NEW FACES - Smashing Pumpkins - Meticulously calculated chaos
Rolling Stone - 1991
By Chris Mundy
(Sent to us by Eve Stahlberger)
Listening to "Gish" the initial awe-inspiring explosion by Smashing Pumpkins, the word control does not immediately spring to mind. But for Billy Corgan the Chicago bands twenty-four year old singer-guitarist, steering his course was so important that he shunned virtually every major label eventually signing with indie-Caroline Records- in order to retain complete creative license. Gish, as it turns out is meticulously calculated chaos. "What the band does is so specific that we couldn't dilute it in any way." says Corgan. "We couldn't put ourselves in a position where we were powerless."
The results are anything but watered down. The band (which also includes guitarist James Iha, bassist D'arcy, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin) thrashes around in waves of feedback and beautifully distorted melodies-swirling energy that conjures up visions of Jimmy Hendrix sitting in with the Stooges. Control of the studio however extracted a pound of flesh. "A studio is a big mirror," says Corgan. "You can see every crack in your persona. It was like looking inside yourself. Sometimes I listen to the record and I just want to cry."
The record strikes and emotional chord for Corgan, he's cautiously hopeful that it will resonate with equal clarity for everyone. "It's important to believe we bare all," says Corgan. "This album is like someone walking through a house. I feel like I've managed to get people into the house but maybe not through any of the doors."
Gish, in fact smacks more of the opening of an alternate universe- a space soon to be filled with the return of major labels eager for a shot at a sophomore outing. Next time Corgan might be willing to listen. "We're ready now," he says of the impending attention. "What you see is what you get. Its no longer a question of being a diamond in the rough. I mean here we are."
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