BILLY CORGAN Explains Why He Asked People To Call Him 'WILLIAM'

May 3, 2023

During an appearance on a recent episode of "The Mistress Carrie Podcast", SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman Billy Corgan, who in 2017 released his first record under his given name William Patrick Corgan, was asked what he wants journalists and other members of the media to call him nowadays. The 56-year-old musician, who is a huge fan of pro wrestling and is the owner of National Wrestling Alliance (NWA),responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, the way I see it in my brain is Billy is like my stage name at this point; it's how everybody knows me. And for anybody who knows wrestling, we mostly in wrestling call people by their stage names. Even if I know somebody's real name, I'll still call 'em by their gimmick name. So, to use the term, 'Billy' is my gimmick name, 'William' is my real name. So if you call me Billy, great; I'll still respond to it and it doesn't bother me. But my friends call me William. And I've asked people to call me William, 'cause that's, I guess, what I'm comfortable with at 56."

He continued: "It's been kind of a funny journey how we got to William. But I kind of blame [American rapper, actor, record producer, and record executive] Puff Daddy. I thought it was kind of funny how he kept changing his name. So I was, like, 'Oh, I'm just gonna change my name and see what happens.' And it turned into this weird thing; people wrote articles making fun of me for changing my name from Billy to William, even though William's my real name. There were literally articles, like, 'Oh, he wants to be William now,' like I guess if I was being posh or something. So me being me, the wrestling promoter in me, of course I made it worse by adding to it. Now I'm William Patrick Corgan, which is my real, real name. That's what they call me in wrestling. But everybody calls me Billy. It's all good."

Before he released "Ogilala" under the name William Patrick Corgan more than five years ago, Corgan explained to Rolling Stone why he wasn't releasing music as Billy. "At some point, 'Billy' just gets kind of weird," he said. "I was obviously Billy in the band, but now I feel like that is somebody else. It's hard to explain other than it's like sometimes you just want to change up the wallpaper." In a subsequent TV appearance on "CBS This Morning", he said: "Once I saw that it irritated people, then I thought, 'Okay, I'm definitely going to do this.'"

SMASHING PUMPKINS's new album, "Atum", is set for release on May 5 and is the sequel to 1995's "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness" and 2000's "Machina/Machine Of God". Featuring 33 tracks in three acts, "Atum" was written and produced by Corgan over the past four years.

SMASHING PUMPKINS recently announced their 26-date North American "The World Is A Vampire" tour. Produced by Live Nation, the tour is set to start on Friday, July 28 at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. It will feature special guests INTERPOL, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and RIVAL SONS as support on various dates, as well as some of the world’s biggest champions from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA),who will be competing in most cities.

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