Billy Corgan Thinks Rock Isn't Reaching Teenagers Anymore: 'F--k Music'

"We collectively have done a poor job," says Smashing Pumpkins mainman.

Billy Corgan Thinks Rock Isn't Reaching Teenagers Anymore: 'F--k Music'
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Smashing Pumpkins mainman Billy Corgan recently stated that rock musicians these days are failing to to fulfill one of the genre's main goals - reaching the teenage crowd. During a chat with Interia, the singer/guitarist didn't only blame his fellow rockers, but also included himself in what he described as the "f--k music part." "I think the forces are so different; there's an obvious difference in enthusiasm," the frontman said. "Music world's been slow to meet the changing demand of the consumers' attention span." Corgan also noted that glorifying the past isn't the way to go either, basically blaming today's rock musicians, including himself, for weak efforts. "I think music's done a very poor job of getting the attention of a fifteen year old, which was the job of Elvis and the job of the Beatles and the job of the Cure. It's always the same problem." He continued, "If music doesn't meet that demand to get the attention, well then f--k music basically. And I'm part of the f--k music part. We collectively have done a poor job and record sales and enthusiasm for live music events have gone down." Just last week, Corgan once again underlined his pessimistic stance, saying that he plans to stop touring or at least severely reduce Smashing Pumpkins concert activities. The group's latest studio effort, "Oceania," dropped in June 2012 via EMI Records, landing at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart with 54,000 units shipped in the US within the first week.

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    Redsectoreh
    Makes sense to me. I don't understand all of the Corgan hate.
    ripper992
    Yeah, I pretty much understand where all the stuff he's saying is coming from. But he of all people shouldn't just give up like that...
    DickHardwood
    I was moved by what what he said about stopping touring and all, saddened actually. Now he sounds like a whiny brat.
    ComeUndone
    Well, now bands have to tour more than ever to make any sort of money. Sure, the Smashing Pumpkins don't have to ride in a tiny van and sleep in it at night, but I certainly can see why a lot of bands might not want to tour with all the different options on the web to interact with fans. But, it's a money issue for a lot of bands because music sales aren't as great and you don't have a label for tour support and the like. Any band that can just record and release music like the Beatles, without touring, or maybe play a few bigger shows and clubs every year is a much easier life. You have to also realize Billy is getting older and touring is ****ing brutal.
    RegularMexicola
    If Billy hates the music industry so much, why is he still in it then? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Smashing Pumpkins fan myself, but he really needs to stop whining all the time. His pretentiousness and pessimism is seriously twisting some people's tits.
    samer.bata
    really? others might disagree.
    TimeToPretend!
    Maybe it's time for all of us to accept that rock music is becoming a thing of the past. Not saying we should all stop listening to what we like, I just want people to realize that it no longer does what it used to do for the previous generations. When it first came around in the early 60's it wasn't even accepted as a legitimate art form. Maybe we are all doing the same right now just to different forms of music.
    TheNameOfNoone
    It's interesting that all people on UG are still convinced that rock music is on the top of the game. Of course there are plenty of rock fans in the world of all ages but let's get it straight - rock is getting less and less popular as time passes. And I think Corgan is right, we do need something new in rock music which would make a revolution like it did in the 70's. And, you have to admit it, most of the bands of today are doing it very poorly.
    Faitout
    Exactly what I think about new forms of music. Take what people say on here about Dubstep: change some names and you sound exactly like rock critics around its birth. I'm not saying people should like it, I don't like most of it, but we need to be more open to new genres.
    Hungry_Hameds
    rock is coming back, and that's not just a dim-witted fanboy view. Gig crowds are growing, the crap rock bands are hitting the charts, and the real ones are more underground, the music isnt dying, the way you access it is just changing. every genre is essentially on a level playing field, and rock as a live phenomenon is as big as ever and will grow. Keep the faith.
    JelloCrust
    Correction: 50s. . . or even the 40s. Rock existed before Caucasians started playing it. Also, it kind of is dead. SHIT! I just agreed with renowned ass hat/born to be Bond Villan, Billy Corgan.
    bradd101
    Seriously? As much as they annoy me, the legions of 14/15 year old scene kids lead to me disagree. I mean yeah, I dislike the music, but they like it, and it least it ain't Jessie J.
    Salvo416
    I really hate to admit but I agree... -to an extent- I told some friends of mine that I'm a musician and play guitar, and they just shrug like.. yeah thats cool.. and continue on listening to their crappy hip hop and what not. Everyones all about drake and one direction and all that crap thats being played on the radio.. and can care less chords and how well a guitar is played or how awesome a raw bass is unless you hear about it from real musicians. Plus it's so easy to make a pop/hip-hop song ear candy.. all you need is a dubstep and/or a really good beat. Oh and good looks to sell yourself with... cuz that's what music is all about right? -sarcasm- The words f--k music could generally mean anything though.. Billy should be a little more specific on what he says before he belts it out.
    christianonbass
    So, are you saying the part on the Guitar Queer-o episode of South Park when Stan's dad started playing an actual guitar in front of the kids and Stan says, "Dad, that's gay" is realistic? heh heh 15 year olds especially girl's (which helps explain why Taylor Swift and the like are doing well) have always been the largest record buying group. But I never see teens listening to a Discman. It's always an I-Pod (or what's the other MP3 style thing). That doesn't explain all of it though. Can someone tell me why there are no new music videos on standard cable anymore? Why is radio a bunch of talking about politics and shit? Is it my imagination or are there very few arena-sized concerts coming to town anymore? There has always been crappy Pop music. That is not new. I used to go to music stores with no idea what album I was going to buy. I didn't need to know, there were so many good ones to choose from. It is not a lack of talent among young people either. I watch You Tube and I am blown away by some of the kids on there. Is Rock and Roll for old people now? Has it run its course and it's out of ideas now? Is Guitar Hero more fulfilling than learning to actually play? It has to be a bunch of factors...right?
    bunnyh0pz
    I don't think it's any of that. It's just that times change, and so does music. In the 50s, lots of kids left Jazz and country for Rock n Roll. It had nothing to do with music formats or politics. Times just changed.
    Faitout
    Times have changed. You don't see music videos on much TV any more because that is Youtube's domain now. How can a music service that plays what they want compete with a place giving everything the user wants to them on demand? It's the same with Radio, it's a declining form. Radio 1 here in the UK has tried to become more relevant but it hasn't helped at all. Interestingly, though, they have been pushing rock a LOT of late and it seems to have been working. Admittedly it isn't the music most of you guys want, it's Bring Me The Horizon and Enter Shikari. New styles of rock that are popular.
    christianonbass
    I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I often see people get bashed for asking legit questions. I try to see what if anything can be done. I guess i don't want to be like the guy getting interviewed haha. So there are still Pop acts selling out arenas and such? I thought their would still be enough rock fans to sell out arenas, but then again, there haven't been any Appetite for Destructions or Nevermind albums recently that I know about Thank you though.
    Kaseke
    Our current solo guitarists liked Guitar Hero so much he decided to learn to play for real Now he's one hell of a guitarists. Guitar Hero can inspire young people to play, it's just that when they realize it's not that easy, they give up. People are getting smaller attention span.
    DaireBass
    They probably weren't that impressed because a lot of people play guitar now. And there is good hip hop, just saying.
    BOYERxBREAKDOWN
    I have respect for Billy and his music but I think he's way off base and possible a little out of touch. SP was one of the bands that made inspired me to pick up a guitar and it's sad to hear him say this kind of shit.
    finallife6
    Music is constantly changing that's why professor Einstein (I get it rock isn't dead. I'm a teenager in this era but bi*ching about how rock is dead and you shouldn't make music because only because its not popular while you have a big audience who still buys your albums for 20+ years is complete bs to complain, this is man who has the support of his fans and is basically saying F you the music buisness has changed. REALLY!!). He needs to shut up about this "no rock music should be made because it is harder to get legendary status anymore stuff" as he is trying to prove to really himself and no one else. I'm sick of these rants like he's a martyr in a day where music has shifted away from rock. I would like rock to be king yes but sitting on your ass blaming everyone else is no way to tackle through this "hard time" do something about it, because complaining will do shit all if anything.
    christianonbass
    Do you think a group with the impact of Nirvana or Guns and Roses coming out with an album as great as Appetite for Destruction would make rock music exciting again?
    MattHessing
    I'm pretty sure teenagers listen to music, Billy.
    plindqui
    His point is that teenagers aren't listening to "rock" music, not that they don't listen to music at all. I think he's more making a criticism of today's musical scene and its emphasis on pop music and flash-in-the-pan singles and superstars rather than rock music. Except instead of putting the blame on the culture and the pop music machine (as most people do), he puts the blame on rock musicians like himself for failing to effectively combat that machine
    theguitarerguy
    Well I'm fifteen and I listen to rock music. And not just old rock, a lot of the music I listen to comes from now ( Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Cloud Nothings, MGMT, ect).
    hansome21
    Bands like MGMT are not rock at all... Pop synth band aren't they?
    TheWhiteKeys101
    hmmm...I would consider MGMT Rock. I would even consider them this generation's Pink Floyd after seeing them live(not comparing the two here). You should listen to their show live at Abbey road. Its a million times better than the original songs, with less synths. And btw, The Beatles, The Doors, Genesis, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc. all used synths.
    labinnak
    I would probly classifying them as like indie-electro or something like that...
    theguitarerguy
    That's not my point. My point is that there are plenty of rock bands out there and many teenagers listening to them. Btw, I would compare their work on Congratualtions to Barrett-era Floyd.
    plindqui
    Well you're one of the good ones I guess, but the point is that an overwhelming number of people your age prefer the mass-produced pop crap than rock music. And as the other poster here said, with the exception of QotSA, the bands you've listed probably don't fall into the "rock" category as Billy or most others would put it. Still a step in the right direction I guess
    Kueller917
    But teenagers preferring mass-produced pop was always a thing. Blues wasn't very popular until labels started picking it up and making it lighter and catchier. Rock's early forms was the same and The Beatles and Elvis were a lot more poppier and accesible than music around at the time. Basically, the safe pop music is always the most popular, and the only difference is that it's less rock influenced today.
    Kaseke
    Actually teens (boys actually) at the age of aroun 15 start to listen to more aggressive music like metal. Or maybe it's just that I live in Finland that I've seen this happen..
    Sammy Mantis
    Who really cares? Let people enjoy the type of music they want to enjoy, does it really matter that much if rock music isn't on top anymore? Does people listening to pop prevent you from listening to what you like? I don't get people like this who are constantly looking to have their tastes and ideas about how things should be validated.