Billy Corgan Wants To ‘Find Peace’ With Original Smashing Pumpkins Members

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We have been busy transcribing a lengthy interview of Billy Corgan with Jennifer Weigel. We have released transcriptions regarding Donald Trump and Corgan’s views on social media and humanity’s future. These transcriptions so far have been based off of video recordings from a 9 part series released by Big Media Productions on YouTube, but we also found access to the entire two hour interview, with audience participation. Unfortunately, the audio quality of the full interview is poor and some sentences are just invariably lost to audible gargle. Here, we found a bit of Corgan speaking about the possibility of a full band reunion with James Iha and D’arcy Wretzky, Chamberlin included.

JW: “Do you think it’s time for a reunion, with the originals?”

BC: “Are you really asking me this question?”

JW: “I think it makes personally…but everyone wants to know that for some reason. I know that’s so not who we are now. I guess the question would be, would it make sense to sit down and have tea with either of them [Iha or Wretzky]? Because you spent so much time together, would you like to know who they are now?”

BC: “I know who they are…and they know who I am. When you spend that amount of time with somebody, of course they matured…I think the only way to answer every one of these questions is…I have no interest in doing anything that’s inorganic. I have people in my band now that I talk to…and they don’t want to talk to me and I don’t want to talk to them. If they try were lying on the side of the road, I would stop my car and bring them to the hospital, but we don’t send Christmas cards to each other. There’s no relationship. And so when you’re talking about the natural human instinct to find forgiveness and heal a relationship, I think that never ends. That’s a human thing, it has nothing to do with the band or people creating memories. The business of it all, I find quite gross…I think people rarely get out of those things [original reunions] what they think they’re gonna get. Because when a relationship breaks, and I would take it back more to something you’ve experienced in your family life or your romantic life, whatever, when a relationship breaks there are times it’s not gonna get any better. It’s what it was for what it was, underneath a particular set of circumstances…[inaudible]…There’s no temptation there for me. Strickly on my part I think it’s like, “Would I like to find peace?” Absolutely, of course. But beyond all the other stuff…I can’t even imagine that being able to watch.

Corgan also spoke on various aspects of the band’s past and his relationships to the music industry and audiences:

BC: “I didn’t get into this business I got into…to scream in an empty alleyway. I didn’t design this world [music industry], someone else designed it for me. They gave me a number and said, ‘Okay, now go stand over there.’ Now my natural, Eastern European gypsy spirit wants to kick everyone in the head in response, but it’s not an effective strategy anymore.”

BC: “Like when people would see us back in the day, they wouldn’t understand the combatant nature of the band or my verbal tirades and stuff like that. They didn’t understand it was performance art. We were purposefully pressing buttons being in a generation where they had it all figured out. When you try to engage someone with a different point of view, someone who assumes you align with them socially…and the minute they realize you’re not on their team or determine you’re not in their tribe, how quickly they turn. Generation X in particular led an incredible betrayal of values. The sellout, which was the word at the time, really is…the word of the generation. There has been far more selling out than buying in.”

Corgan has come a long way with this. Since the dissolution of the original lineup, there has been little talk between ex-bandmates outside of Chamberlin. But here, he shows a desire to make peace with them, which doesn’t equal a reunion. It means closure with people who were once part of his life and band, which is something a lot more important than a “reunion.” People will inevitably continue to criticize Corgan for anything he says. But the fact of the matter is, Corgan, Iha and Wretzky are human, not machines who play music for drooling middle aged people. Healing takes time. Respect that.