|Pumpkins By Any Other Name
||[Jul. 13th, 2009|10:12 am]
Billy Corgan took it upon himself to post a response to Supervajra's recent article, "Pumpkins by Any Other Name." His response is below.|
I really appreciate this article, and I commend Supervajra for having the courage to write it. Addressing the 'who's in the band' concept on this website is not the easiest thing for anyone to do. Afterall, I am not really telling anyone much about what I am up to these days, and we are all a far ways away from what the cozy alternative music scene was like in the late 80's. I certainly didn't think when I started up with James Iha at my dad's house in 1987 I would be where I am today (musically, spiritually, emotionally).
The idea of identity is a strange one to tackle. For many years, I treated the idea of the band named The Smashing Pumpkins as an existential concept that exsisted away from my being and body. It was sort of 'over there', if you will. Jimmy leaving in 1996 made me deal quite heavily with the concept of loyalty to the 2 members who were left (James and D'arcy) as our relationships at that time were quickly drifting apart. And so on, and so forth, thru the different people coming and going. In the center of any of it has been for me, speaking personally, my music. Yes, MY music. The music that came out of this being and body. I've called the umbrella the songs came out under different names but to me I guess there really wasn't a whole lot of difference. As they say, a song is a song.
What the future holds is unknown to me. I am 100pct committed to the future of SP. I can tell you that. 100pct!! I've never been happier about being in SP, or a part of SP, than I am now.
The music I am making sounds like The Smashing Pumpkins. It doesn't sound like solo work, I can assure you of that. But only when you hear the music can you decide for yourself. I'm not worried, because I know most of you are rooting for me to get it right. I want to get it right, but not for you, for me. Its been a long journey to get back to where I started. There have been many sad days along the road, but honestly, these are really happy days.
We've all seen over the past 2 weeks what happens when a man loses touch with his hope, his spirit, and his music. The path I am on is one of feeling reborn by my love for my music. I wasn't really deep down sure I could get back here, but I am here.
I will never say to you what people say to me all the time, which is that 'I am the band'. I am not 'the band', I am just the leader of the band. I only want people around me who respect me and my music. I think that is a healthy thing to want, and is consistent with the ideas of holistic living. What would you say about me if I worked with people who didn't care about me or my music? Isn't that a form of selling out?
There is a lot of discomfort as we watch our world change quite quickly before our eyes. Familiarity breeds a sort of security, but it also breeds contempt. If you know anything about me, you should know you won't catch me. Smashing Pumpkins is not a concept 'over there' anymore. Its where it has always been. Right HERE.
Get it? Got it? Good! (Wrestling catch phrase from B.G. James)
Love always from one of my 701 personalities
I don't think the issue of the faculty of the Pumpkins is as important as the content. Since Smashing Pumpkins make music, I think a lot of fans are truly asking for the old sound, the old compositions to the same caliber. Some figure that certain personnel mesh better and make better art together, though Pumpkins fans should know about how difficult it was to control D'arcy, Jimmy and James during the Siamese Dream-Mellon Collie era (the peak).
Honestly, after hearing Zeitgeist, I have to say that the formula sounds a bit too tried and true, too McPumpkins. The songs don't have anywhere near the resonance, be it musically or lyrically. The production doesn't even sound as solid, either. Now, we all know that the starving and hungry are generally more desperate and emotional than the successful; it's just a fact that luxury softens the intensity of humanity.
Maybe that's the reality of stardom: you work your ass off to get to a certain plane, but since you work so hard to get there, every other bit of work afterward will remain a footnote comparatively.
(I wish Zwan would have worked out; musically it was very refreshing).
Agreed -- I don't think it's the old band or even the old style that people are looking for, but the caliber, as you say, of the SD/MCIS-era music. But (again, to reiterate what you've already said) I've noticed the same trend in many other bands as well: with time, the music becomes more polished, but also less visceral, less spontaneous, less real. It starts to sound more manufactured and formulaic, and even if in some cases it's technically better, it just doesn't have the same attraction.
I do like Zeitgeist, and I hope to like whatever Billy puts out next, too, but I think it would be hard for him to do anything now that would compare to what he did in the early nineties, simply because his situation is so different and, I'm afraid, less conducive to the kinds of passions we loved to hear in his early music.
Why do you want to get back to where you started Billy? It's kinda tough for you to walk forward when it seems all you're doing is looking backwards.
Awesome! SP by any other name would still be SP, but I'm glad you're committed to the name.
Wow, who made your icon *blink*
Love and light to you Billy, always. :)
Thank you i am awaiting all things from SP and yourself , over the years your music has always been a very important part of my life.
And appears in many of my best and worst memories it has been a comfort, a bright spark in an otherwise dull day and something to lose myself in.
Reading your blogs reminded me why SP is my most loved music. Your honest writing is most refreshing! Thank you for always giving me hope.
2009-07-19 09:42 am (UTC)
Your subtle references about MJ on your twitter page were a little ignorant don't you think? Perhaps innocent until proven guilty (And he was proven NOT GUILTY) doesn't exist in your little world? Sad.
Am I the only one who thought Adore was one of the best albums ever? Seriously, "Blank Page" is amazing.
The guy 'Supervajra' do have a lot of guts.
Your words Billy are words of comfort, and words like these takes me to new realms.
I started my dream with you in 1995, and I will forever be under your wings.
2009-09-30 01:06 pm (UTC)
There was no other way for me to reach you. Any way the address i´ve presented will only be mine for yet another month. I don´t want to use the internet, i want to wright a proper letter and send it. I wan´t to get away from these neon lights, i think it´s more appropriate to send it the old-fasioned way. So please send me an ordinary letter with your address so i can send you a reply. Lots of love Cecilija Lidberg
2010-03-13 03:26 am (UTC)
...barn’s burnt down…now I can see the moon. ~ Masahide
The greatest thing you've said is that you are HAPPY. Keep the light Billy, and don't read any more comments! ;-D
...barn’s burnt down…now I can see the moon.
2010-03-30 06:47 am (UTC)
I'm sure this is something you've heard a million times already, but I still want you to know, nothing can change the warmth, joy, and comfort given to me through your music during the loneliest, most uncertain years of my life. Having the courage to pour your heart into those songs and express your deepest, most personal feelings without apology gave me and many others the courage to accept and believe in ourselves. Also, knowing you came from a similar background in a town not far from mine gave me a role model and some kind of much needed father/big brother figure; a local (guitar) hero! We may not know each other, but you remain an important figure in my development as an early teen and as a guitarist. My sense of melody and harmony is permanantly imbued with that signature Corgan flair.
Anyway, my point is that no matter whether the critics are with you or not, if you're headlining the Rosemont Horizon (R.I.P.), or playing at a bar, none of that has any bearing on what you've done for us by having the courage to follow your heart and express yourself the way you really are. Thank YOU, Billy Corgan.