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Smashing Pumpkins: Life After Death

Smashing Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan says he's been "humbled by God."

The topic clearly opens a Pandora's box crammed full of lingering resentment and pain.

"There's no way to properly convey what it was like to be in that band," Corgan states. "And the fucked-up stuff is ten times more fucked-up than what the world even knows — but that's the mystery and magic of the band.

"How could we have these incredible acts of betrayal happening," he asks, "yet turn around and be able to surmount this impossible mountain — and, for a brief time, stand there unchallenged? Then of course implode in our own hubris and greed, but that's what makes it a fascinating tale."

Smashing Pumpkins 2013 (L-R): Nicole Fiorentino, Billy Corgan, Matt Byrne and Jeff Schroeder.
Paul Elledge
Smashing Pumpkins 2013 (L-R): Nicole Fiorentino, Billy Corgan, Matt Byrne and Jeff Schroeder.

Location Info

Map

Bayou Music Center

520 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002

Category: Music Venues

Region: Downtown/ Midtown

Details

Smashing Pumpkins with Girl In a Coma and Ringo Deathstarr

Wednesday, May 15, at Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas, bayoumusiccenter.com. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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He's quick to drop his gloves when dissing his former bandmates, yet Corgan can't mask the deep bond they once shared.

"I was in love with the Smashing Pumpkins," he says wistfully. "I really believed in what we were doing. But I idealized the band [members], which, of course, overlooked their incredibly flawed human personas, and which now bites me in the ass as they rear their heads for lawsuits."

His tone turns from emotive longing to bitter resentment in just a few seconds, as he speaks of the former group he once so "loved."

As our conversation wraps, Corgan becomes reflective. A guy known for his tough talk, he suddenly seems defenseless, candid about the memories our conversation stirred — memories of great success, and the greater demise of the longest and most intense love affair of his life: his band.

"It's been a long, weird journey," he muses. "If somebody would have told me 15 years ago that at 45 I'd be living in a big house with two dogs and two cats, with no wife and no girlfriend, I wouldn't have believed them.

"My life did not turn out the way I'd planned it," he reveals, emphatically. "Not even close."

For, admittedly, the first time ever, it's possible to see Corgan as unequivocally human, as Oceania's themes of "isolation and love" suddenly make perfect sense.

"But being healthy, humbled by God, musically engaged, and surrounded by good people," Corgan offers, "those are the moments I'm okay with, because maybe this was the way it was meant to be all along."

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7 comments
DavyCrockett
DavyCrockett

Say what you will about the band or Corgan, but I've always liked them. Oceania obviously isn't as good as their earlier stuff, but there are some strong, strong tunes on there. Hell, the first song will make you think he found "it" again. But,  HP's sister paper, the Dallas Observer, panned the show last night in Dallas - I thought it was good a good show.

idylwino
idylwino

Hopefully they bring it for the Houston date.  

Anse
Anse

"Out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins

Nature kids, aw they ain't got no function

I don't understand what they mean

Like I really give a fuck..."

--Pavement, "Range Life"

idylwino
idylwino

@Anse 

That Pavement song always gets mentioned whenever Corgan has an interview.  Admittedly, the dude is probably egotistical as hell and believes he's going to save rock and roll with the an intimidating amount of pedals.  However, you can read it as a diss on the Pumpkins or a diss on the huge throng that showed up at Lollapalooza for those dates.   Still, Corgan had them kicked off anyway so Malkmus wins?

Anse
Anse

@idylwino @Anse I saw the Smashing Pumpkins play in Austin in the 90's. Corgan stopped the show and walked off the stage not once, but TWICE, because he felt we were not enthusiastic enough. Then, near the end of the show, he invites a bunch of women on stage with him and proceeds to insult them and even tells the crowd he had one of them in his hotel room last night. He's a dick. He's also a mediocre songwriter. Why did I go to the show? Because a chick I had the hots for liked them, and what won't a man do for love? Stephen Malkmus is a hundred times the songwriter that doofus could ever hope to be. But yeah, he's laughing all the way to the bank, I know. Big whoop.

idylwino
idylwino

@Anse @idylwino 

He has definitely had his share of dramaqueen moments in the spot light.  If I remember correctly, they played Rockefeller's West here in support of Siamese Dream and he got hit with a shoe during "Mayonnaise" and they ended the show.    Lame as hell, but I will still cop to being more of a Pumpkins fan and less of a Pavement fan then and probably now.  :(

itstdl
itstdl

"But being healthy, humbled by God, musically engaged, and surrounded by good people," Corgan offers, "those are the moments I'm okay with, because maybe this was the way it was meant to be all along."    

well said.     

 
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