Billy Corgan Reveals How He & Pearl Jam Dealt With Annoying Hipsters


Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was interviewed on Secrets of the Sire radio, and he discussed dealing with hipster journalists in the 90’s.

“Unfortunately for us as a band, I know it sounds strange, but we grew up kind of in a bubble in Chicago. Even though it’s a major city, it was very disconnected from the music business. So because we didn’t know anybody in New York and LA, and I don’t mean just people in the music business, I’m talking about the cool guy from the Village Voice or something.

So when we showed up in the international corridors of media: LA, New York, London, Tokyo, we were literally aliens. We were like from another planet playing a style of music that they didn’t understand, they didn’t respect the resources or influences. The fact that we were quoting Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, UFO, Cheap Trick, and 7 Seconds was beyond their pale. We weren’t checking the right boxes on the cool ‘you have the right influences’ list.

Back then everyone would say, ‘Oh I love Sonic Youth.’ It was like the standard answer you got, you said to a music critic to let them know you were cool. Because we offended those people, we immediately entered this weird buzzsaw of, ‘Well who are you, and what are you doing here? Why are you piggybacking on our precious scene?’ Of course you saw those same stresses and agendas put on Nirvana Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Courtney Love, Hole. They all got the same thing, we just got a particular version of it.”

  • Corndog

    “Back then everyone would say, ‘Oh I love Sonic Youth.’ ”

    Back then i would say Sonic Youth are shite. I’m still saying it.

    • Stone Gossardish

      It’s really hard to argue that it sounds good, is melodic, and is enjoyable. I have to agree w/you there completely.

      • Corndog

        Never saw the appeal of that band. People just seemed to think that it was cool to claim to like them.

        • Stone Gossardish

          It got to that point at a certain time, probably around 2000 or so.

          I remember they opened for Pearl Jam and famously said “it’s nice to be in East Virginia.” Not exactly the smartest group.

          • person

            that was a joke…..Teenage Riot is a good tune……that’s about it from SY

  • Backdoorman

    Nirava were friends of Sonic Youth

  • Michael Dolce

    Appreciate the link back to the site – big thrill interviewing Corgan. He had a lot to say on a lot of issues

    • Joron Ross

      Wish he would stop the endless whining…