SP Articles/Interviews/Reviews

MTV 120 Minutes Interview, Oct 1993

** l = Lewis Largent

l: So, on Halloween night, we have Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins

b: Let's avoid all the Halloween stuff

l: OK. I'm sorry. I won't say anything else.

b: This is like a yearly trauma for me

l: Really?

b: The whole Halloween thing

l: You did Saturday Night Live specifically because of that, too. Right?

b: No, not at...no. Actually, we didn't want to do it around Halloween, but they said well, it's Halloween or nothing. And 20 million Pumpkins fans can't be wrong.

l: Well, merry Christmas everybody and welcome back to 120 Minutes. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins is here. And so the album is finally out. There were intense, like, expectations on this album. Expectations were real high on this album.

b: From who though, I don't know

l: um...From the record industry, from the...

b: all...all hundred of 'em

l: All hundred of 'em. Well, the expectations were high just because you had come up with a great debut album. It seemed like you guys were just on the brink of going the distance.

b: We are, we're still...

l: No pressure on this album at all? It was easy to make and all?

b: (avoiding the question) Somebody told me yesterday we're the next Pearl Jam.

l: oh no

b: We've graduated now from "the next Jane's Addiction" to "the next Nirvana", now we're "the next Pearl Jam."

l: Well, if you play your cards right, you might be the...uh...

b: Next Stone Temple Pilots

l: Next Stone Temple Pilots! You never know. That could be in your future. So, was this an easy album to make for you, no problems, or was it difficult? Easier than the first, harder than the first?

b: It was like a swan taking flight.

l: It was.

b: No, there was a lot of traumas and we yelled and screamed and...but it's groovy and the kids like it and I'm happy it's out and I'm coming to your town to rock you, wherever you are.

l: That's right, all you kids out there. So, uh...I...Do you get misquoted in the press a lot?

b: Yeah. But it's not even misquoted. I think I tend to give lengthy answers, and they tend to chop out certain parts of my answer so things that I say get taken out of context.

l: 'Cause I was about to ask you...um...if the band almost broke up, which I read. And I don't even know if it's true or not. If you get misquoted, then that might be the case.

b: About as close as you could come to breaking up. It ended in my head at some point, maybe I didn't tell anybody about it, but at some point I just gave up on the idea that there was ever gonna be another album, and this and would just fizzle and become a footnote in the annals of rock, but like a Phoenix, rising from the ashes! A swan! (laughs) We rose! We're back and we're here to rock you.

l: You're so philosophical and grandiose.

b: Well, I'm on tour, Lewis, I can't help it. I become very simple and very...you know, Al Sharpton-like. There's a cultural reference for you.

l: So we're going to be looking right now at Cherub Rock, the first "hit video" from the LP

b: You mean the first nightmare (Lewis laughs)...of my post-Siamese Dream era? Here it is!

l: We're gonna talk about this, you watch the video, and we're gonna come back and talk about this on 120 Minutes.

{show Cherub Rock video; then Regrets by Flop, which they forgot to show the week before}

l: Well, last week, I actually said "there was Flop," and there wasn't Flop, due to technical difficulties.

b: I saw that.

l: And I looked like a total idiot.

b: I understand.

l: Which is nothing that uncommon here at 120 Minutes, but for some reason we've been cursed here lately and we missed a Violent Femmes performance, we...uh, what else happened? We missed a Suede performance

b: Look at the bad luck Dave Kendall {former host of 120 Minutes} had. You've managed to miss a lot of the bad Dave Kendall...

l: And thank the Lord for that. So, uh, this is Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins and um...you talked earlier about Cherub Rock, your, uh, your nightmarish experience that you experienced

b: Well, (pause) I wanted to make this video and got talked into making another kind of video and I said ok, and then we're on top of this mountain in San Francisco and it's raining and freezing and the whole video is all screwy-looking and you can't even tell I'm on top of a mountain and in the rain and it's completely not what I wanted.

l: What did you want it to be?

b: I kinda had this idea of us playing in this theater and there'd be angels swinging around on ropes and there would be these, like, kids who were like metal kids and they would come into the show...See, already it sounds better than, than... like, I have this, like, I look like Jason {from Friday the 13th horror movies} at some point in the video, and... you know,

l: How did you get talked into that ?!?

b: Let me tell you something. You buy a bad shirt, you can throw it in the garbage, but a video, you know, you get into that 80 to 100 thousand dollar mistake range, you just gotta live with it, let me tell you

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