Smashing Pumpkins Calling It Quits if New Albums Flop, Billy Corgan Says

"I'm either going to bail on this ship for good, or I'm going to have a new ship."

Ultimate Guitar

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan recently hinted that he will break up the band if the upcoming two albums, "Monuments to an Elegy" and "Day for Night," don't score the success he's aiming at.

"I'm not willing to wait around 15 to 20 years to have somebody go, 'Hey, that album that you made is really good.' And then sell it to the 7,000 people that are still paying attention," Billy told the Chicago Tribune.

"When this [new album] process is over, I'm either going to bail on this ship for good, like 'I'm done,' or I'm going to have a new ship to sail on."

The frontman further confessed that it's much harder to grab fans' attention at the current stage of his career, saying, "How do you reach through the fog as an artist? How do you punch your way back through? How do you say, 'I still matter?'

"How do you say, 'How does one of my contemporaries get treated like a contemporary artist, and how do I get treated like I'm supposed to play 'Siamese Dream' for the rest of my life?' At some point you've got to fight this fight or go away."

As reported, "Monuments to an Elegy" is due out on December 9, featuring Tommy Lee behind the drum kit. Motley Crue skinsman also performed on the second upcoming SP effort, "Day for Night," tentatively due in 2015. More info here.

50 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I don't really get it, the majority of SP's fans loved Oceania, it received a lot of positive reviews and even topped the charts, and I seldom see anyone telling him to go back to the 90s and play Siamese Dream again. Get your shit together Corgan.
    Indeed. Sounds like he's listening to the wrong people. He should know better. As an artist, he should know what he likes is good, and to hell with everyone else who doesn't get it.
    It's as if he's still paying attention to what people were saying when Zeitgeist came out. Oceania is a fantastic album, I don't see how this new one will flop if it keeps building on it's predecessor.
    He's said before that it's not the fans, it's the music industry executives who ask him to go on a nostalgia reunion tour every week. I would not take this too seriously, though. Remember when Billy said that the album is a "dead format" in 2009? Then he went and put Oceania out lol.
    If musicians would take from this advice we would never see new bands, cause there are loads of bands that gain big success after years of playing and not being successful after their first written songs. Even then, if you dont' enjoy music enough to just play it without aiming for solely a goal of succes.. well ye that's too bad then. I enjoy a jam with a friend without an audience just as much as listening to a nice record.
    He seemed quite frustrated with his fanbase with that bit about "selling it to the 7,000 people that are still paying attention". As for the executives... they ask every band on the planet to do such a thing so they can scav them off for more money. He shouldn't be so angry about it, really. That said, yeah, he's an absolute drama queen, so I wouldn't take this too seriously either haha.
    Thumbs up. At least he's not doing a Ted Nugent or Dave Mustaine style rant... so far.
    Oceania was the best album he has put out since MCAIS in my opinion. By far. I don't understand his issue. I guess he wants universal praise without "selling out" or some BS
    It sounds like somebody lost sight of why they ever started playing music in the first place, sad really.
    Honestly, he's one of the biggest basket cases in music. I definitely feel for him as far as not being able to pursue music without baggage that fans bring with them, but what did he expect resurrecting a band in name only? I actually really dug Oceania as not much of a SP fan, but he knows damn well he brought the name back because he'd sell even less as Billy Corgan. Is he making music for himself, or for the validation? Because it sounds like wants people to believe that he both doesn't care what fans want, but he's desperately seeking their approval. At this point, how many SP fans go just to heckle him for not playing the hits anyway? People should gauge their expectations against reality.
    Billy Corgan whines about something. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
    Really though. Ultimate Guitar, stop reporting anything this guy says. The majority of the reports/article on him are negativity he's pushing out. The other articles on him talk about the music he's releasing, but again, it's all fueled by his negativity and how he feels he doesn't get the credit he deserves as an artist. If any musicians I knew personally said this kind of thing, I'd question their integrity as a musician and I would not want to work with them. Yeah Billy, you want to put music out there that people like, but do it because you love music first, not because it isn't well-received. Fame and fortune isn't how you do it, you know this. I'll forever respect you if you are someone proud of their own work even if you fall flat because at least you kept your spine in place. Be one of my music heroes again, not Fall Out Boy in 2012:
    This happens to most acts... The artist gets older along with his/her audience. Most teenagers and young adults are not interested in what 40 and 50 somethings have to say musically. Young people are looking towards their peers for what's cool in music, art and fashion. Businesses do what they can to provide those things to them. Billy, you are no different than most artists. You need to come to terms with that fact. At least you still have a fan base and can support yourself by playing music.
    trying to guilt trip his fans into buying two copies,just so Billy Corgan can finally fund that wrestling promotion he always wanted.
    "How do you reach through the fog as an artist?" Write some ****ing good music then, you utter prima donna. I assume he'll blame it on the fans not paying attention if it flops, because it would never cross his mind that it just might not be very good.
    Isn't it strange that a man who built his entire career around his egotism cares so much about what others think?
    I'd be willing to sit through 5 more Led Zeppelin reunion rumor articles if I never have to here from this sellout again.
    Sellout? Based on what? Like him or not, he's like the total opposite to that. Do you know anything about his career?
    How is Billy a sellout? Last time I checked he wasn't going on nostalgia tours or constantly churning out Siamese Dream over and over.
    "If the album is a flop I'm done with the Smashing Pumpkins"....So it's not about if he enjoys and loves the music that he's creating. Just if everyone else likes it/ purchases the album? His albums sales went down so he might quit. Sounds like the definition of a sellout to me.
    So? That means he'll be done with Smashing Pumpkins, it doesn't mean he'll stop making music, Billy will always be around doing stuff.
    It's probably because he feels he's constantly running into a wall with SP. There's some goodwill after Oceania, but people still hate on him and his music while demanding more Siamese Dream. It probably isn"t easy if you want to move forward. He can be a bit whiny, but i can sorta see where he's coming from, i'm glad that i'm not in his position.
    One good way to grab their attention is to bring back the band members that wrote and played on the albums we loved, and stop coming off like a whiny bitch.
    It's a fact that Billy wrote like 95% of the material though, and played almost every instrument except drums.
    He played drums on a few tracks. Not many, but some of the songs on 'Siamese Dreams' where Jimmy couldn't be bothered to and a few more songs on 'Melon Collie'. Maybe he played drums on a few albums afterward but to be honest I haven't been following Smashing Pumpkins too much. Adore was a disappointment and Zeitgeist was a disappointment. I like Oceania though and I recall the Celestials getting quite a bit of airplay. Maybe all he needs to do is release some good quality dream-pop songs and focus on writing 'hits' on his new album rather than pointless experimentation. Not that i'm against experimentation it's just, if you want to recapture your glory days as the biggest band in the world playing sold-out shows and having your songs played 24/7 on every format possible, you're not gonna do it playing 'Behold the night mare' unless you're catering to bronies.
    I'd like you to find any proof that Billy played drums on any Siamese Dream tracks. With the standards for the album, and with Butch Vig producing, it wouldn't happen. The drums on that album are pristine, tempically and stylistically, to a level which Billy is simply not capable. He might have played on some demos, maybe even Pisces Iscariot tracks for all I know. Definitely not on the actual Siamese Dream album, though.
    Not all of them, Geek USA and Cherub Rock are pretty difficult, but others aren't nearly as technical. You don't need years of training with drums to play on tempo and with Butch Vig producing the drums are gonna sound good, especially since he produced a lot of bands with sloppy drummers and made them sound spectacular. Also, Jimmy was having severe drug problems and alcohol problems in the nineties. That's why he was fired from the band later in their career. Allegedly Billy played on certain tracks when Jimmy simply wasn't able to, and session drummers were occasionally hired for the live shows. I'm not saying that he wasn't a spectacular drummer, and the tracks he did play on were excellent, and i'm not saying that Billy is an amazing drummer on par with Neil Peart. What I am saying is that Billy did play drums on a few songs in response to a comment saying that he didn't. Also, Billy overdubbed the snare intro to Cherub Rock after Jimmy had performed on the track. Allegedly he would overdub certain drum parts (Tonight Tonight is a good example) after Jimmy had recorded them to accent them (or something, who knows what goes on in Billy's head).
    Complete and utter nonsense. The Only thing you can say is that Jimmy based some of the drum patterns on drum machine in Billy's demos, especially on Gish - hense the dropped snare on certain tracks to achieve the same sounds Billy was using. Up until Adore the only other person who played drums on a comercial Smashing Pumpkins track was Kerry Brown.
    Didn't he already say this before Oceania was released?
    I remember that as well, so it's probably gonna turn out okay. He'll whine and then proceed to make a couple of new albums down the road.
    what an *******. thats like saying we don't give a shit about the fans or about touring and playing shows in general. i guess he cares more about sold records than actually playing and being a band.
    The guy's going to keep writing songs either way. He's just struggling to decide who he should be playing them for. And he's being melodramatic. But of course he is. He's Billy Corgan.
    well who is going to be surprised if it is. meloncoly and oceania are the only albums that are not.