Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has said that he firmly believes whoever the next “Kurt Cobain or Courtney Love or Trent Reznor” is, they will not make it big in the same way as those artists.
The singer, whose band released their new studio album Oceania last month, has said that most alternative bands will never escape the scene they start in as that scene is now self-sufficient.
Speaking to the Daily Beast, Corgan said: “If you’re 20 years old and you aspire to be like me or Kurt Cobain or Courtney Love or Trent Reznor, you’re not going to make it that way. You won’t succeed. Let’s say you’re the next Kurt Cobain. You will be appropriated on your first album by the Pitchfork community. Your record company will rally round that idea because that’s your marketing platform. But the minute you’re in that world you’re frozen.”
Corgan then went on to say that Pitchfork and those who read it is “very much about social codes” and “whether you’re wearing the right t-shirt.”
He added: “Those Pitchfork people are very much about social codes, about whether you’re wearing the right t-shirt. That orthodoxy is no different than the rigidity of the football team at school. You can’t break the social order if you’re preaching to the choir – and the choir already has cool haircuts!”
The singer then said that what had made “Nirvana so dangerous” was the fact that they attracted listeners from across the cultural spectrum and not just from one scene. He added: “You’ve got to want to subvert the social order of the high school. That’s why Nirvana was so fucking dangerous. They had the jocks listening to them. Kurt Cobain used to talk about how weird it was to be performing, and see the people who used to beat him up cheering along.”
Corgan then said that this belief was his main reason for keeping the name ‘Smashing Pumpkins‘ alive, despite the fact he is the only member of the original line-up still in the band.
He said of this: “Where’s the rebellion right now? There’s almost no music about what’s going on politically, which is crazy because this is the craziest political time I’ve ever lived in. I’m talking big picture. Where are the bands of dissent? Where has the pushback gone? When I’m treated like a weirdo for the pushback I give, I go, ‘I’ve been doing this for 25 fucking years!’ Cira 1993 the name Smashing Pumpkins made people go, ‘Aw, I fucking hate that band,’ or, ‘I fucking love that band.’ The name still has a charge in it.”
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