SOUNDGARDEN GUITARIST KIM THAYIL SAYS SMASHING PUMPKINS IS ‘A BILLY CORGAN SOLO PROJECT’

Published On January 18, 2013 | By Brett Buchanan | Featured, Grunge Report, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden

Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil responded to Billy Corgan’s accusations of Soundgarden’s reunion being a cash grab in a new interview with The Phoenix:

“There’s a lot of other bands; Alice in Chains came back a few years before us, Smashing Pumpkins -– I guess that’s not really Smashing Pumpkins, it’s just a Billy Corgan solo project with a bunch of new guys, right? But there were a lot of bands that became active again, Pavement became active again,” Thayil says. “I don’t know what it is; maybe when we were broke up we were all younger and everyone grew up and realized there’s sort of a lull as far as interesting popular music -– in my opinion.”

“When we started touring and we put out [compilation album] Telephantasm, there were some reviews that said, ‘Oh, well Soundgarden is obviously doing a cash grab.’ I thought, ‘Cash grab? How is it a cash grab? Since when is there money in making records anymore [laughs]?’ I mean, playing Lollapalooza was a one-day payday but… and by the way, since when do we need the money? We’re not like the Afghan Whigs or Pavement, we had a fairly successful career,” Thayil says before getting further heated. “Matt Cameron played in Pearl Jam for god’s sake! What the hell does he need to spend another, you know, 20 hours a week dedicated to writing and rehearsing Soundgarden songs and tending to Soundgarden business? He’s doing just fine thank you.

“I think for Matt it’s really just a labor of love and it’s a great creative outlet for him. He wanted to see [bassist] Ben [Shepherd] and I playing again and Chris and writing new Soundgarden songs. I don’t think Chris needs the money, it seems like he did pretty well with Audioslave and his solo career. When people said ‘cash grab’ I said, ‘Huh?’ I’ve been semi-retired. I didn’t need the money; I guess if I needed to I could’ve started a band and toured a whole bunch.”

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About The Author

Bio: Brett hosted the BWR podcast from 2004 to 2009, interviewing pro wrestling, MMA, and entertainment stars like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rob Van Dam, Christian, Danny Bonaduce, and DDP. Brett opened GrungeReport.net in May 2009. The site changed its name to AlternativeNation.net in June 2013. Brett also owns Concertfy.com. Reach out to Brett at; brett (at) alternativenation.net

56 Responses to SOUNDGARDEN GUITARIST KIM THAYIL SAYS SMASHING PUMPKINS IS ‘A BILLY CORGAN SOLO PROJECT’

  1. Spoonman says:

    kim is such a badass

  2. Tastes Grungey says:

    Smashing Pumpkins has always been a Billy Corgan solo project.

  3. NevertheMachine says:

    The cold hard truth… thank you Mr. Thayil

  4. Jhon says:

    Kim rules.

  5. Triz says:

    The Ugly Truth

  6. Joe says:

    Billy got owned.

    Kim is totally right.

  7. Deviate says:

    Kim is the shit.

  8. Andrei says:

    And the sky is blue.

    And the water is wet.

  9. Joe says:

    I just don’t think Billy Corgan likes that all these bands can get back together , sell 150,000 copies a week of a new album, and then go headline festivals all over the world, while he is busy playing to tiny clubs and theaters that are half full.

    So he calls them sellouts. Says their music isn’t as good as it was. Says they are rehashing the past, thinking that maybe the press will help his own career.

    Meanwhile all of the bands he trashes are just like “We’re rich, we don’t need the money, and our fans still show up because its the original band”

    Billy can’t compete with that

  10. Yo says:

    I get what Kim is saying about the Pumpkins. It was truly Jimmy and Billy. Jimmy was the “Smashing” as he smashed the shit out of the drums and Billy is the Pumpkins as he’s fat and as adorable as an old pumpkin. Now it’s only the Pumpkins!

  11. Butthead says:

    The Smashing Pumpkins are not a solo act. The music has always been played and recorded 100% by Billy and Jimmy. I As long as Billy Corgan is at the helm, it will always be the Smashing Pumpkins. And King Animal sucked and felt more like a cash-grab, then a record folling up Down On the Upside.

  12. Andrei says:

    @Joe

    Where did you get that number from, Joe?

    KA sold 80K in first week, not a lot more than Oceania. And Oceania didn’t have a single on the radio.

  13. jjc19461 says:

    @Butthead,I believe Billy is providing “Happy Endings” at his Tea store for extra interest/revenue. Fuck off.

  14. Jorge Delou says:

    Up ur ass Mr. Corgan!

  15. Shadow on the Sun says:

    Oh snap! Corgan just got served. Lmfao

    Kim is awesome, there is no rebuttal to this. Game. Set. Match

  16. Butthead says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love both bands, but one of these guys put a great album, while the other put out material that was weak sauce. Billy wins here.

  17. Eu says:

    Finally, the truth.

    Billy Corgan = Diva
    Courtney Love = Diva
    Axl Rose = Diva
    Noel Gallagher = Diva

  18. Sonic_Junkie says:

    How exactly did Billy get owned by Kim? The Pumpkins have always been his baby. He writes all the songs. That was true in 1989 and is true in 2013. By the way, Oceania is a better album than King Animal. I love Soundgarden but the music speaks louder than any interview.

  19. Andrei says:

    ^ THIS.

  20. mandingo says:

    Fair play Kim ! You da man !

  21. Butthead says:

    Amen, Sonic Junkie. SP haters need to do some research.

  22. Reality Check says:

    These are the facts:

    -Oceania is not better than King Animal.

    -The Smashing Pumpkins were far bigger than Soundgarden back in the 90s, Billy should be far richer than all of the Soundgarden members put together.

    -Soundgarden are back because Chris Cornell solo career was down in the shitter and he tried to revive it with a commercial pop album with Timbaland that bombed, the only way he could be relevant again was Soundgarden.

    -Billy Corgan used the Smashing Pumpkins name again after forming a new band that was a commercial failure and after releasing a solo album that nobody paid attention to, the only way he could be relevant again was The Smashing Pumpkins.

    -Right now, Soundgarden are slightly bigger and more relevant than The Smashing Pumpkins because they have just released a new album after many many years with all of his original members (or at least the ones that were famous, I know Ben wasn’t their fist bass player). If Corgan had reunited the original SP members and had released a really great album with a few hits, the Pumpkins would be probably bigger and more relevant than SG now.

    -Billy Corgan is, has always been, and will always be an egomaniacal douche.

  23. Spoonman says:

    ^^^^wow that was the smartest thing i have ever read on this site. thank you

  24. mAn says:

    @Reality Check

    - And you have not the truth

  25. Raj says:

    Axl Rose reuniting with Slash and the other members of the old line-up to do a major world tour to fill stadiums would be a cash grab. Guys who hate each other come back for money.

    Newsflash to Billy, Alice in Chains and SG members don’t hate each other, they came back for the love of the music, it’s the only thing they know how to do and do it well. They came back because they missed it.

    According to Wiki SG has sold 22.5 million albums worldwide and Alice in Chains has sold around 25 millions albums. Trust me, they don’t need the money. Mostly everyone is off of drugs and even in their heyday these guys are humble and don’t live extravagant lifestyles.

  26. Elle says:

    Yea for Thayil!! taken no bull from Billy Baldy :)

  27. Brett Buchanan says:

    If Corgan was smart he never would have dissolved the Pumpkins name in 2000, and Zwan would have just been another incarnation of the Pumpkins. By doing that he created the expectation from fans for James Iha to be there when the band reunited since he was there from 1987-2000. I don’t care as much about James and D’arcy not being there, but Jimmy not being in the band really sucks.

  28. Goodmotorfinger says:

    I like that Kim spoke his mind and attacked all the bands he felt the need to attack. What’s the point of an interview if you can’t speak your mind? Now the SG fans on here can’t bitch about other artists who do this, because Kim & Chris do the same thing. Seriously, the SG fans here are so defensive, and I don’t get it. I have a great time with fellow SG fans at shows, and they never seem to bitch like the fans here. Essentially, “SG can do no wrong, and everyone else who says otherwise sucks.” Soundgarden has had a great career up to the personally disappointing King Animal, and I expect their next album will be superb just like the few albums they released before their break-up. Rock on, Kim.

  29. Iso says:

    YES!
    Sorry Butthead and Andrei- but eat the shit. The whole thing. Billy just got served the fuck back on a silver platter. Yes, he did. Schooled. Owned. All his whiny-ass shit just got rammed the fuck back down his throat by a Mr. Kim Thayil. Corgan The Cock. Should’ve kept his HOLE SHUT. It would’ve all been fine had he written, recorded, played live, and kept doing that. Stuck to his craft. But no, he simply couldn’t resist being a DICK. Butthead and Andrei can cozy up to Billy in bed, go right ahead. All your weasely little assholes just got pushed the fuck in. Deal.

  30. fsh says:

    Agree with Brett. Jimmy’s drumming is missed.

  31. Iso says:

    And my mother is a cunt.

  32. Mr. Spiderman says:

    WHAT KIND OF ASSHOLE IS THIS? YOU DONT CRITICIZE THE AFGHAN WHIGS MANY FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSS 2 U KIM THAYILS

  33. Butthead says:

    And my mother is also a cunt.

  34. Inmytree says:

    Lame-ass Soundgarden bashers, Andrei talks shit about anything that isn’t Alice in Chains (if he likes the band this much you’d think he wouldn’t be so threatened by Soundgarden and their superior musicianship) and these other people are just mentally challenged. Kim is right and everyone knows it. And I like Oceania. Its a solid album and so different form King Animal that its hard to do a reasonable comparison. Oceania has some brilliant moments and some filler. King Animal is solid the whole way through.

  35. paulonious says:

    I love Oceania. King Animal is awesome. Two very different albums. Enjoy both for different reasons.

    Billy Corgan is a whiny douche bag.

    Kim Thayil speaks the truth.

  36. Hailey says:

    Kim Thayil, speaking the Gospel once again… Smart, buddie. Smart.

    I totally agree, 100%.

    The Smashing Pumpkins have had wonderul albums, and Billy is an amazing writer at times, but I love absolutely everything Soundgarden has put out, ever. They ended only a year after I was born, but i don’t believe many other modern rockbands compare… Not even close. They have always been solid. Unlike SP, the whole band is aloud to have their input in the writing process, and it had always turned out quite amazingly.

  37. Frogboy says:

    Nine Inch Nails = Trent Reznor

  38. Alternadude says:

    Oceania is truly much better than King Animal which I love too. Pretty much all that matters. I Get Kim’s point though.

  39. Eu says:

    @Reality Check

    You are a profet
    I’m according with you and the facts to the 100% level

  40. Alternadude says:

    @Inmytree fillers on Oceania? Not in my book…
    3-4 of those on King Animal though.

  41. Shadows Collide with People says:

    God I love Kim sense of humor! He never takes anything too seriously. He is such quiet leader on stage. Very underrated. At one time, Billy Corgan was a great artist at one time, however, that all seemed to change when he become lost in his own world of jealous insecurities.

  42. Shadows Collide with People says:

    Let’s give that another try shall we, hahaha

    God I love Kim’s sense of humor! He never takes anything too seriously. He is such a quiet leader on stage. Very underrated. At one time, Billy Corgan was a great artist, however, that all seemed to change when he become lost in his own world of jealous insecurities.

  43. Inmytree says:

    @ Alternadude:
    One Diamond, One Heart is obnoxious, The Chimera is Pumpkins by numbers, and Inkless is dull. Some people rave about these songs but I don’t see it. Glissandra isn’t that great either. First half of the album is stupendous, and then it peters out.

  44. Alternadude says:

    @Inmytree
    One diamond, one heart is a chef-d’oeuvre and I love Inkless and Chimera. Maybe Glissandra is a but weaker but still has its place. The most concise and best album since 2000 for me.

  45. Jackyjackjack says:

    Why can’t we all just sit back and smoke a spliff?

  46. Alternadude says:

    Yup NHL hockey and a spliff.

  47. Fuzzmo says:

    King Animal and Oceania are both pretty weak releases to be honest… Oceania is pretty bland and boring for the most part… Theres maybe 3 good songs… Pretty much the same with King Animal…

    At least with Soundgarden the musicianship (instrumentally atleast) is as strong as its ever been… You can’t say the same about the Pumpkins… Corgan failed miserably with finding a drummer who could fill Jimmys shoes.

  48. Monster Robert says:

    Well said Kim

  49. Muttlegs says:

    Kim is the man but I think the argument that it is not a cash grab because they already have cash is a bit weak, a bit like the album really…

  50. Big Dougie says:

    Oceania or whatever that new pumpkins album is called, is absolutely terrible. King Animal might not be Superunknown, but it’s got a handful of really good songs on it and is a good listen.

    Corgan shouldn’ve come out with Zeitgeist as a last hurrah and called it a career. That album was very solid, but he’s a washed up hack now. Saw him on an interview on the CBC and he was so boring, spouting cliché’s.

    Soundgarden still rocks hard, can’t wait for the concert on Friday! (Toronto)

  51. jesus says:

    are you ok with that, corgan?

  52. Is he one? says:

    Crazy people around here. Oceania is the best album from 2012 by far. You should all appreciate that.

    Yeah I like King Animal but it’s in no way nearly as good as Oceania.

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  55. cocksucker says:

    thayil is the man, but i agree with one guy here he gave a lame argument this time, saying that they dont need the money…. as far as King Animal is concerned, I think it was a shitty album. I am a Soundgarden die-hard fan but I had to speak the truth here….. billiy forgan may have sold more albums but i give a shit , justin bieber sells millions of albums too and we all know it’s shit, so let’s talk about quality not numbers, please

  56. cocksucker says:

    soundgarden – the bread and butter of the soul

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