Smashing Pumpkins Frustrated By Fans

Smashing Pumpkins get frustrated when fans just want to hear their old songs and they plan to primarily play new record "Oceania" when they tour again.

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Smashing Pumpkins get frustrated when fans just want to hear their old songs.

Frontman Billy Corgan says despite all the work he puts into writing new material, fans often just want them to play the classics.

He told ArtistsDirect.com: "We met this wall resistance like, 'It's nice you guys want to move forward, but can't you just play the old songs?' I've had five years of 'Can't you just play the old songs?' The whole time, all I've done is put my head down and try to make new music. You reach a point of literal frustration where you start going, 'Maybe this is never going to move forward? Maybe the vague 'they' out there will never accept The Smashing Pumpkins of this time?'"

However, concertgoers could be disappointed next time they're at a show because Billy says they plan to play their latest offering "Oceania" in its entirety with only few fan favourites thrown in.

He told ArtistsDirect.com: "[Playing 'Oceania' from beginning to end live] was always the plan from the beginning. We made the album with that in mind. Everybody is out playing their old album. Now, it's created a thing where people expect that. Being The Smashing Pumpkins, we're going to play an album; it's just going to be our new one.

"We want to play the album and then play some classics to go with it. I have to give some credit to [Pink Floyd's] David Gilmour. I saw him on his solo tour in 2006, and he did that. He came out and played a couple of 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' songs. He played his whole new record. Then he did 'Echoes', 'Comfortably Numb', and all of that stuff. It was awesome. It was a really cool thing, and you felt like he was honouring where he was at and did this idealised set afterwards. That's what we're shooting for."

Thanks for the report to ContactMusic.com.

100 comments sorted by best / new / date

    getts182
    randymeeks81 wrote: this article should be titled "Billy Corgan does his best to dismantle former Smashing Pumpkins Legacy". This new incarnation of the band is more damaging than the Axl Rose's GnR Circus.
    Speaking as someone who isn't particularly a Pumpkins fan, the situation is hardly the same. It's fairly common knowledge that Billy Corgan was and always has been the Pumpkins mastermind, and that he was known to have recorded most, if not all, of the guitars and bass on albums, even when James and D'arcy were in the band. He was the primary creative force, unlike Axl Rose.
    derek_domino
    Beakwithteeth wrote: Write GOOD new material Billy Corgan. Then people might like it.
    Pretty much. Also, a steady and somewhat original lineup would help.
    6-String_Madman
    link no1 wrote: "WAAHHHH!!! Fans only wanna hear our old stuff!!!" Ever heard of Metallica Billy?
    Good example!
    khakiapple
    corgan needs to stop performing under the smashing pumpkins name. he's ruining it now. kill that band and make something else to mess up.
    Morgothik
    It's his own fault for taking so much time off. If they had continually worked on new material they could get away with it more. See Iron Maiden, you get plenty of new and some old because they stayed relevant and avoided the dinosaur band tag.
    tomc2
    Its better him telling this now than having people pay for tickets only to hear what they don't like. Neil Young did that with one of his albums and the people I knew that went walked out of a 90 dollar show....
    Carl Hungus
    I have never seen SP live but I have spoken to many people over the years since the nineties who have and they all uniformly panned the performances. The Dave Gilmour comparison is a little off since Dave performs as a solo artist and Billy Corgan performs as "The Smashing Pumpkins". If he had been making music back in the day like he does now the band might never have even gotten off the ground in the first place. I wonder if he ever thinks about that.
    lul
    they are coming down here soon.. as long as they play Mayonaise or Rhinocerous i'll be happy
    gilbertn923
    They could have a concert with no opening acts, just "an evening with" type of situation. I saw Amon Amarth when they released Surtur Rising and they played that album in the first half and the second half was just all over the place from their previous albums. If Smashing Pumpkins did that, then they would be set for the rest of their tours.
    gateway01
    honestly, I think Oceania is one of the best works from SP yet, but all these 90's bigots don't even want to listen to it. I like to maintain an open mind.
    link no1
    "WAAHHHH!!! Fans only wanna hear our old stuff!!!" Ever heard of Metallica Billy?
    malfeitor665
    I could care less about what he does on a fan level. I liked only 2 or 3 of their songs to begin with... But he's telling everyone in advance what his plans are. If it causes him to lose money, so what? That just shows he cares more about his art than he does about the dollar. That garners more respect for me than if he just went out and played the songs that got played out just to make a buck. If you're not down for hearing his new album, don't go to his concert. Honestly, if I'm going to see a band that has a new album out, I'd expect they're going to play largely from that album unless they announce something different (like when maiden did the tour where they were playing from the first four albums..which was AWESOME). But otherwise, I would expect new material with a few encores like bullet and zero (or the stuff I didn't care for but got played like tonight tonight, 1979..etc..)
    crystalmonday80
    It's not even smashing pumpkins anymore, me and my sister refer to them as "Billy Corgan & Friends".
    emidog
    He should probably just make better music. That would take care of the problem.
    im not mental
    i saw the pumpkins about 2 years ago and they played a pretty even mix of their old AND new material. granted i only knew a few of the new songs but i'd say it was still a pretty good experience.
    brnbasler
    The way I see it is current Smashing Pumpkins is a lot like current Guns N Roses. Billy Corgan is a great musician and all, but Smashing Pumpkins was 4 people, not just him. I think he has surrounded himself with yes men over the years, and doesn't have an editor. I haven't heard his new stuff, but it doesn't surprise me that the fans have not responded well to it.
    pokerhappy
    Next week: "Metallica 'frustrated' over playing Master of Puppets all the time, plans to play St. Anger in its entirety"
    losing battle
    Just do a double set. Play the entire new albulm in its entirity then do the main set its the best of both words and you don't have a shitty opening act.
    Mephaphil
    Oh Billy. Using the Pumpkins name is a cheap tactic. I saw you play earlier this year and the sound was terrible, could hardly hear the songs, you played 2 oldies and 2 newies, which most people were fine with. Don't make it worse, if you're going to use the Pumpkins trademark, at least do it justice.
    CiReMaN
    Like he couldn't mix his classic songs with his latests in sets...
    sunburstshredde
    I have always admired Billy's integrity as an artist. He has always done what he has wanted to do, even if it means selling fewer records and playing smaller venues. That being said, Oceania was pretty good in my opinion. Still, I'd like to hear the classics, such as "1979", "Bullet with Butterfly Wings", and "Mayonaise".
    Pit_
    The down side of being an old band with new material. You need to make a better album than everything you've ever done before, so fans would demand the latest stuff. Lose-lose situation indeed.
    Rands2113
    Oceania is an amazing album. I wouldn't mind at all if they do that for concerts. It shouldn't matter what people say. If you like the band your gonna let them play whatever.
    Alan Ciccone
    Absurder22 wrote: If your new shit didn't suck so bad people would be happy with a mixed set.
    I think you put it better than I did
    Alan Ciccone
    I'm a huge pumpkins fan and of Billy Corgan. So many artists in the past have complained like this. Hendrix comes to mind. The difference is, Hendrix's writing did not go downhill the way Billy's has. The last decade worth of Pumpkins material has been embarrassingly overproduced. When you hear him take the songs to an acoustic guitar there is still real heart there but the albums can't hold a candle to Gish or Siamese Dream so he can't really demand fans not to ask for old tunes.
    Dark Canuck
    It must be frustrating, but it's nothing we haven't heard before. Maybe the writing is on the wall, try to create some buzz about the new material and try to keep relevant. Like it or lump it, majority of casual fans want to hear the classics.
    Jyrgen
    Guys reread the article, he does say he is going to play some hits at the end of the set, after they have played the new album.
    swave75
    Well this is a double edged sword. If doesn't play the classics the fans lose. If he does play them then he is frustrated. The Pumpkins hey day was the 90's. Bullet with Butterfly Wings and Today. AC/DC has been playing You Shook Me all Night Long for 100 years now and I bet they are tired of it but they still play it. Hell, a few years ago when they played SNL for the first time in their long career, they played it. He just needs to mix old stuff with new stuff. Plain and simple.
    Mazz-
    Look, to be honest with everyone here...I don't remember hear anything about them until one day in the mid 1990s at my friend's house after school one day I saw the video for Bullet with Butterfly Wings & I really liked that song, and Zero & Tonight Tonight, 1979...Those were all on the Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness 2-Disk Album...& then I also liked "Today" but that was when I was in Middle School (as-in after elementary & before high school (the high school I attended & graduated from in 2003 was grades 7-12, not 9-12). as I got older my taste in music pulled me more towards punk rock & then it like evolved into hard rock & metal, & as I get older I find myself getting more bluesy. The thing Billy Corgan is going to need to come to terms with, is the fact that Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was a REALLY well-liked album & that's what people like to hear...
    ToolCreedence
    RadioMuse wrote: Based on my observations this is a common problem for most bands with sizable back-catalogs. Particularly those with beloved albums in their back-catalogs who are producing albums less heralded than the greats in their pasts. I recently saw Radiohead and they played all but one song from the newest album (King of Limbs), a newer tune or two (Staircase, and a completely new one), nothing pre-OK Computer, and only two songs from the crowd pleasing In Rainbows. While I was disappointed that I didn't get to hear all my favorites, and a little annoyed I had to sit through a couple songs I'm not terribly enamored with, I was ultimately left extremely impressed, very pleased, and still wanting more. That's just the nature of it. The same goes for the Smashing Pumpkins. If I was to see them I would want them to play at least a few of the old favorites, but I shouldn't expect them to play Siamese Dream and the best of Mellon Collie and either be forced to play 3 hours to get in new material or be limited to 3 newer songs. It's just not realistic.
    I saw Radiohead twice this Spring and I gotta say that I feel you. Wish I would've seen them on the In Rainbows Tour. They were good, but I guess I expected more. They played a ton of KoL and didn't even play the one song (Codex) that I wanted to hear off of it either time. Oh well, they're aren't there to play my personal setlist anyway. I actually still expected a lot of In Rainbows but it was mostly newer singles and KoL. Not as impressive as I had hoped. But I'd still pay $80 to see them again in a heartbeat.
    RadioMuse
    Based on my observations this is a common problem for most bands with sizable back-catalogs. Particularly those with beloved albums in their back-catalogs who are producing albums less heralded than the greats in their pasts. I recently saw Radiohead and they played all but one song from the newest album (King of Limbs), a newer tune or two (Staircase, and a completely new one), nothing pre-OK Computer, and only two songs from the crowd pleasing In Rainbows. While I was disappointed that I didn't get to hear all my favorites, and a little annoyed I had to sit through a couple songs I'm not terribly enamored with, I was ultimately left extremely impressed, very pleased, and still wanting more. That's just the nature of it. The same goes for the Smashing Pumpkins. If I was to see them I would want them to play at least a few of the old favorites, but I shouldn't expect them to play Siamese Dream and the best of Mellon Collie and either be forced to play 3 hours to get in new material or be limited to 3 newer songs. It's just not realistic.
    iamryanallen
    just listen to the music...thats what its always and WILL always be about... you dont like the new stuff? dont go to the upcoming shows. there are millions of other bands out there, all over the world... find ones you DO like, and stop shitting on the ones you don't like or that don't fit the mold of your personal ideas of what they "are" or "should be", based soley on the 2 or 3 songs of theirs that you liked 15+ years ago ...why can't people, such as artists like Billy, just learn how to f**king grow, musically, spritually and mentally
    Campbell2727
    Frontman Billy Corgan says despite all the work he puts into writing new material he is still just a rat in a cage
    nagha
    I think that bands should do tours in two parts. First part is for the mainstream crowd and the second part is for hard core fans (in small venues). New songs for both. Deep cuts for the hard core and mainstream fare for the mainstream crowd. Everyone wins.
    AcdcTXfan
    Sorry Billy, but when fans buy a ticket to see your concert, they want to hear all the songs that they love. You're kinda ripping them off if you play songs they don't know, considering the prices for concert tickets these days.
    NorCalLos
    Duke_Lukem wrote: NorCalLos wrote: Dude--You don't have to play the old songs. Just don't charge people money to see you and you can play what you want. This might actually be the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my entire life.
    You are obviously new here.