Smash Hits Magazine - Summer 1996

(Sent to us by Eve Stahlberger)

Billy Corgan, smashing Pumpkins outspoken front man, is up for a CAN YOU HANDLE IT? grilling. Will he make it through without becoming all melancholy and reaching for the Kleenex?

Question: Will "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" be the last Pumpkins album?

Billy Corgan: It's certainly the last time we'll ever sound this way. I don't know where we can go from here, but it'll be a completely different direction. It's not like we're bored with rock music, 'cos we all love it. But it's our responsibility to push into new territory so the world doesn't pass us by.

Q: Why did you shave your hair off?

BC: I just got so sick of worrying about appearance that by shaving my hair completely de-emphasizes the way I look. I kind of subscribe to the Einstein theory that the less you have to think about the more upwards you become.

Q: Do you see The Smashing Pumpkins in a tradition of rock'n roll that's not really happening right now?

BC: we are very much of our time. That's why I wanted to put out the double album. I feel this album's relevant today, and it may not be relevant in a year even, but it's important in the world right now. It's like a state address.

Q: What makes it relevant right now?

BC: Things are desperate. It's like a mass resignation. I'm only reflecting what I see: a desperate under class of people with no future. I'm not so far removed from my suburban leanings that I can't relate. I talked to a lot of kids about their lives in the last two years. I got a lot of letters. There was an interesting comment in the book Generation X about how this particular generation is over-educated and lives in a world that doesn't need its education. So you have all these people who have opinions, and there's nothing for them to do with them.

Q: What do you dance to a wedding receptions?

BC: "Celebration" by Kool And The Gang. That's the standard American wedding song.

Q: What did you do last Halloween?

BC: My wife and I stayed in and doled out Halloween candy. We knew that kids would be coming just because it was my house and I ended up giving out candy to these tiny little kids of about four or five.

Q: What were you like as a child?

BC: A quick learner. Very good at responsibility. A daydreamer. And I had a lot of energy. I wasn't hyperactive, but somewhere close to it.

Q: How did you perceive yourself during adolescence?

BC: Well, awkward. An ugly duckling.

Q: How many psychedelic shirts do you own?

BC: They've all been retired. There's a closet at home that has all of them in it. Each one brings back a particular memory.

Q: Would you ever make a dance record?

BC: No I own dance records and I never play them. It's a complete waste of time, to the point where I realize they're alright to shake your ass to but they're no good when your'e making toast.

Q: What will be on your epitaph? "I came, I rocked, I fell down and died." No, I think my headstone will read, "I was Never Satisfied."

Q: What is your Agenda?

BC: To rock the world.

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