Billy Corgan Reveals Why Kurt Cobain ‘Was A F*cking Assassin’


Lars Ulrich recently interviewed Billy Corgan on It’s Electric. Below is a transcription highlight.

Billy Corgan: When we would first go to New York or Los Angeles or London, we would get treated a certain way and it was really confusing to us because we grew u very working class. So hard work was, that was just what you did. It was like work or die. So, we would go to like a place like New York, it’s like, “You guys are too into this.” Be like, like, like, we would get castigated for, for working too hard, you know?

I remember Courtney Love calling me once and saying, “Your first album is unfair because it sounds like a second album. Like you guys work too hard. The solos are too good.” You know.

And you know, Metallcia had that, too. They said like an ambition. That was almost like, that some people would Kind of scoff at. And I’m thinking….

LU: I hear exactly what you’re saying.

BC: And I’m thinking,

LU: It’s too heady.

BC: Yeah, you guys care too much. And I’m thinking, get the fuck out of my way. You know what I mean. Like, do you know what I’m coming from?  Do you know what I want to escape from?

And I used to say about Kurt. They wanted to believe that Kurt Cobain would roll out of bed, take some drugs and write a fucking classic. Kurt Cobain as a, as a lyricist, as a songwriter, as visionary was a fucking assassin. He was great at what he did and it’s a shame he didn’t do more of it. Cause he was fucking great at what he did. And he let people believe that he was the guy that was “uh, yeah, you know, uh….”

You know. How many nights do you think, that long before Nirvana that he sat in a fucking basement, trying to figure out why does this chord go with this chord and listening to Nirvana’s early demos, listening to Nirvana’s first album, listen to the second album. His voice is changing. It’s not just changing physically, he’s finding the character of Kurt Cobain.

They wanna sit there and talk about, oh he did this and didn’t do that. And him and Dave got into arguments. It’s like, give me a fucking break. And the great thing is the public, by in large, by in large, only cares about the music.


  • Dysnomia

    I saw the title and was ready to attack little Willie. But this is the only thing he has sent this millennium that wasn’t completely out of whack.

  • Corndog

    Why do i get the feeling that Corgan would not be calling Cobain any kind of genius if he was still alive? He’d have the same contempt for him that he seems to have for all his other contemporaries of the time.

    • Trovoid

      Yep. Music is a competition to him and he can’t compete with a dead guy. You think he’d have more spiteful words for Kurt considering that he kind of stole his girlfriend back in the day. Billy is such a fool.

    • Trovoid

      Hey Corndog, there’s been a wild Katie sighting in the New AIC song article. Just thought I’d share in case you miss the thread 🙂

      • Corndog

        Thanks man. I think i may be too late now, but it’s nice to know that she’s been back. I think she was ill the last time that i spoke to her. Hope she is feeling better!

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    Kurt was just more than 50% of Nirvana. He was brilliant. also I should say others make great solo tunes too. listen to Into the Wild and Scott’s albums.

  • Gary Reilly

    Some people are deep thinkers, and will often sit and process long meandering, winding chains of thoughts in their heads, slowly disseminating specifics into even smaller chains of thought, all sliding over each other like snakes in a pit. The difference with Billy Corgan is that he often verbalises all these thoughts, hence why he can stretch the substance of an average sentence into 3 or 4 paragraphs.

  • Olga Stewart

    Again with the misleading article title?

    Man, oh man!