SP INTERVIEWS / ARTICLES



Dublin Chat transcript Live in Dublin May 11th - Online Interviewer : Imusic * Occasion : Before the live gig in Dublin 5/11/96* Scripted by Imusic

Welcome Billy, D'Arcy, Jimmy and James.

Q: There are a lot of rumors that Mellon Collie was your last album. Say its not so.

Band: It's not so! It's not so!

Q: Will you release a b-sides album?

Billy: No.

Q: I watched your rockumentary. Who is Rubber Man?

Billy: (laughter) Rubber Man is the Everyman.

D'Arcy: He's never been to Holland, I take it.

Q: I've heard that Mellon Collie was going to be your last rock album and that you're going to change your style of music. Is that true?

Billy: It's truly false and in some ways falsely true. I wouldn't say that it's going to be our last rock album, but it'll be our last record as you know us now. But for those of you who don't know us, it won't make any difference.

Q: How do you feel about people making bootlegs of your live shows and unreleased stuff?

D'Arcy: We're gonna sue you.

Q: Do you guys collect your own bootlegs?

Billy: Occasionally we find stuff on bootlegs that we didn't even know existed, so I guess it does have some kind of value.

Q: Do you think the Internet will become an important medium for bands, for example to show their abilities?

D'Arcy: Their abilities for...

Billy: Typing (laughter)

Q: What did you make of the Top of the Pops TV appearance and how did you mind the miming??

Billy: It was exciting. (laughter)

Q: James seemed to enjoy himself with those extravagant strums.

James: Yes, I found that miming was much easier than actually playing. So it was a new experience for us. (laughter)

Billy: We're going to work it into the show.

Q: Have you thought of or been asked to do an "MTV Unplugged?"

Billy: Yes, and we probably will.

Q: Could you play Spaceboy at the Auckland, NZ concert? It's my favorite song.

Billy: Sure. If we remember. (laughter).

Q: Will you release an acoustic live album?

Billy: Possibly, if we do an "MTV Unplugged.

Q: I heard that James and D'Arcy's record label, Scratchie, have signed The Frogs and that Billy was going to produce their first album for Scratchie?

James/D'Arcy: Yes. It's already been produced.

Q: James, do you plan on becoming a runway model?

James: I already am!

Billy: You should see the fashion shows before the show.

Q: D'Arcy, what kind of horses do you ride?

D''Arcy: Any horses I can get.

Q: Billy, do you think you're taking your fame too far?

Billy: (laughter) Well, wherever you are, if we get to where you are, then we are.

Q: This question is from Portugal. Was it true that you thought our audience was the best one, and if so, why?

Billy: We're not the kind of band that tells every crowd, "you're our best audience." We felt that theshow in Portugal was the best show we've had on the European tour. It was an exceptional show. It was an outside show, it was a beautiful night and it turned out to be a great show.

Q: I got ear damage at your concert in Copenhagen that makes my ears ring all the time. How loud is the volume at your shows?

Billy: Well, what we normally do, is every city we go to, we hire a fifteen year old boy and we turn it up until he starts to make a funny face, then we know how loud the concert should be.

James: Then we turn it up about ten notches louder than that.

Q: D'Arcy, are you ever going to sing on any of the songs? "Daydream" is rad and now that James is getting to sing, are you the next in line?

D'Arcy: I've applied.

Billy: She's applied to sing and we're processing the paperwork at the moment. It's a lot of red tape.

Q: What is the future of Star Children and The Smashing Pumpkins?

Billy: The future of The Star Children is indefinite and will be hopefully correlated with living in space.

Q: Where did you guys get the girls for the Siamese Dream cover? Who are they?

Billy :They are actually robot wax models. Demographically figured out to achieve to the maximum child audience. It created an impulse-buying run that has yet to cease.

Q : Did you like Australia?

Jimmy: Yes, there are a lot of dangerous animals, in Australia. 70% of the world's most dangerous creatures live there. Spiders, reptiles, stone fish, koalas...

Q: How in the world, James, did you get that effect on the solo for zero?

Billy: That was a digital effect program that we specifically tailored to fit James' nubile needs.

Q: Jimmy, what sort of kit do you use?

Jimmy: I think the current kit is a Yamaha.

Q: How accomplished a guitarist are you, Jimmy?

Jimmy: I'm better than James and Billy...

D'Arcy:.. Put together.

Q: Billy, how many instruments do you play? I hear you play piano and bass, but do you play the violin as well?

Billy: I actually play the Chamberlain, the Retzke, the Iha, the Corgan, the mouth organ and a nose flute. I've been known to play the saw, but only when tipsy.

Q: Have you ever studied classical musicians like Mozart and Bach?

Billy: I've studied Bach, and let me tell you, he could cut a rug.

D'Arcy: That man knows how to dance.

Q: What has been your inspiration in life, in terms of your music writing?

Billy: My inspiration has been to translate what I see in total. People often ask me why I write sad songs, but life is sad and life is happy. So, it seems to me that I should write happy songs and sad songs.

Q: What's this about James and D'Arcy running a production company?

James: We don't have a production company. We have a record label.

D'Arcy: It's called Scratchy Records. Our motto is "We won't f#@* you over."

Q: What are the chances of hearing a James Iha solo album anytime soon?

James: Well, I'm dead, so . . .

Billy: When you are dead, you can speak through anybody.

Q: What's your favorite video game?

James: Doom is a classic.

Billy: It's the best. We believe that Doom is the greatest video game ever created. To the makers of Doom: You created the greatest game ever. We sampled you on our album. Please send us more. We will put Doom on the front cover of all of our albums, we love you. D'Arcy: I want to know why you can't get Eleventh Hour for the Macintosh.

Q: D'Arcy, is it you on the cover of the 1979 single?

D'Arcy: No that's not me. That was what's her name from Fleetwood Mac - it was Stevie Nicks. I have to go now to prepare for the show. Good bye. Thank you.

Q: What was your inspiration for the song `Stumbleine'?

Billy: Well, I had this really traumatic experience when I was fifteen. I got shrunk and I had to live in a thimble, and let me tell you that it was hard. The food was plentiful and all, but the attack of the rats got to be a bit much. It came out of the experiences of that time.

Q: What bands do you listen to?

Billy: Well, nightly the Smashing Pumpkins, unfortunately.

Q: Billy, how are you influenced by Eddie Vedder?

Billy: I believe you will have to ask him the same question.

James: We like his nice shirts.

Billy: He got me to stop wearing green. We really love Eddie though, so don't take this wrong.

Q: Why are you called the Smashing Pumpkins?

Billy: Why are we Smashing Pumpkins? That is the dumbest question you could ask us. We will no longer answer the "where did the name come from?" question.

James: Eddie Vedder thought it up.

Billy: Yeah, actually it was Eddie Vedder.

Q: Do you feel that your latest album is the best that you've done so far?

James: I like it.

Billy: That's a tough one. It's the thing that I'm most proud of - I'm not sure that it's better than most things we've done.

Q: James, we saw your picture in Rolling Stone magazine. Do you like dressing like a pimp?

James: I prefer a used car salesman.

Q: James, you are the only Asian American right now in popular music - other than Kim Thayil of Soundgarden - I just wonder what you thought about that?

James: I never really thought about that.

Billy: I think the cool thing about this band is that we represent diverse things, but hopefully it will get to the point where people won't really pay attention. It won't be a distinguishing thing in their mind. Five years ago people would ask, "what's it like to be a girl in the band", or, "what's it like to have a girl in the band?" Now people don't ask that question anymore. Hopefully perceived minorities will no longer be an issue and rock will cease to be an "Anglo" kind of thing.

Q: What will the next single from Mellon Collie be? Jelly Belly maybe?

Billy: Nobody seems to like Jelly Belly. The next single I believe is Tonight, Tonight.

Q: Hi James. My friend says you were or are a woman. But then I also read that you were dating

D'Arcy. So which one was true?

Billy: He is a woman, and he was involved with D'Arcy.

James: I'm trying to do a lot of things these days.

Q: Will any of the songs that were in Pastichio Medley be released as complete songs?

Billy: Possibly.

Q: Billy, there's a lot of on-line discussion about the books of Elie Weisel and your lyrics. Was this a definite influence?

Billy: I've heard this and I have absolutely no idea. You know what it is? He wrote this one thing called Mayonnaise. So it starts there. You know how I got the title Mayonnaise? I looked in my refrigerator.

Q: Why did you change your music style to industrial techno-ish?

Billy: Well we haven't done it yet, so you can't really say those kind of things. It's a thought. Those are words we're using. But if people think we're going to sound like Nine Inch Nails or somebody like that they're way off. It's going to sound like the Smashing Pumpkins, just not like any Smashing Pumpkins you've ever heard.

Q: What's with you and Bob Seger?

Billy: We love the ramblin' man. We've traveled the same mean streets, where you walk into a restaurant and they donít know if you're a woman or a man. We paid tribute to him, in parody, in Detroit and people took it the wrong way. We had a friend come out dressed like Bob Seger and we did some Bob Seger songs.

James: People took it insultingly. We give him credit as a good song writer... and for having a good beard.

Q: There have been rumors of an album that's been recorded of songs written and performed by each individual band member. Any truth to this?

Billy/James: No.

Q: James, you seem like a nice guy, so it surprises me that you would steal D'Arcy's clothes to make the Today video.

James: I didn't steal them from D'Arcy. There was actually a wardrobe person that had a nice summer dress.

Q: What is the favorite guitar that you've ever played?

James: I have a nice guitar that's a Gibson 330.

Q: Billy, what is you favorite cartoon?

Billy: Myself.

Q: (To James) Are you still nervous when you sing?

James: I don't sing a lot, but yes.

Q: Billy, do you ever get stage fright?

Billy: Only when my voice is screwed up from so much traveling. That makes me nervous because I feel that people are not going to get the best performance from the band, what they could be getting. That's the only thing that makes me nervous.

Q: James, when did you start learning guitar? James: My junior year of high school.

Billy: We have to go on stage now. Goodbye. Thank you.

James: And remember, instead of looking at those computer screens, I suggest some form of sports or exercise -- Masturbation does not count. Get away from Doom and experience life to thefullest. Just like us. (laughter)

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