Billy Corgan Reveals If He Still Thinks Pearl Jam Are Overrated


Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan appears to have very positive feelings about Pearl Jam in 2018 compared to his 2014 comments, as a fan asked him in a new Instagram story Q&A about the band.

A fan said, “Saw y’all a couple weeks ago. PJ last night at Wrigley. So blessed my 90’s faves are still rocking!”

Corgan responded, “Sounds like a great week of music.”

In 2014, Corgan dismissed Pearl Jam as derivative on The Howard Stern Show. “I don’t think they have the songs. I think you stack my songs up, Cobain’s songs up, and that band’s songs, they just don’t have the songs.” He ceded that Pearl Jam have gotten it done as an arena rock behemoth for a long time and that he “has to bow to them” for that, but said he’s still confused about why they’re so successful.

After criticizing Pearl Jam on Stern, Corgan announced that he was on good terms with Eddie Vedder in 2017 after seeing him for the first time in awhile. In an October 2017 Deleware Online interview, it was revealed that two of the last prominent surviving singers of the Grunge era caught up at a Roger Waters show last year.

The interviewer asked, “One of the things that makes me a fan of yours is your outspokenness. A few years back you were on Stern and answered his questions honestly leading to headlines like, ‘Billy Corgan Disses Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters On Howard Stern.’ We never get to hear what happens after you leave the studio. Are you getting texts from people angry at you? Are your publicists freaking out?”

Corgan responded, “Nobody says anything to me. In fact, I just saw [Pearl Jam frontman] Eddie Vedder a couple of weeks ago at a Roger Waters concert and he said hello and we caught up. So, it’s not as bad as it necessarily plays out in public, but knowing it plays bad makes me not want to do it. I don’t want to be part of the negative culture. I don’t want to be part of that anymore, so I’m not going to be that guy.”

Corgan discussed the Pumpkins’ legendary 1991 tour with Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a new 101 WKQX interview. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

“That Chili Pepper tour was crazy because we got a call. Anthony Kiedis later told me he saw our video on MTV 120 Minutes, and just off seeing the Siva video one time, they invited us to be the opening band. On top of that, they threw on this unknown band named Pearl Jam. When the tour started, probably the first week or two there seemed to be, wrestling would call it booboo face, there seemed to be some unhappy people.

We were on the backend of our record, which was a big success, so we were flying high, a tour with the Chili Peppers and everything. I remember kind of pulling some people aside, not from the bands, but people involved with the bands, and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ They said, ‘Well the Chili Peppers are upset because the record company isn’t really supporting their record, and Pearl Jam is upset because the record company isn’t really supporting their record. So it almost looked like, and again we didn’t know everybody back then like we know them now, so it’s like, oh it’s really not going well for them.

But the Chili Peppers were a big band, then all of a sudden ‘Under The Bridge’ hits, and that tour starts to take off, because everyone wants to see the Chili Peppers. Then ‘Alive’ or ‘Jeremy’ hit, so we had this triple crowd of Chili Peppers fans, Pumpkins fans, and Pearl Jam fans. It was this legendary tour, because this was all hitting at the exact same time. It was a great time for rock.”