April 29, 2023

You might not guess it listening to SMASHING PUMPKINS, but Billy Corgan is a serious metalhead. After all, he calls BLACK SABBATH's Tony Iommi "my hero." Revolver recently sat down with Corgan to discuss his Top 11 picks for the greatest heavy metal bands of all time, and he dug deep, spotlighting everyone from PANTERA and SLAYER to MERCYFUL FATE and RAINBOW, sharing stories and insights along the way. Watch below.

Regarding PANTERA, Corgan said: "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."

Corgan called SLAYER "probably my favorite all-time super-heavy band. But, in a way, it's almost impossible to say that because, as somebody once told me, SLAYER makes SLAYER music. Calling SLAYER heavy, hard rock or metal — only SLAYER sounds like SLAYER. So I think they always need a category unto themselves. I was lucky enough to see SLAYER twice on their last, I guess, farewell tour. I think I saw the fifth to last show in Romania. And I saw SLAYER in 1984 on the 'Reign In Blood' tour. [Editor's note: 'Reign In Blood' was released in 1986.] I was by myself with my goth hair; believe it or not, I once had goth hair. It was a little bit scary in there at the Aragon Ballroom during the 'Reign In Blood' tour. But what an incredible band. I mean, what do you say?"

Corgan called Iommi "my hero" in an interview with Kerrang! magazine last year, saying: "Tony wrote those riffs that, when you hear him, it's like a movie. In my mind, I always call it 'Cosmic Sabbath. When I would listen to SABBATH, I felt like I was peering into the universe. That's the way it made me feel, even as a little kid."

THE 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.

THE 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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