The singer credits Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan for schooling him on the transformative power of rock ’n’ roll.You talk of forms a lot in your lyrics at times, like on [CYR]—“Break into sapphires,” “Under mask, I am stars” and earlier [in “The End Is The Beginning Is The End], “For I am crystal chrome.” These states of being are present on the album, both lyrically and sonically.What we did in the beginning unconsciously—and then at some point, I think consciously—is we recognize that most of the primal forms in rock ’n’ roll had already been picked up, used and discarded.Our initial reaction was to feel frustrated by that, like a teenager going, “Well, what can I do?Don’t do that.” So, of course, we were like, “This is good.Every time we turn a page, particularly through the first year of the [the Smashing Pumpkins] and the ’90s, it was like we just kept uncovering levels of violence because people just kept telling us over and over again, “You can’t do that, or you shouldn’t do that.” Why not?WAY: I’ve always felt that rock ’n’ roll is something without rules.CORGAN: I think what will happen is the world will start to assume that rock ’n’ roll as a cultural institution is neutered.I don’t give a shit about what you all think, and I’m going to take this microphone, and I’m going to take this drum machine, and I’m going to take this kazoo, and I’m going to change the world.” They’ll just destroy all of it again.Because power abhors a vacuum, and chaos is a part of the human experience.I don’t give a fuck that rock ’n’ roll as a business has decided that it’s best kept under wraps.WAY: Let’s talk about control.I believe that rock ’n’ roll is about control.This is all born of the human desire for control of others because, in essence, the more people you can control or the more things you can control, the closer you are to immortality.WAY: I remember moving to Los Angeles and looking for a new sound, something really loud.One time we spoke about the machine of being in a big band.If you don’t get off, it will never stop.And to me, you are someone—and this is rare in rock ’n’ roll and music in general—[who] appears to have gotten off that train.Do you feel free because you can just exist and you don’t have to be in a machine?It took me a long time of accepting things and, at the same time, making peace with my own ambition.I had to make peace with that.The point is: The younger generations coming will be given the option of the machine or not. .
Smashing Pumpkins' 'Mellon Collie' was Alt-Rock's Swan Song
But that’s exactly what they were — especially Billy Corgan, the band’s dictator of a leader, who rivals Kanye West for having the most bloated ego in music history.When asked about this in a Guitar World interview, Corgan said “When you are faced with making a permanent recorded representation of a song, why not endow it with the grandest possible vision?” But his peers thought the exact opposite.It opens with a three minute piano intro saturated in strings and woodwinds that makes it sound like its straight out of an old Hollywood cinema classic. .
Smashing Pumpkins' D'arcy Shares Billy Corgan's 'Guns N' Roses
Original Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’arcy has sent Alternative Nation the following text message conversations she had with Billy Corgan in January, including his pitch to involve her as a guest like Steven Adler on Guns N’ Roses’ Not In This Lifetime tour. .
Wikipedia:WikiProject Alternative music/The Smashing Pumpkins
All Smashing Pumpkins albums and songs, and also articles on band members and related people.A general Smashing Pumpkins article must be placed in "Smashing Pumpkins" category.Articles [ edit ].Templates [ edit ].To be placed at the bottom of each Smashing Pumpkins article. .
The Smashing Pumpkins
One of the most visible alternative rock bands of the early '90s, the Smashing Pumpkins achieved mainstream success over the decade with classic releases Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, then entered an uneven and often tumultuous chapter that carried them into the 2000s. .
Siamese Dream is the second studio album by American alternative rock band the Smashing Pumpkins, released on July 27, 1993 on Virgin Records.Despite recording sessions fraught with difficulties and tensions, Siamese Dream debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts, and eventually was certified 4x Platinum, with the album selling over six million copies worldwide, cementing the Smashing Pumpkins as an important group in alternative rock music.Four singles were released in support of Siamese Dream: "Cherub Rock", "Today", "Disarm", and "Rocket". Rolling Stone magazine has ranked it between numbers 341 - 362 on various versions of their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.The band's debut album, Gish, was released on Caroline Records in 1991 to unexpected success and acclaim.Frontman Billy Corgan felt "this great pressure to make the next album to set the world on fire". The immense pressure to succeed intensified an already problematic situation: drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was severely addicted to heroin, guitarist James Iha and bassist D'arcy Wretzky had recently ended their romantic relationship, and Corgan, aside from battles with weight gain and suicidal depression, was struggling with writer's block.The band relocated to Triclops Studios in Marietta, Georgia for the album sessions, so they could avoid local friends and distractions, and to cut Chamberlin off from his known drug connections. Soon afterward, executives from Virgin Records came to observe the band after hearing about their problems, but were pleased with the demo and did not soon return to the studio. Wretzky stated that Corgan only performed most of the guitar and bass parts because he could lay them down more easily in recording and with far fewer takes.Corgan admitted there was some truth to accusations of tyrannical behavior, though he felt the press misunderstood the situation.While Chamberlin performed all drum parts on the album, he would disappear for days on drug benders that caused everyone to fear for his life.After one incident where the drummer had disappeared for two or three days, Corgan "put the hammer down", according to Vig, and had Chamberlin perform the drum part for "Cherub Rock" until his hands bled.Stating that he had gotten rid of most of his things and was "fantasizing about my own death, I started thinking what my funeral would be like and what music would be played.Corgan suggested that engineer Alan Moulder mix the album, due to his work on Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.The album, generally considered alternative rock, has many different musical influences, including shoegazing, dream pop, and heavy metal, with Rolling Stone noting that the album was "closer to progressive rock than to punk or grunge.Corgan noted that most of his lyrics for the album were about his girlfriend and future ex-wife Chris Fabian, with whom he had briefly broken up at the time he wrote the songs.In "Cherub Rock", the album's opening track, Corgan attacked the American music industry, and "Today" is about a day that he was experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts.The artwork for the album was initially going to be created by an outsider artist, but after a series of disagreements with the label, Corgan was forced to step in at the last minute.Shortly after the Pumpkins reformed in 2007, Corgan posted a message to the band's blog saying that they were "[l]ooking for girls from Siamese Dream album cover... As you all know, they were quite young when the photo was taken. In February 2011, Billy Corgan announced via Twitter that not only had one of the girls been found, she was the current bassist for the Pumpkins, Nicole Fiorentino.According to Corgan, "Just found out the weirdest news: our bass player Nicole just admitted she is one of the girls on the cover of Siamese Dream." However, according to the assistant photographer for Siamese Dream, the cover photo was probably shot specifically for the album.The album was also released as a shaped wooden box set (aka Siamese Dream Collectors Edition) with metal hinges, limited to only 1,000 copies and containing the UK HUT CD album housed in a recess with individually numbered silver metal embossed plate at the side and a 20-page booklet housed in a similar recess in the lid.Select's Andrew Perry praised it as "the most grand-scale, expansively-passionate blasts of music you'll hear this year" and remarked that it would be "hard for anyone to top this one". John Harris of NME wrote that Siamese Dream, "for all its air of non-committal blankness and exercise-book psychoanalysis, is a startling, deeply satisfying record". Steve Hochman of the Los Angeles Times predicted that "the scale of its success will likely be tied to how many fans are willing to stop moshing and enter into some rather contemplative, even tender territory", and wrote that "the songs tend to drift in places, and some get a bit long-winded, but the overall balance between the harsh and the sweet makes for a strong and distinctive package". Lorraine Ali of Rolling Stone called the album "a strong, multidimensional extension of Gish that confirms that Smashing Pumpkins are neither sellouts nor one-offs.Entertainment Weekly critic David Browne praised the band for living up to industry expectations of being the "next Nirvana" and compared Siamese Dream favorably to Nirvana's Nevermind, concluding: "In aiming for more than just another alternative guitar record, Smashing Pumpkins may have stumbled upon a whole new stance: slackers with a vision." Critic Simon Reynolds disagreed; he wrote in his review for The New York Times that "fuzzed-up riffs and angst-wracked vocals are quite the norm these days, and Smashing Pumpkins lacks the zeitgeist-defining edge that made Nirvana's breakthrough so thrilling and resonant." Robert Christgau of The Village Voice cited "Geek U.S.A." and "Today" as highlights while noting the record's strength is "the sonics"; he later rated the album with a three-star honorable mention." Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot wrote that it "became a soundtrack for a significant portion of [Corgan's] generation" and "did so by tempering some of the first album's extremes; sticky melodies and pretty production can make almost anything radio-friendly, even a desperately sad song like 'Today.'" In a review for Pitchfork, Ned Raggett remarked that while initial reviews of the album singled out Corgan's lyrics for criticism, they were actually "exactly what made the band click even further", commending Corgan's "ear for hooks, metaphors, and deft summaries." The deluxe edition of the album holds a score of 96 out of 100 on review aggregate site Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim". In April 2019, Rolling Stone ranked Siamese Dream as the twelfth greatest Grunge album of all time. .
Part 4: 1993: Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, and Urge Overkill
After one of the headiest years in Chicago rock history—a time when the city usurped Seattle as the new alt-rock hotspot, thanks to Smashing Pumpkins going platinum with the colossal guitar symphony Siamese Dream, and Liz Phair and Urge Overkill releasing the critically acclaimed and demonstrably cool Exile In Guyville and Saturation—local music critic Bill Wyman stated an opinion that seems obvious now, but ended up being quite the shit-stirrer when he wrote it.For Wyman, the common thread connecting the city’s best-known but otherwise disparate rock acts was their “explicit rejection of much of the insularity that increasingly characterizes underground music and the fringes of underground music in America.” In other words, Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, and Urge Overkill actively pursued a mass audience: They made pop-friendly records, engaged with the record-industry hype machine, and did it all with enough ironic detachment so as to not appear overly craven.I had a vague awareness that there was a strata of bands beyond the new alt-rock establishment, mostly pop-punk groups like Bad Religion and NOFX, which my snowboarding-obsessed pals played all the goddamn time while we drove around town during lunch hour, along with stuff like Fugazi’s 13 Songs and the self-titled Operation Ivy compilation.Incredibly smart, engagingly articulate, openly judgmental, and intimidating to anyone with even a modicum of self-confidence issues, Albini not only once inspired Chunklet to ask “Is This Guy The Biggest Asshole In Rock?” in 40-plus-point cover type, he seemed to lust mightily for the distinction.On top of everything else on his impressive résumé, Albini was a prolific and important rock writer, contributing profane, Arsenic-laced prose to zines like Forced Exposure and Matter, where his well-thought-out arguments against submitting to the destructive conventions of the music industry were spiked with lame stabs at “provocative” political incorrectness.To Albini, indie-ness was both a science and an evangelical religion; he could be persuasively pragmatic about how bands were better off personally and creatively treating music as a pastime rather than a job, and then land patently insulting roundhouse blows against anyone dumb, silly, or unlucky enough to disagree with his fiercely held views.“Watching the three artists you moo about prostrate themselves before the altar of publicity these last 12 months has been a source of unrivaled hilarity here in the ‘bullshit’ camp, and seeing them sink into the obscurity they have earned by blowing their promo wads will be equally satisfying.”.But then Urge Overkill decided to sign with Geffen before the release of Saturation, which to people like Albini and Touch And Go founder Corey Rusk was an unethical, if not unforgivable, transgression.It didn’t help that Urge Overkill had adopted a winking, swinging dandy persona on Saturation that reveled in passé rock clichés with far less irony that it might’ve initially appeared.The medallions and leisure suits that guitarist Nash Kato, bassist Eddie “King” Roeser, and drummer Blackie Onassis donned as everyday casual-wear fit with the thrift-store sensibility of Saturation, which created good-time Gen-X party jams out of the discarded pieces of unfashionable ’70s arena-rock like Ted Nugent and Aerosmith.The Stones’ influence on Guyville is plain in the record’s gut-level, stripped-down drive, with Phair beating out lean Keith Richards-style rhythm guitar parts over Brad Wood’s subtly swinging, Charlie Watts-like drumming.“Even when I was young at dinner tables with the extended family, listening to the men argue and the women sort of sit there—that’s just the way it was back then.” By merely existing, Guyville stood out as a statement undermining a male-dominated alt-rock scene that didn’t always practice the gender equality that it preached.But I’d be lying if I said that as a deeply awkward, profoundly confused, and sexually inexperienced 16-year-old boy that I didn’t take Phair’s blunt talk about blowjob queens and fucking until your dick turns blue at face value.When DeRogatis asked Corgan about the army of Pumpkins haters that was already growing before Siamese Dream made him one of alt-rock’s biggest personalities, he admitted that “the way that I carry myself” fueled much of the animosity.But his singing voice—which ranged from a whimpering whisper to an agonizingly forceful and petulant whine—was the manifestation of an endlessly needy personality, the kind of guy who makes a list with the names of everyone who’s ever wronged him and keeps it under his pillow at night.Corgan wasn’t only the architect of the widescreen Smashing Pumpkins sound, he was also the construction crew, handling virtually all of the guitar and bass parts on the band’s early albums.But, like Klaus Kinski in Werner Herzog’s masterpiece of megalomania, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God, Corgan kept the band together to satisfy his maniacal pursuit of endless power and riches.In Aguirre, Kinski ends up adrift on a lonely stretch of the Amazon with a raft full of corpses and wild monkeys; Corgan had better transportation, riding the stainless steel perfection of Siamese Dream’s impeccably conceived guitar-rock hymns straight to the promised land.And he did it his way, declaring his independence from the cool kids that scorned him on the album-opening “Cherub Rock,” which sounded like Bob Dylan re-writing “Positively Fourth Street” after gorging on Boston’s first album for an entire summer.Corgan was wise to score his manic-depressive confessional with a gorgeously simple melody that took grunge’s standard quiet verse/loud chorus formula to new heights of gloomy grandeur.With 1995’s Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness and the accompanying singles collection The Aeroplane Flies High, the Pumpkins amazingly offered up five albums’ worth of material over the course of a year.By 1998, the epic emoting of Siamese Dream already seemed irreparably dated even to Corgan, who pulled Smashing Pumpkins in a radically different direction on Adore, playing around with trendy electro-pop and sullen balladry.Today, Corgan keeps Smashing Pumpkins technically afloat like one of those barely-there, barely-remembered classic-rock institutions that tour county fairs every summer with one original member and four or five guys in Hawaiian shirts.Only Phair’s self-titled fourth record inspired as much passion as her debut when it was released in 2003, though this time people were rushing to take back all the nice things they had said about her 10 years earlier.Working with the sought-after production team The Matrix, which was most famous for making hits with shopping mall punk Avril Lavigne, Phair attempted the same career makeover that Weezer pulled off far more successfully a few years later, deliberately setting aside the dark idiosyncrasies that her cult following loved in order to create an exceedingly cynical version of modern pop music for the masses.Guyville is the work of a woman wise beyond her years; Liz Phair, meanwhile, was sort of embarrassing coming from a 36-year-old divorced mother who was slouching toward middle age by singing about playing Xbox with hot twentysomething-year-old boys in “Rock Me” and using semen as a beauty aid in “HWC.”.“When it comes to rock, we’re used to wincing at stars dressed up in packaging that masks a lack of talent,” Meghan O’Rourke wrote in a famously scathing New York Times review of Liz Phair.“Here, the wince comes instead from watching a genuine talent dressed in bland packaging.” For people who felt Guyville had been an honest reflection of their own experiences, it was as if Phair had gone back to being the girl that fetches the beer and talks about how bitchin’ her boyfriend’s band is. .