BILLY CORGAN Recalls Telling PANTERA To 'Shut The F*** Up' About METALLICA

June 16, 2023

Billy Corgan of SMASHING PUMPKINS recently appeared on SiriusXM's "Metal Ambassador" podcast hosted by Jose Mangin. During the interview, Corgan shared a previously unheard story about PANTERA. He said: "Let me tell you a story since we're talking PANTERA. So, they were having a big moment, obviously, during those [first] three [major label] albums. And I was backstage with them one day, and one of those mid-nineties [METALLICA albums] — might have been 'Reload' or something — METALLICA had come out [with a new album]. And there was a lot of controversy about where METALLICA was trying to go, and what happened to METALLICA, and are they still metal, and they're wearing makeup now or whatever. And [the PANTERA guys] were just going on and on about METALLICA. Not in a negative way — more like a confused, like, 'I love METALLICA, but I don't get it. And they're not metal. And what's going on?' And I literally said — and this is a true story; I don't think I've ever told this story in public — I raised my hands… And I knew them well enough that they would sort of listen to me. I mean, that's saying something. And I would say, 'You know what? Shut the fuck up.' And they looked at me, like, 'Did you just tell us to shut the fuck up?' And I said, 'Shut the fuck up.' Okay, so the room goes silent. And I go, 'Listen, set aside METALLICA for a second. Okay? You guys right now are the best metal band on the fucking planet, okay? Shut the fuck up. Worry about PANTERA. Just worry about PANTERA. METALLICA will work it out.' And they did, right? And I said, 'You just focus on PANTERA. You just focus on being the greatest metal band on the fucking planet.' And they all kind of looked at each other like, and they were like, 'Okay, he's complimenting us.' And then it was like, 'Okay, drink this horrible poison, you fucking alternative weirdo.'"

Back in 2014, PANTERA frontman Philip Anselmo talked about some of the records that have had an impact on his life for the "Discs Of Doom" article in an issue of U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine. Asked which album should never have seen the light of day, Anselmo replied: "I would have to say [1996's] 'Load' by METALLICA. I mean, it's a terrible record, man. I just don't get it. If you're gonna put out a record like that, just do a fucking side project or something, ya know?"

Anselmo first publicly criticized METALLICA's "Load" in 2003, when he slammed the heavy metal giants for touring with supporting acts like LIMP BIZKIT and LINKIN PARK and challenging them to a road duel, head-to-head on any stage, telling an interviewer, "Heavy metal lies in the underground and if they're worried about... Why in the hell would METALLICA be worried about ticket sales? Bring out some fuckin' good bands." He explained: "That was due to a conversation [METALLICA frontman] James Hetfield and I had years ago when I was talking to him about their new album. I think that was when 'Load' was out, and it kind of shocked everybody — everybody was freaked out." Anselmo elaborated in a subsequent interview, claiming that METALLICA never would have shared a stage with PANTERA in the U.S. "because they know what would fuckin' happen. We would fuckin' eat them alive! That's the end of the fuckin' sentence. We would crush 'em." METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich responded to Anselmo's challenge by saying, "Is he that desperate to tour? I love all these challenges. The ol' step it up...," and adding that Anselmo "has a tendency to talk a lot of horseshit most of the time."

Anselmo appeared to soften his tone by the time DOWN and METALLICA toured together in 2008, and two years later, Anselmo told Ultimate Guitar that he considered METALLICA to be "THE ROLLING STONES of metal" in terms of career longevity.

In a 2013 interview with Revolver magazine, Ulrich was asked what he felt was METALLICA's most underappreciated release. "I think 'Load' and 'Reload' [1997] are great records," he replied. "They are creatively on par with every other record we've made. Obviously, they're bluesier records, and at that time, we were listening to a lot of LED ZEPPELIN, DEEP PURPLE and AC/DC, and we had a different kind of foundation than records before or after. And I understand that there are people who couldn't quite figure out what was going on with the haircuts and the rest of it, and that's fine. But musically, if you strip all that other stuff away, if you just listen to the 27 songs — 'Load' and 'Reload' were intended as one double-record — it's a great collection of songs that is on par with everything else that we've done creatively. But, I mean, who needs another person to sit there and argue about, you know, fucking 'Carpe Diem Baby'? They are different records, but that was the intention. [Laughs] It's not like we sat there and thought we were remaking '…And Justice For All'. [Laughs] We are obviously aware of that. But I think personally there's great songs on both of those records and I'm very proud of those records."

Corgan previously praised PANTERA this past April in an interview with Revolver magazine. He said at the time: "PANTERA I got to see many times live. I knew the band back in the day. 'Dimebag' Darrell even gave me a guitar, which I treasure. PANTERA was one of those bands in the early '90s that not everybody on the alternative side of the equation understood right away because they were seen as just a straight-up metal band. But eventually I think a lot of people in alternative music recognized that PANTERA was one of those bands that sort of transcended genres. I think thematically and the way they changed metal and the way people played metal ever afterwards, I think it almost puts them in too small a category. And like the great metal bands, they tend to almost create their own category of music."

SiriusXM's "Metal Ambassador" podcast, hosted by Mangin, is available on the SXM app.

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS's new album, "Atum", was released 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.

Find more on Pantera
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).