MTV Pre-Grammy interview with Billy
February 26, 1998
Thanks to Erin Hicks for this interview

Serena of MTV on MTV's pre- Grammy show: We now have the interview of Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins who just won Best Hard Rock Grammy for The End Is The Beginning Is The End which is awesome. The Pumpkins won the same category last year for Bullet With Butterfly Wings. Since then, Corgan has been working on several new things including a new Pumpkins album called Adore which is due this spring and he's been collaborating on some tracks for the new Hole album which is due around the same time. He also has been advising Marilyn Manson what Manson calls "a friendly unofficial capacity" on the next album. We discussed this plus other topics recently starting with the upcoming Pumpkins album.____


Billy Corgan: When people asked what this album was like, I mean. . .I used the word "arcane" 'cause I think that seems to sum up the music best. I think it sums up the music best 'cause it's kinda like music from the past but done in a futuristic way. . .And I think that there's natural elements on the album and there's synthetic elements on the album. . .and they're kinda. . .it's like taking all the textures of the past and trying to apply it to a kinda new song form.

And it's all just- it's very songy. . .you know. . .there's you know there's . . . .there's not a lot of guitar. . .there's no. . .I think there's one guitar solo that lasts like four seconds.

. . . You know it's like. . .I think people are going to be surprised. . .by the. . .by the kind of reversal in a lot of ways. . . But the people that say it's acoustic will be wrong. The people that say it's electronic will be wrong. The people that say it sounds like a Pumpkins record will be wrong. I'll try to make something that is undescribable. . .


Besides the fact that Courtney and I have been friends for years. . .you know. . .and I knew personally that they were having a hard time. . .So I kind of just came up with the notion of . . .well. . .Why don't you just give me a month with them and let me just see if I can kinda kick them in the ass so to speak and I just can kinda get the record going. . .Instead of the band waiting around for Courtney to decide that she wanted to make another album. . .You kinda get the band's juices going. So that's what happened. I got together and um. . .we talked about different scenarios. . .about me. . .the term at the time was executive producer. . .which was just like I was going to be the eye in the sky. I was never supposed to produce on a day to day level because that would have meant that I couldn't have done this record and then I suggested that the material was too strong that, um. . .they get a real producer. Someone that I know who could bring the album to its full fruition. . .and that's it. Evertyhting else that has been added is just drama stuff. It's as simple as that.


People took the whole early 90's thing as this kind of negative brat, you know. . .throwing a tantrum. . .But what it was was an energy that said "I can't take this the way it is." . . .That kind of rebellion against suburban America. You know that's why I think Manson is such a. . .such a important artist right now, because he represents in essence the next, the next generation. . .Which is even more disenchanted and even more disconnected and what people miss about Manson is he is just reflecting. He's an artist. People want to focus that energy on him but it's not really about him. . .It's really about you.

. . .You know so for every guy sitting there with a beer, you know, and a 45 in his belt. . .you know. . .Manson's speaking to that end of society. He's speaking as an artist. He's not speaking as himself and that's where people get really lost with Manson. The three of us- me, Courtney, and Manson have all dealt with similar energies. . .pushing people's buttons to the point where they can't. . .they focus their hate and their energy on you, but why-what do you think that energy comes from? That's from a self loathing because I've changed, Courtney's changed, and one day Manson will change if he's not changing already. . . .


. . .You know. . .like a white rock mentality. . .You know. . .It's like uh. . .It's too cerebral. . .You know. . .Everyone's sitting around with their calculators kind of figuring out. . .you know. . .the way the kids are going to rock. You know after the kind of grunge explosion of the early 90's which was about immediacy. . .Then everybody got all the suddenly. . .got very serious and things got very serious and the money got bigger. . .And all that kind of like danger went out of it. So everything in white rock slows down and then here comes everybody else kinda blowing by us and we can't understand what's happened. That's what I think is so great about. . .like even the. . .There's the whole new movement within hip hop. . .You know the Wu Tang and Missy Eliots. . . .It's, it's brilliant and it's great. The energy there is so great. . .and it. . .People might not see this, but when I watch Missy Eliot it's the same thing as when I watched Soundgarden for the first time. . . .I get the same excitement and you feel like someone's doing something so new. . .you know. . .Maybe to some people it sounds like the same old thing but to me it sounds so fresh. And. . .I want to stay there. I want to be there all the time. So I had to go through my little morning period to let it go and now I've let it go. . .and you know. . .my band has let it go. . .and we're ready to move on. . . you know. . .Into whatever we're gonna be. . .you know. . .ya know. . .We apologize if anybody doesn't like it but you know. . .c'est la vi. . .

Serena of MTV: The latest word is that the new Smashing Pumpkins album will be out in late May and the Hole album in June, but there is no word yet on the next Marilyn Manson album.

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