Billy Corgan Reveals Grunge Artists Who Were ‘Quickest To Sell Out’ During ‘Nirvana Times’


In a new Radio NZ interview, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan discussed the alternative/Grunge 90’s era ‘indie values’ ethos, and how those who preached it most were actually the quickest to sell out.

“Yeah, I think that there was a moment in time where I felt that by pointing out the hypocrisy, you know when alternative music got really big in the Nirvana times you know it brought forth a lot of people who weren’t part of our alternative culture. And those things happen, they don’t even happen every generation they happen maybe every two or three or four generations that you have this sort of massive movement that seems very organic.

But of course, it invites in the football player who just wants to bop around in the mosh pit and doesn’t care about some indie label in Portland or something. And so you kind of feel this influx of (let’s call it) and alien ideology to the one that you’ve been living by. I thought at that moment as somebody who was like, recognised you could stand up and sort of say ‘We still need to stand for a certain set of values.’

And then I quickly realised that it was all just lip service. That the people who had been preaching to me from the indie side about values were the quickest people to sell out. Because there was suddenly a mob there and there was money to be made and there was power and there were videos to get played and stuff like that.

You’re standing there and it’s like a tidal wave is coming and you’re standing there making a very nuanced speech about integrity or something and you just get completely wiped out. So it’s not like I’m wishing I had the moment to replay I just wish I was sophisticated enough to realise that I was wasting my breath.”