Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan recalled how he dealt with not fitting the mold of a typical rock frontman. Blabbermouth transcribed some of Corgan’s chat on the Best Advice podcast where he explained, “I was not considered good looking. So, my looks were not part of anybody’s formula as far as the success of the band. It was never talked about. Photographers would try to stick me in the back of photo shoots with the band and put other people (in front of me). I swear to God. . . Well, y’know, things change. Now the vampire look is in. But at the time, I was not considered a good-looking person.”
Corgan went on to say that he never doubted himself — either musically, nor aesthetically: “I’m gonna be myself; if I’m a weirdo or a vampire or whatever, I’m just gonna be myself. And now, here we are 20-something years later, and people all the time talk to me about the way I looked, how it influenced them.”
He went on to say that the truly unique minds in rock tend to have something very important in common: “The fact of the matter is these people are savants. If you don’t wanna think I’m a savant, then I’m cool with that. But I’m saying is don’t tell me that Jimi Hendrix, or Bono, or Kurt Cobain are not savants. They’re savants. If you feel you’re a savant, and you prove you’re a savant, well, at some point, when does somebody give you the savant stamp? There’s something that goes on in music that’s, like, ‘Well, prove it to me. And prove it to me again. And prove it to me one more time.’ Would anybody here argue that Prince wasn’t a savant?”
Billy Corgan told us a while back that he puts an painstaking amount of effort into every song he records: “I’m more detail-oriented probably than anybody I’ve worked with. People commonly call it perfectionism, but I feel a little bit like a painter, because as the person who sort of generates the original idea and writes the song, I have to sort of put it all together. So, it’s like, if some element is not supporting another element that I’m intrinsically involved in, then there’s some part of me getting disappointed.”
Smashing Pumpkins released its last album, Cyr, on November 27th, 2020. The set peaked at Number 10 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart.