Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was recently interviewed by Lars Ulrich on It’s Electric, and he discussed Metallica.
“For years I would take shit about being a fan of metal, it should be beneath you. It gets into weird class politics, most of the people who criticize people like us, for being who we are, what we are, or what we represent, had better backgrounds than we had. We didn’t necessarily go to the nice school, we didn’t get to read the cool newspaper. For me, bands like you told me that there is this other world that is more closely aligned with the experience that you’re having, than the one you’re being told about. So when I heard Mercyful Fate, Metallica, or Ted Nugent, wait, there’s this other world than the world you’re telling me that I’m supposed to believe in. Even to this day, for all the money that metal moves, it’s amazing how disrespected it is.”
He later said, “You can’t get that through to a hipster’s brain. If you sat around and drew up who you wanted to be on paper, you wouldn’t be in Metallica or The Smashing Pumpkins. Those types of bands grow out of almost a personality conflict. We’re not stupid, we get who you think we should be, and then there is who we are, and then when we actually are who we are, we see this resonance with the audience that tells us no, we are going the right way.”
“I’ll give you a perfect example, and I’m sure we’ve talked about it before, I saw you guys, I don’t know if it was the first week or the month that Ride the Lightning came out. I was in the 14th fucking row, and the energy in the Aragon Ballroom that night was like nothing I’ve ever seen before or since. As a kid at 17 years old, and you were what, 20? You guys come out, James is wearing the cutoff jean jacket, you look the fucking guys I went to fucking school with. These people understand the world that I’m in, which is nowhere fucking land.
So it wasn’t just like cool Metallica, they’re the hot new band, these guys fucking understand, thank god somebody gets it! The cheers in the room that night, I can still hear them in my fucking head. Somewhere in the middle of the fucking show, because you guys were insanely loud of course, I felt this trickle in my ear, and I actually reached up to see if there was blood coming out of my fucking ear. Here is the thing, if there was I wouldn’t have left!”