Billy Corgan Talks About Writing Spiteful Songs and the Impending Death of Rock & Roll

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Are you ever satisfied, professionally?

No. Because I don't think I have it in me to think I've ever done enough to be satisfied - and that's my own personal issue.

How about personal happiness, then?

I actually have a pleasant personal life!

Do you see yourself doing something similar within music in five or ten years?

No. Without sounding overly prophetic, I just don't think the way we think of rock and roll is going to be around in ten years. I think pop is just going to obliterate everything. And I'm sorry, and a thousand men can throw their beards in the air, but most of what passes for "Alternative" music these days is pop.

It's sort of a Warhol-type idea, but when everyone is intent on doing the same thing, it's not dangerous anymore. So we have a lot of dangerous-looking people looking dangerous - but not really doing anything dangerous. It's sort of a "safe" time.

And where do you stand in this equation?

Someone like me - who has never looked less dangerous - is actually being incredibly dangerous, because I continue to be a battering ram against these (rock star) ideas.

How so?

I'm healthy - I haven't taken a drug or had a drink in over a decade. You're not supposed to be in a happy band; I am. You're not supposed to be running your own business transparently - I'm doing that. You're supposed to have some drug addiction issue or some horrible drama. It's none of that for me - it's just the music.

What do you foresee for the future of Rock, then?

I think we've tapped out. I mean, most of the Pitchfork bands are Pro Tools babies. They go into the basement and futz around with whatever they futz around with, like Garage Band. They fuck around until they think it sounds cool - and it does - but they're doing what a thousand other people are doing.

And then you've got this guy with his 1982 drum machine that he's painted pink, and he wears a rooster on his head, and Pitchfork is drooling all over themselves. It's conceptual crap, posing as qualitative expression.

What' next for you, once the Oceania tour ends?

I'm writing a book.

About your days in the Smashing Pumpkins?

Yep. It's certainly unlike any Rock book I've ever read. (Laughs) It's brazenly honest.

Sounds juicy!

Let's put it this way - after the book comes out, I'll never get another date ever again!

So, "Billy Corgan: Songwriter, musician, wrestling promoter, book author." You're all over the place!

There's an old saying - "There's a method to my madness." I stick by that.

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