Billy Corgan: Music Is Dumbed Down

Billy Corgan claims the music industry 'operates on a dumbing down principle,' and very few bands get to be themselves on record.

Billy Corgan: Music Is Dumbed Down
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Billy Corgan claims the music industry "operates on a dumbing down principle." The Smashing Pumpkins singer and guitarist feels only a few bands, such as Radiohead, get to keep their integrity and "intelligence" on the records they make. He said: "It's incredible to me how sophisticated people really are when you give them the opportunity to be sophisticated. The music business essentially operates on a dumbing down principle. How dumb do we have to go to sell this record to the most amount of people? There are very few bands who are able to keep their intelligence on record, Radiohead are a good example. They have a very high message and are still very popular. But for the most part the charts are dominated by music that's essentially dumbed down in melody, style, tone, texture, and message because it reaches the most amount of people." Billy, 45, also urged people to look toward the older members of their communities to see "real wisdom", and thinks young bands can learn much from their elders. He added to GMA News online: "I grew up around a lot of Filipinos, in the outskirts of Chicago, and there's always that uncle, that grandma, who knows what the hell's going on. That's where the real wisdom is, you have to listen to that. You can't dumb your family down, you can't dumb your community down, you can't dumb your country down, you can't dumb your bands down. I think with where I am now I don't want to be dumbed down. I just think that's the worst thing for rock and roll." Smashing Pumpkins latest album, "Oceania" is out now. Thanks to Contactmusic for the report.

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    UniformRecon
    Considering all that Billy Corgan has said recently, I feel like he hasn't made any human contact since the early 90's, recently went outside and thought "WTF is wrong with these people???"
    metallica_102
    Well that's just logic. Obviously the majority of people will find appeal in music that is easily accessible and that is straight to the point with catchy choruses. Not everyone is going to be able to appreciate a 10 minute Opeth song containing multiple riffs, acoustic bridges etc. The more complex types of music appeal to a certain type of person who is more often than not looking for something in that type of style.
    Wouldify
    I hate how this guy is always trying to put himself as an example, agree with him though. Society is getting dumber and so is music.
    Kueller917
    Now the sound of music comes in silver pills, engineered to suit you building cheaper thrills.
    ibanez124
    Newsflash: People aren't as brilliant as you think they are. Thats why a lot of news papers are written at a 6th grade reading level
    arnolddrummer
    tell us something we don't know. I mean he is soo right, but it's not like one person on this website has thought of this before.
    DanteGuitar
    Some intellectual complexity is required to appreciate good music. It's why you don't see a lot of retards listening to Dire Straits, but tons of Gaga.
    gerrywm
    Yes, its called the lowest common demoninator Billy, they dont care if its good or bad as long as some dumb fu*ks buy it.. Labels always put out horsesh*t sappy generic music that might sell to the dumb masses we just think all the music from the 70's is class because only the quality stuff survives to still be heard 40 years later...Remember the 90's? we all hates backstreet boys etc at the time and though music was crap then when we look back now the 90's were unreal Smashing pumpkin Pearl Jam Rage System Nirvana the list goes on
    kurtshapedbox
    Kueller917 wrote: Now the sound of music comes in silver pills, engineered to suit you building cheaper thrills.
    Yes, someone please introduce Billy to Porcupine Tree. And maybe Sargent House too.
    CollyOBrien
    gypsyblues7373 wrote: So basically Billy is saying...old Filipinos should run the music business?
    NO, they're great songwriters
    LazyHardRocker
    Chicken and egg question: Do people become dumber when their environment (including music) is dumbed down, or does dumb music simply attract dumb people?
    randyaintdead82
    Sucks all the good new bands aren't that popular. The only "sophisticated" sounding band from this generation that has started increasing in popularity is Coheed and Cambria, and they're already a decade in
    Akaforty
    webber243 wrote: maybe he's right, but complex music doesnt equal good music and simple music doesnt mean bad music. FACT
    Tell that to a regular, radio listening, mainstream pop loving human.
    Catharsisaurus
    iommi600 wrote: When did Captain Obvious lost his hair?
    Around the same time you losted your grammar.
    jrodgers
    Lots of great comments here! Although I agree with Billy about this, he sounds very bitter. Before I say this let me say that I love the Pumpkins, both old and new. I think that having revived the Pumpkins moniker, Billy feels as if he had to "dumb himself down" a little to sell some records and concert tickets. His solo stuff was pretty out there (or intelligent as he puts it), didn't sell worth s***, and then "Zeitgeist" under the Pumpkins name all of sudden was comparitively straight forward. He keeps bringing up Radiohead sounding very jealous they get to have their cake and eat it too.
    iommi600
    When did Captain Obvious lost his hair?
    mooneyes1114
    haha i thought i was the only 1 who used cpt obvious still way 2 go! he shaved his head yrs ago. he looks like a ****in creeper tho i personally think he looks more musician status with long hair. some people can rock a shaved head, while people like this guy just cant
    iommi600
    Catharsisaurus wrote: iommi600 wrote: When did Captain Obvious lost his hair? Around the same time you losted your grammar.
    "losted" Eeerm... right.
    webber243
    maybe he's right, but complex music doesnt equal good music and simple music doesnt mean bad music. FACT
    LinkinParkOakle
    Smashing Pumpkins put out some great work years ago, I'm not sure if he is one to talk as a contemporary artist though, he hasn't released anything groundbreaking in years...
    6-String_Madman
    BradTheBluefish wrote: Catharsisaurus wrote: iommi600 wrote: When did Captain Obvious lost his hair? Around the same time you losted your grammar. That will be 1995.
    It's actually "1979"
    webber243
    Akaforty wrote: webber243 wrote: maybe he's right, but complex music doesnt equal good music and simple music doesnt mean bad music. FACT Tell that to a regular, radio listening, mainstream pop loving human.
    Yeah i will, now whats your point??
    BradTheBluefish
    Catharsisaurus wrote: iommi600 wrote: When did Captain Obvious lost his hair? Around the same time you losted your grammar.
    That will be 1995.
    KjaK
    Personally, I'd say it's more a case of being "watered down" than "dumbed down", but same difference.
    Mr. Stripe
    Billy kicks ass. He's right on a lot of things, but people hate on him because he appears as a control freak and ***** in the mainstream press since the early 90's. He's not like that at all! Real Pumpkin fans know that.