Billy Corgan
(Recorded in June of 93 in England)
ĎThe Great Pumpkin That Never Arrivedí
(Thanks to Ryan for typing this out for us)

G: Are you a big basketball fan then?

BC: Yeah

G: Youíre lucky, we donít get all that stuff over here.

BC: Yeah, but we know how passionate you are about cricket.

G: Not me personally, I canít stand cricket.

BC: Yeah, but itís somewhere in your genes, I come from a long line of cricket haters. (Girl laughs)

JC: You at least know how to play or what the games about.

G: Everybody here likes American sports, but Iíd better start talking about you. What state of mind were you in after you finished the Gish tour?

BC: Horrible.

JC: Frazzled

G: What was that down to?

BC: The band felt like it was falling apart. The pressure to come up with new songs, Nevermind. I donít like to think about that.

G: After that you said you found it difficult to write new songs, what gets you going again?

BC: Fear, absolute fear of failure. I kinda got back to write songs about failure. Itís therapeutic in a cool kind of way.

G: Had you lost sight of why you wrote songs?

BC: Well I felt I was writing songs because I was suppose to, and not because I wanted to.

G: Were you under a lot of pressure to get going with the new album, to come up with the goods for it.

BC: Every time youíre suppose to do something, the rebellious nature in you, automatically doesnít want to do it.

G: So when did you start recording Gish, I mean Siamese Dream?

BC: You mean Gish 2. (Girl laughs) December.

G: How long did it take?

BC: Four months.

G: Is that how long it was suppose to take.

BC: No, it was suppose to take three months, then one month to mix, so it took five months in total.

G: Where do you get ideas for songs?

BC: I just kinda looked around.

G: Where?

BC: Well I was travelling with this travelling circus. (All three break down laughing)To be really straight forward about it, I sat down and said. If I can, this is how I trick my mind into doing things. If I could write songs about anything, what would I write them about. So I made a list, and then kind of connected some songs Iíd been writing with ideas on the list. Iíve always wrote the music first, then put the idea and the lyrics down afterwards and fitted them around the music. But nowadays Iím trying to do the opposite, writing the lyrics and the idea and fitting the music to them.

G: Why are you doing it differently.

BC: Because itís different.

G: Do you keep changing it, to keep it interesting?

BC: Yeah I think if you keep doing things the similar way, youíre practically guaranteed to get the same results.

G: Whatís Today about?

BC: Suicide, suicidal tendencies.

G: Do you still have them?

BC: Not at the moment, no.

G: What about Spaceboy?

BC: Thatís about my little brother. Heís an interesting character. Itís kind of about how heís different. He has physical handicap, itís hard to explain. He has a rare chromosomal disorder, it gives him a some what different genetic make up. He has different physical and mental problems and yet somehow by all accounts, Iím physically and mentally OK. But I feel our lives are the similar.

G: Similar in what way?

BC: Freaks of nature, freaks of society, I always keep going back to something by Henry Miller. No matter how much he smiled, told jokes, shook hands, patted people on the back. People still looked at him funny, they still sensed something wasnít right. Iíve always felt that way, that no matter how normal I appear, I was treated differently.

G: Could that be some sort of paranoia?

BC: I donít think that the reasons are important. Itís the results.

G: Do people ever say that youíre different?

BC: Oh yeah. People called me names before they even knew me.

G: What like?

BC: Arrogant, conceited.

G: What about Disarm?

BC: Itís about chopping off somebodyís arms.

JC: Itís about being disarmed.

G: What happens when youíve wrote a song and you take it into the studio?

BC: It becomes a battle, to not get on each others nerves. Itís hard to explain that creative process, some things are implied, some are talked about. Itís hard to explain the collective intelligence of a band thatís been together for over five years.

G: How well do you work with Billy?

JC: I think we work really well together, we come from similar backgrounds. The way we hear things is very similar unless we hear it completely differently from the start. We complement each other. I look at the band as more like a drums, guitar, vocal, than a regular drummer would perceive it, as drums and bass. I really try to avoid playing like that, I prefer to go along with the vocal line, or with what Billyís doing on the guitar. It really creates a different sound that you donít hear in other peoples rhythm sections. Pushing and pulling, holding back the choruses, I prefer playing with Billy more than any other guitarist Iíve played with.

G: The Smashing Pumpkins have their own sound, itís not like anybody elseís, where do you think that comes from.

BC: Itís kinda from the way I hear things. I know enough about how other people make records, that I go tot great lengths to avoid that.

G: Itís a conscious thing then.

BC: Itís a combination of things, one thing led to another. The natural sound I heard in my head made me think, why doesnít my record sound like so in soís. Then Iíd listen to somebody elseís record and say, why donít I go even further. Itís hard to explain. I think the sound was there to begin with, if youíd listened to the first band I was ever in, before I knew anything about music, thereís similarities.

G: How would you describe your sound?

BC: Fingernails scrapping across a blackboard. Intimate, even when itís loud, thereís an intimacy.

G: Yeah.

BC: I tend to describe our music more in emotional terms than I do in musical terms.

G Did you enjoy making the album?

BC: No

G: Why not?

BC: Because itís hard work. Jimmy and I have said this before, thereís a difference between enjoying it and satisfaction. I think weíre proud of the album, but we didnít enjoy making it. Can you remember when weíve recorded something that was fun?

JC: Starla.

BC: But that wasnít serious, was it. It was just a demo.

JC: The album brought out the extremes in everybodyís personalities.

BC: Weíre always very extreme. We think, if youíre going to work hard, then really work hard and make it perfect. Or just go in there and have fun, thatís what we do with B-Sides and Demos and itís great. But if we had to chose, I think weíd chose the more idealistic representation, because the albums we put out are going to last as long as we do, and if Iím going to have a legacy, I donít want to look back and think that I was so shorted sighted and lazy, that I didnít do it justice. I always think that if you expect somebody to listen to it, if you expect somebody to sit there ass down and listen to your album for 64 minutes, you better be willing to work really hard.

G: Why make records if you donít like the process?

JC: I think we can learn to like it.

BC: One of the biggest frustrations is lacking the talent to do it quickly and effectively. I mean Jimmyís a great drummer but he canít do it in one take, I canít do all the vocals in on take. If we could, we probably feel a lot better for it. Itís not that we canít play, we canít just play at the level proficiency necessary to have a good time.

G: Donít you think youíre being hard on yourselves.

JC: I think itís necessary.

BC: Weíve always been hard on ourselves. Itís kinda sick, but itís like putting a carrot in front of a donkey. No matter what weíve accomplished in the past, we try and go further, thatís the key to the band. We were a misdirected shitty kind of a band for a long time, and when we got the gage on who we were and what we were, we started getting better and weíve always gotten better, weíve never regressed.

G: When did it come together?

BC: Around Gish, there were aspects before it, but around the time we recorded Gish. At the time it was so far in advance of the band. When we went t practice it afterwards, we were looking at each other thinking we couldnít play our own album. Sooner or later the band caught up and surpassed what Gish was.

G: What do you think the difference is between the two records?

BC: Iíll let Jimmy answer that.

JC: Well when I listen to Gish itís more of a searching record, and when I hear Siamese Dream itís like a revelation.

BC: Yeah, one Gish we were swimming and on Siamese Dream we were Water Skiing.

G: Whatís your favourite song on the album?

BC: All of them

JC: I like all of them too.

BC: A friend of mine said that every time she listens to the record she gets a new favourite song.

G: Yeah, Iím that way.

BC: If I was objective, Iíd say that Disarm is the most amazing thing on the record. It doesnít sound like anything else on there, it sounds so brutally honest.

G: Did you purposely record Siamese Dream differently?

BC: On Gish, we did all the drums, then all the bass, all the guitars and then the vocals. Itís a lot more time effective. On Siamese Dream we did two songs at a time, then go on to the next one. The approach was a little bit more snail paced. On Gish it was, OK hereís the drums. On Gish he was done after the first four or five days, he just drank and hung out.

JC: I got into a lot of fights.

BC: He got his nose broken.

G: Oh no, how did that happen.

JC: Defending a ladyís honour.

BC: Thatís all you need to know.

G: How long did Gish take?

BC: Something like forty days, but that was spread out. We spent around ninety three days on Siamese Dream.

G: Why did you work with Butch Vig?

BC: Because heís a nice bloke

JC: Heís almost family.

G: Everybody is tipping the next album, t be the big one of 95. How does that make you feel.

BC: Scarred.

G: Why?

BC: Because I donít trust journalists. BC: Because I donít trust journalists. First of all people are always trying to pick the album of the year, and how often does somebody come out of nowhere and surprise the fuck outta everybody. We won debut album of the year in College Music Journal, and most people didnít know who the fuck we were. And nobody predicted weíd make this great album. So that kind of talk scares me, it really does. Iíll feel better when the album goes out and the reviews come in. Did you ever see Charlie Brown, the Great Pumpkin Cartoon.

G: No.

BC: Well the basic story is that the great pumpkin is suppose to come on Halloween and make everybodyís Halloween great. So all the kids go outside to the pumpkin patch and wait for the great pumpkin, and it never arrives, and everybody is disappointed. Weíre going to be ĎThe Great Pumpkin That Never Arrived.í

G: What will you do if the album goes massive.

JC: Make another.

BC: It will finically viable to do so.

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