Smashing Pumpkins Interview on CNN
Friday - January 31, 1997

One of the best bands of 1996 almost didn't survive 1996. A drug overdose and an arrest almost brought about the end of the Smashing Pumpkins. But now the group is basking in the glow of 7 Grammy nominations. The Chicago rockers told Mark Sheerer how they made it though a year that was both the best of times and the worst of times.

CNN: When the Smashing Pumpkins played Long Island's Nassau Coliseum the other night, it was something of a minor miracle, because six months ago drug abuse and death nearly did in this band.

BC: Well, we almost felt that kind of pressure to.. to adhere to that cliche. You know... be your own inevitible exploding machine.

CNN: Now they top year-end best band lists, 7 Grammy nominations, and have the best selling double CD in history. Lead singer Billy Corgan, his marriage ending, is linked falsely with supermodel Helena Christensen. He has arrived as gossip column fodder.

BC: Well, you know......it's just Every time we come to New York we're reminded of that.... you know, in Chicago it's not as bad, but..... But in New York it's we're always reminded of this kind of pressure.. like, I mean it goes back... back to the...to the Summer of Tragedy.

CNN: The Tragedy? The July death from a heroin overdose of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin and the drug arrest of drummer Jimmy Chaimberlin and Chaimberlin's dismissal from the band.

JI:At that time it would have been... it definately would have been the easy thing to do to just call it quits.

BC: People who knew the situation and knew us really kinda came to our side and said "You guys are doing the right thing, and just don't let it freak you out too much." And that really kinda gave us the courage to go on.

CNN: The band Billy Corgan and James Iha started in 1987 is surprised to find that almost a decade has slipped past.

CNN: Coming up on your tenth anniversary, did you all... did it happen just as you thought it would?

BC: I think... no. No, not all of it, but most of it, but... it's not what you think it's going to be.. perfect...or it went as planned, but... What we got were the things we thought we would get, but what we got wasn't what we thought it was going to be.

CNN: Some people say that the future of rock and pop is dance beats. Is that the future of the Smashing Pumpkins?

BC: Yes. Don't be afraid. We'll meet you halfway.

CNN: Mark Sheerer, CNN entertainment news, New York.

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