Billy Corgan Reveals How Steven Tyler Helped Smashing Pumpkins Reunite


Apple Music and Beats 1 sent Alternative Nation a preview clip of Zane Lowe’s interview with Smashing Pumpkins members Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin. The interview will air Monday at 1PM EST on Apple Music. During the interview, Billy Corgan and James Iha discussed Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler telling Corgan he would reunite with his original bandmates.

ZANE: How have you done this? How have you gotten to a point in your life where you can be a father and be confident you have the tools and the experience to be able to raise another human being on this planet?

BILLY: I don’t. (laughs)

ZANE: That’s actually a very fair point because as a father, as a parent, we all feel that fear.

BILLY: I mean, it’s up to them whether they want to talk about… But I literally sit and pick their brains on parenting. I literally say, how do I deal with this? I don’t know what I’m doing here. My son is highly intelligent and, as a Corgan, he’s out of his mind. So sometimes I just face challenges that I’m not prepared for and I certainly don’t have the parenting example. I mean, my best parenting examples came from 70s television.

ZANE: I’ve interviewed you and spoken to you throughout and seen you in all kinds of different bands and…

BILLY: Yeah, you knew me before I lost my mind.

ZANE: That’s right. There’s definitely been moments when you have and we all go through that. When you look back on it now, what are some of the key components, for other people who are listening to this, who listen to your music, and probably thought that it may all consume you. The whole experience, life, everything around you, you just may end up being a victim of it, and you’re not. You’re sitting here right now, yeah you’ve got your hoodie over your head and you look like the same Billy Corgan. But you’re a dad. You got your friends around you. You’re playing sold out arenas. You’ve got a brand new album which is f**king amazing. If you could contextualize it, how did you get here? How did you make it?

BILLY: Gosh, that’s a good one. Well, let’s work backwards because that’s easiest for me. Number one is friendship. Our friendship is deep. We’re not always good friends to each other but our friendship is really deep. And so that’s what you see on stage. The music. The fact that fans have continued to support the music and stuck with me through the various iterations has really encouraged me and even in many ways made me try to understand their perspective. Like people would say, why can’t you just get back together and play? It’s like, yeah it’s not so easy. Even one time I remember running into Steven Tyler – Aerosmith – in an elevator and he said, you ever going to get back together with the band? And I said, no chance. He goes, you will. And then he got off the elevator, as only Steven Tyler could, very beautifully, by the way.

JAMES: Love in an elevator.

BILLY: Yeah, but the only problem was I wasn’t going down I was going up.