialized, that's what kills your spirit. You thrive on the negativity of the fans and that's what makes you a better musician. So even though i really don't like your new music its not like i didn't try and i look forward to hearing new songs that I might enjoy.
Your Negative Fan.
(Insert smiley face right here)
P.S. I think a song that sounded like 1999 from you would ROCK! (Insert another smiley face)
I think the issue here is the current tour is titled the "20th Anniversary" tour. Meaning, we want a career retrospective. Not 90% of the set being songs nobody's even heard.
i agree that fans should be more open to the band's new material. if you're going to a show and expect to hear geek usa and silverfuck, that's ridiculous. you can't just go to a smashing pumpkins concert and expect to hear JUST old songs... they're obviously going to play newer stuff too. i agree with billy when he says that only playing old songs will make them seem like they're just on a reunion tour and that's not it at all. yes d'arcy and james are missed and i will always miss them, but i like the new smashing pumpkins as well. i wish some people would stop being stuck in the fuckin 90s. those songs are all great and siamese dream is my favourite album, but that doesn't mean that i'm going to turn my back on new material.
i think everyone should stop being all pissed off with billy because he doesn't want to play that many old songs anymore. he's not going to do what you want. musicians play music because THEY enjoy it. it's not that he doesn't care about his fans, but he's not going to stop doing what he wants to do just because a bunch of fans are bitching about not hearing cherub rock at a show.
i know for one thing, i will always be loyal to the smashing pumpkins. they are my favourite band and i don't care what people think about billy corgan or the band as a whole. i love everything they do and i can't wait to see them in concert.
don't be an ignorant fan and turn on them just because they aren't playing the songs YOU want to hear. jesus christ.
billy, even though you don't read this, i want you to know that i trust you like family. because i know that no matter what, your music is going to be great and i'm going to enjoy listening to it for years to come.
2008-12-11 02:23 am (UTC)
If the new songs are as good as the old ones, then you have nothing to worry about. '99 Floors' and 'Sunkissed' and definitely in that league.
Regarding the old songs, all I ask is that when you're selecting which ones to revive, choose the ones you want to play rather that what you think the certain fans feel entitled to. Choose the ones that complement your new material and still have a personal and emotional relevance to you.
I trust you to make the right choices.
I think what you guys are doing is great. I love that you are trying to stay an ever evolving band as you recognize that you as individuals have evolved as well and are not stuck in the shadows of the past. I will forever love and respect the past, present, and future that is Smashing Pumpkins.
I'm still upset that there won't be any full length albums. I mean, I understand your idea with pushing singles instead of albums.. and thinking that people only buy 2 songs off albums and every other song goes to death.. but, I know you know your true fans do listen to all of your songs.
I just want to pop in a CD and listen to it in its' entirety. Sigh. I hope you guys change your mind on that. It is kind of radiohead-esque in a re-inventing music distribution kind of way.. I dig.. but still, I'm not a singles kinda gal.
Anyway, my favorite show, of all the shows I've been to this year, was by far the show at the Aragon. That was amazing -- thank you so very much.
People will always have a million different expectations of the Smashing Pumpkins. They really set the bar very, very, ridiculously high.. so that's what SP will always be measured up against.. those old songs made you amazing, but you're right.. you're not the same band you were back then. In fact, you're new, and I feel like your sound is even tighter. I'm excited and I can't wait for what's in store.
Ooooooooooooooow you're a meastro Sir Billy!!!! It tis always an honour to listen to anythang you do. I have watched, listened & read your art from the start ... always craving for what is coming next. Here's to you & yours Rock On!!!!
Revolution revolution revolution blues
Just wanted to write quick to say that I'm with you 100%.
Also wanted to say that I took a lot of what you had to say in your Fillmore documentary to heart, and you've inspired me to make practicing my guitar a priority. I'm no longer worried about the end result, so much as enjoying the process. I don't want to be a one-hit wonder. I just want to make music, and write it, and make it mean something to me. You've inspired me to do that, and I just wanted to let you know that it means a lot.
Thanks for your time,
-Matt of Ether Drift