Interview with Billy and Jimmy - 1993

From "RAGE" music program in Australia

Transcribed by Roachy (Mike Roach)

BILLY: I think back to when I first started playing in bands, it was very natural for me to want to play heavy music, and, very mellow music and you know, all my heavy metal fans couldn't understand, and all the girls that I knew, knew I wrote these pretty songs, and kind of one of those things that I did naturally then kind of figured it out naturally, after the ????. I wouldn't treat it as something feminine, but more so, just expressing everything that I am, as a point of trying to uphold some, retarded ancient medieval charisma that doesn't really exist in anyone that I know, and that goes to all you death metal fans.

BILLY: We know plenty of adults that really like what we do, and they find it sort of connects with what they liked about rock music when they were younger, but it has a certain amount of maturity, and they don't feel it's dealing with issues that they can not relate to, so, whatever, I don't care, it doesn't really matter. I like old music, I like new music, and if anybody likes music they should like it if it's good, and not like it if its bad. And I don't know, I think those musical generational gaps are really getting smaller and smaller.

BILLY: Post, the, the grunge explosion everyone jumped in the oh, I was in the punk rock band wagon, and so, suddenly we're getting asked all these questions on what do we think of punk rock and so as usual we told the truth and said we never liked punk rock, and so they said, what did you like and so I said we grew up on typical 70's radio in America which was Boston Cheap Trick, and so if we picked the mould we picked the mould more so of your you know traditional rocking band that did lot's of different material and covered lots of different bases, but it's not like we sit around and go oh man, we wanna make an album just like

JIMMY: Budakahn

BILLY: Live at Budakahn yeah. We, we sit around an' figure out how we need to top ourselves.

BILLY: if I had my preference I'd just prefer people to listen to the music and make judgements on that. We're not just at competing at a musical level, we're competing with the media as well. And to pretend that there's not a media perception is deceiving, it's stupid. You can try to pretend that there's not a media machine that you have to feed into, that's lying you know. You know you have to deal with your MTV's and your Melody Makers, so, you make a choice of how you wan to be in those mediums, and, my choice personally is be who I am and if it's misinterpreted then there's nothing I can do about that. If I'm trying to out guess some idiot who's never been on stage, never played a note in his life, and I'm not excluding some women from this, you know, who can not understand the depth of what we do then that's their problem, and it's not my problem 'cause they can't understand.

BILLY: As far as Smashing Pumpkins is concerned, the reason we get put in a lot of magazines is because, we help to sell the magazines, and, you get this kind of begriming press, and they don't really want to put us in there, but, they put us on the cover and in the magazine, and it sells partially because we're involved. My feeling about it is, we get a lot written about us because we write really good music and we have a pretty dedicated fan base

BILLY: After we finished the album (Siamese Dream) we opted to talk about some of the difficulties in recording the album, and you know, for the first month it was interesting, and every interview after that we just got asked what we said in the first month after the album came out, and then it just became pedestrian.

BILLY: I disagree with the perception that dysfunctional tension creates better music. I think the dysfunctional tension has only prevented us from making the music we're capable of making. Wouldn't you agree ?

JIMMY: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the record sounds the way it does because it was dysfunctional, but I don't think we're incapable of making great music.


JIMMY: Well, we're getting along, we're getting

BILLY: We're getting along just fine now, and we're writing more songs then ever, so, and we're happy with what we're doing.

BILLY: The other notion that I enjoy being a twisted neurotic person, is ridiculous you know. I am this twisted neurotic person because my parents didn't assume the responsibilities they supposedly had when they had me, and, you know, that's what I'm dealing with, whatever. Again, it gets back in the myth. People think I enjoy being this uncomfortable person you know, and I don't you know. I, I've never fit in, and I've never fit in because of the person I am or I'm not or whatever, but deep down inside I wished I had just been a normal stupid kid like everyone else out there.

BILLY: I'm dreadfully afraid of like a lack of desire. That's the thing that terrifies me more then anything. And getting out of bed and not wanting to anything, and I go through periods of that. But, somehow I've always found the energy to still wanna really work hard on the band and work on the music, so, that's the thing that terrifies me most, you know, it's like I think can I be rockin' at 35. I mean we were just listening to a new Cheap Trick record upstairs and their rockin' pretty good for however old they are, and I don't know, whatever.

BILLY: The reason I wrote Disarm was because, I didn't have the guts to kill my parents, so I thought I'd get back at them through song. And rather then have an angry, angry, angry violent song I'd thought I'd write something beautiful and make them realize what tender feelings I have in my heart, and make them feel really bad for treating me like shit

JIMMY: [laughs]

INTERVIEWER: Do you think it worked ?

BILLY: Yeah it's my mothers favorite song on the album.

BILLY: My original idea was, and this is what I told Vince Scott (Video producer of Disarm) for the band to be playing in the sky. I didn't want any lights(?), like here they are in the corner, here they are in Spain(?). So, he came up with the idea of fairy talesque, you know, where things were, like how a child would see fairy tale things like things are bigger and smaller, and aren't on scale. So, he, he took my original conception and the look I wanted turned it into that so. For the first time ever a video director actually understood the language that I was speaking.

BILLY: There's just to much pressure sometimes to come up with the video of the ages, and, and I'm just starting to feel that we should apply the same aesthetics to videos that we apply to the records we make and its unfortunate because we're not video directors so it's not the most easiest thing to do.

BILLY: People constantly question who we are, why we are and its like, its because its like how we are all the time, and people cannot get that through their fucking skull, its just how we are, and what's on stage is really how we are. And people say oh, come on what's the trick here, like there's some secret game we play with everybody. That's all.

Return to the Band's Page