SMASHING PUMPKINS' BILLY CORGAN Says He Has Been Portrayed As 'Crazy', 'Insane' And A 'Tyrant' By The Media
December 3, 2020
In a new interview with Tom Power, host of "Q" on Canada's CBC Radio One, SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman Billy Corgan was asked why he interacts so much with his fans on Instagram. He responded (see video below): "Well, on a very kind of simple level, as someone who's been portrayed by the media in a particular way, what I heard over and over through the years was, 'Wow! You're not the person that I read about.'"
Pressed about how he has been portrayed, Billy said: "I don't know… Pick your… Crazy, insane, tyrant — a lot of things. Now, are some of those things aspects of my character? I can say so. But I don't think you can be a successful artist for 30 years if you're insane. Clickbait articles — a lot of stuff like that. So I found that by doing my own media and talking to those people that are engaged with me every day, they kind of surreptitiously become part of the story and correcting the record and creating a narrative, which we live in a world of narratives. You only have to look at the political sphere to understand how narratives are incredibly important to how people come to their decisions. By creating a more positive narrative around myself in communion with those people who really support me on a daily basis, we can tell a different story.
"I grew up in a time where you had to talk to The New York Times, you had to talk to Spin or whoever, and if they hit you upside the head, you had to take it, because you needed those people to tell people that you had a new record out," he continued. "Now we live in a time where you don't really those people, and the rules around that type of engagement is changing. And so I think by doing your own media and commincating directly and being willing to be an imperfect person, which I am — 'cause I can be petty and I can be silly in equal parts — people come to their own decision about who you are and they come to their own decision about whether or not they wanna be loyal to your cause. It doesn't always work — I would say it only works eight times out of 10. But the eight times out of 10 it works, I think it's been a positive boon to what we're trying to accomplish here.
"It's a musical business here — we run a musical business," Corgan added. "We don't run a drama business, we don't run a clickbait business — we run a music business. We write songs and we produce records and we do concerts. And as long as people are supportive of that, we get to do more of that. That's all we've ever asked for."
SMASHING PUMPKINS' new album, "Cyr", was released on November 27 via Sumerian Records. The 20-song follow-up to 2018's "Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun." was produced by Corgan. It features founding members Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha, along with longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder.
The "Cyr" title track premiered in late August. A second single, "The Colour Of Love", came out at the same time. Variety said the two tracks are "effortlessly taking their place alongside a catalog of cherished SMASHING PUMPKINS classics."