Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan reacted to D’arcy Wretzky’s lack of involvement in the band’s reunion and her comments on Alternative Nation in a new Howard Stern interview. Alternative Nation transcribed Corgan’s comments.
When Stern brought up D’arcy claiming Billy had brain tumor, he responded, “Yeah, that would fall under one of the 400 libelous and defamatory things she said that has no bearing in reality.”
He also told his side of the contract negotiations story.
“The simple version of the story, which is convoluted, but the simple version is I spent two years trying to build my relationship, much like James [Iha] and I had built our relationship, so music seemed to be possible because there was good dialogue. Every time I talked to her on the phone she was absolutely lovely, she was sweet, she said things she’d never said to me, she complimented me, she said, ‘You wrote so many amazing songs, and I’m so proud of you. It’s great, and I know you’re a great father.’ I’m dealing with somebody who seems to me to be the grown up version of what we are now, so I was thinking it was possible.
But every time I would address logical concerns, like, ‘You haven’t been on stage in 19 years, you haven’t been in public in 19 years, are you going to be okay with that?’ She would just kind of brush it off, and then when I would try and get in a room with her, because she only lives an hour and a half from where I live, I would say, ‘I’ll come up and visit you.’ It never would happen, so then you start getting kind of, ‘Okay, what is really happening here?’ When we first approached her on the business side: ‘This is going to be the framework, this is what it is probably going to look like.’ She refused.”
“She just didn’t like the way it was going to be set up, and I’m not here to talk about that per say, but it wasn’t unfair, it wasn’t ridiculous.”
“Every time I tried to explain to her the construct and things involved, she just didn’t want to hear it, so she says no, so we’re like okay, not going to happen. The concerns that I had were because I couldn’t get her in a room. I didn’t know the state of her mind, I didn’t know the state of her body, I didn’t know the state of her ability to play, and this is very difficult music to play. We just don’t know. I know this sounds strange, but I didn’t want to put her in a position where she would look bad or fail, so it was coming from a place of I want to make sure she’s protected in this situation.”
Corgan complimented then complimented D’arcy’s personality, calling her ‘eccentric in the best way.’
“She had severe anxiety stuff that she talked about, so I’m trying to kind of balance a set of forces here, and by the way, the biggest promoter in the world is like, ‘Let’s do a tour.’ There is a reality, there is a date approaching, so she walked away, okay fine, so we start moving on. Then she changed her mind, and by then we had already kind of half moved on. We weren’t even that far down the road, but essentially we already said yes, so now we’re dealing with an outlying personality, and she’s a very eccentric person, and I mean that in the best way, and now we have a reality and we’ve already signed on the bottom line.
Now she wants to use the time to negotiate, and we’re like, ‘That ship has already sailed.’ So essentially, it is what it is, we’re already working in the studio. Next thing you know, all of my text messages, which were business conversations, are on the internet. I’m a bad guy, I’m a meanie, I didn’t let her back. By the way, we all made that decision together, I don’t want to speak for them, but we made that decision together, or we wouldn’t be standing here.”
While Corgan told the New York Times a few months ago ‘the bridge was burned forever’ for D’arcy to return to the Pumpkins, he appeared to leave the door slightly open by stating that ‘maybe someday’ something could happen, though he isn’t counting on it.
“I have to say though, I know this sounds strange, but I actually welcome those discussions we have now, because my job is to make sure their families are provided for. Even back to the D’arcy thing for a second, the thing we know how to do is make music, so we’re here because we want to play, we want to play music, we want to see people smiling, we’ve had a long crazy run, and so anything that is not about playing music and providing for one another and making each other feel loved and supported, it’s off the table. You can look at that kind of stuff and say that doesn’t belong here. Maybe it will someday, I don’t think it will, because to me that ship has sailed. But the point is, we’re here because we love each other, and we really just want to make music. That’s the one thing we got right.”