Billy Corgan Explains Soundgarden Rant

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman had recently complained about old bands like Soundgarden reforming "for another round at the till" without giving fans new music. How does he feel now that Soundgarden have announced new material?

Ultimate Guitar

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman had recently complained about old bands like Soundgarden reforming "for another round at the till" without giving fans new music. How does he feel now that Soundgarden have announced new material?

Billy Corgan has explained his recent rant against Soundgarden, where he claimed they and other recently reunited acts like Pavement were only back "to have one more round at the till."

His comments seemed unfair considering that he fronts a reformed Smashing Pumpkins and is currently promoting their new album "Oceania".

Speaking to Channel 93.3 in Denver (via Blabbermouth), Corgan explained why he took this stance against his former friends in Soundgarden.

"Well, there's a little bit of a backstory there. [Soundgarden frontman] Chris Cornell was somebody I considered a friend, and would never have said a harsh word about.

When [Smashing Pumpkins] came back in 2007, he was quoted in an interview saying, basically, he didn't consider our reunion, in quotations, to be "legitimate."

He continued: "If they wanna punch me in the face, I'm happy to punch them back in the face."

He goes on to poke fun at Cornell's urban pop album from 2008 which was produced by Timbaland.

Corgan says his point was that some newly reformed bands are only doing a reunion lap to earn extra money rather than make fresh music for fans to enjoy, though he respects that Soundgarden have since announced a new album to be titled "King Animal".

"That's what they should be doing," Corgan said. "[They're] great musicians, they should make new music, and hopefully they'll make great albums, because we need artists to make great albums and great music in this day and age of the robots and the posers."

Was Corgan a hypocrite, or does he make a fair point about some reforming bands who ride on their old success rather than treat fans to new material? It's an interesting topic, and we'd love to hear your opinion in the comments.

Trending stories

56 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    So he said something back in 2007... and suddenly you are all allowed to 'slam' him five years later. Should've done it five years ago or not at all.
    Well Smashing Pumpkins are no more legitimate that Guns n Roses. Frontman with new members. Granted, many bands get back together and play old songs for cash (like the Sex Pistols) with no new music coming forward but I doubt that's the case about Soundgarden. I did like their Avengers single and they are putting new stuff together so Corgan can stop being a crybaby.
    Nah, man. I don't think you can really put the reformed Pumpkins in the same category as GnR. Corgan was much more than just a frontman. He was also the sole songwriter for almost all of their songs, the lead guitarist and a co-producer on their albums.
    I'd say that there is a slight difference between Guns 'n Roses and Smashing Pumpkins. The original Guns 'n Roses really had two front figures, equally important to the sound - Axl and Slash - , whereas Billy Corgan has always been the definitive face of and mind behind the Smashing Pumpkins. You could almost compare it with Nine Inch Nails, which really is only Trent Reznor and whatever musicians he plays with for the moment.
    The comparison between NIN and Pumpkins is the best I've seen. So many people are way too quick to compare any band with a constant frontman and revolving musicians to GnR. Some people on here recently were even flaming Josh Homme comparing him to Axl Rose! Every case is different, and there's always more to the story then just what specific people you see on stage.
    I think you missed the point where he says that Soundgarden announced the album release after the rant. Is BIlly a dick? well, yeah, but not for this. He is right: if you're gonna reform an old popular band, at least be a real musician and make some new songs.
    It has been out there for some time [almost 2 years, I think] that they were writing and recording a new album. The only bit of the recent SG announcement that was news was the confirmed release timeframe and title.
    Billy Corgan is to Chris Cornell what a Viper is to a Gibson: same thing, only worse.
    just created an account to voice an opinion of mine (just an opinion take it or leave it). There is alot of hate going towards Billy Corgan. Now, I love the pumpkins and love Soundgarden. I have to say I think the balls on this guy is a great thing for Rock. I think many are afraid to voice there opinions on todays music industry incase they get wrapped for it. Billy corgan knows he gets all this hate but chooses to do it. He once said that Rock n roll needs to be dangerous or it doesnt deserve any respect. Once it ceases to be dangerous it aint ****in rock n roll. He wants to make music that ****in scares people, to make them think "wat the **** was that?" so when he sees his peers, espicially those coming from that indie/alternative generation who in the beggining were completely against selling out, come back round the bend for another cash in he's deservedly angry. Im not tryin to lick the guys balls...Yes he was wrong to include soundgarden as they are making new music but we ****in need Charachters like this to give a big **** you to the robots and poseurs and pretentious pitchfork bloggers of this world. This guy sacrifices his whole reputation for being real and trying to prove this and point out the culprits and will always get slammed for it. Opinions like these, albeit misplaced, need to come from somwhere cause Christ knows i dont wanna live in this "everything in its place" world like how so many of the new artists do. his attack on soundgarden was wrong but his opinions are in the right place.
    Billy Corgan is just jealous because he's bald.
    "See ALL this hair, Corgan? I whip it back and forth when playing and it gives me the SWAG! Who needs the music when you have the swag? And therefore the babes? Haters gonna hate but you're just a HOE!"
    I feel like when Billy Corgan said what he said before he "explained" it, that he seriously didn't know they were working on "King Animal", and now this is just a clusterbutt of press exploitation. But still a funny clusterbutt of press exploitation, if I'm right
    Im still confused why people hate Corgans new material, got into them recently, but ive heard a fair amount of their releases. I love songs like Stitch in time from Teargarden and Oceania seems like a very promising record to me, and still everyone seems to despise them. Strange world.
    All seems a bit childish to me. "He said this, so I'm going to say this", bullshit.
    "When [Smashing Pumpkins] came back in 2007, he was quoted in an interview saying, basically, he didn't consider our reunion, in quotations, to be "legitimate."" So you pay back in their own coin? Very mature, Corgan... Anyway, I can understand what Corgan is trying to say, but I think he's aiming it at the wrong band.
    Soundgarden are a group of people, it wasn't the whole band who released the pop album. Corgan shouldn't be making that comparison, that's Cornell's shit only. But I do understand what he says.
    Considering the music both bands have made, I doubt that anyone in Soundgarden cares much what Billy Corgan thinks about their reunion. Soundgarden wipes their asses with the Pumpkins.
    Billy just stop man. I loved the Pumpkins but I just can't listen to them anymore and the new stuff is pretty atrocious. You're a hair away from being Axel Rose at this point.
    At the time he made that statement I believe SG were not making new music while SP were making new music so he wasn't being hypocritical. However neither band's new material is actually good. They're rich, famous, past their prime, and out of aggression and motivation.
    I can see Cornells point about the "legitimate" reunion thing. It's hard to say though. At the end of the day Smashing pumpkins new album was suprisingly good and I'm hoping Soundgardens will be awesome as well
    I'm pretty sure by 'legitimate', Cornell means bands 'reuniting' with a failed solo artist and a revolving door of session musicians to play to a sense of nostalgia they don't even deliver upon. Like Smashing Pumpkins. Oceania was pretty decent, but didn't need to be a SP album for any reason.
    sounds like cornell started, of course thats corgan saying it, but i respect billy corgan and he doesnt seem like the type of guy who would start a pointless argument
    So if for some reason, which i know will never happen, Roger Waters and David Gilmour decided to reform and actually go on a tour, would the be posers and just trying to cash in? I rememeber that they were offered and insane amount of money to go on a tour after the Live 8 thing that they turned down. The fans want it more than they do so in that case, his argument would be invalid.
    Well, I'm not if either band's primary reason for reuniting is simply money, but i think that no one knows but Chris Cornell, so Corgan should just shut is piehole and "make great songs" like he wants other people to.
    Ha, so Corgan loses his balls and has to skew his controversial statement into an actual reasoned argument so that people have a reason to take him seriously. I don't know if i'm alone on this, but i've listened to Cornell's "Timbaland" style album and to my surprise really enjoyed it.
    It's so stupid he said that shit. When he reformed Pumpkins not only was there like no original members, but they were uming and arring about it about 2 years before they even played together. He's never even gave them a chance to annonce an album before he stared bashing them. He can eat my logs.