Billy Corgan Quotes

The Albums:

"Gish was the best representation of where we were at the time." [PRINT] BC00023

"A few months ago I went back and listened to it for the first time in a couple of years, and I was surprised at how good it was [laughs], if you know what I mean. It's kind of an artistic thing to dismiss everything you've done before so that you can move on, and I really did that, really hard, after that album. When I went back to listen to it, I forgot about all of the head traumas I went through at the time." [PRINT] BC00021

"If the next record is no better than Gish, then we've failed." [PRINT] BC00023

"About six months ago, I listened to Siamese Dream. That was the first time I'd ever really heard my own album, because I had separated from the experience of making the record. And it really moved me. It made me cry, it's so beautiful." [PRINT] BC00016

"I feel in my heart that I can obscure Siamese Dream with what comes next." [PRINT] BC00023

"On an idealistic level, doing a double conceptual album is totally uncool, but I'm gonna pull it off." [PRINT] BC00023

"I don't even want to discuss how many people told me that making an album with 28 songs at this point in our career was crazy. Everyone, including the people at our record label, wanted us to just take a nice, safe path, and produce another album like Siamese Dream. My attitude was just the opposite. Thankfully, it hasn't turned out to badly." [WEB] BC00012

"The weird nihilism that permeates Mellon Collie is extremely relevant to what's going on right now. So many kids are intelligent and articulate, but they don't know what to do with themselves." [WEB] BC00012

"[The fourth Pumpkins album will be] a strange hybrid. A very song-y record. Light, not heavy. Not hard rock. The root of the record is based on Americana music. We don't have a drummer, and that's been the biggest influence on the record." [WEB] BC00001

"Babyface is going to produce our next album."- at the Grammy post show [???]

"When people ask what this album was like, I use the word 'arcane,' 'cause I think that it seems to sum up the music best. Itıs kind of like music from the past, but done in a futuristic way. And I think there's natural elements on the album and there are synthetic elements on the album." - on Adore, the next album [VIS/AUD] BC00002

"It's like taking all the textures of all past music and trying to apply it to a kind of new song form and it's all just very songy. There's not a lot of guitar, I think there is one guitar solo, that lasts four seconds." - on the music of Adore [VIS/AUD] BC00002

"I think people are going to be surprised 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's a Pumpkins' record will be wrong. I will try to make something that is indescribable." - on Adore [VIS/AUD] BC00002

*NEW!* On Adore: "This is not a reaction against a negative world. It's a response to a negative world." [PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* On Adore: "This album is definitely me saying goodbye to what I consider my rock and roll.  Whatever our little generation's rock and roll was. I mean, it's done, there's no getting around it. You can try to recreate it, you can run it through more fuzz boxes, but
it's done. It's time to move on."
[PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* "We made our last album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, thinking that we had reached the end of the line. We didn't kid ourselves. We knew it was the end of that particular era. There was no getting it back."
[PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* On Adore: "The first sessions for the album were held shortly after we fired Jimmy from the band. We went right into the studio as a trio. Initially we were very excited and pleased with the results. The whole point was to kind of be very spontaneous. It was literally a case of me writing songs in the morning and us recording them that day. I wanted to get away from the cerebral part of it."
[PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* "And interestingly enough, it was the guitar that saved my ass on this album [Adore] because every time I felt that something wasn't working, I'd reach for the guitar and it would tell me where songs needed to go. I always went back to what I know. Because it is the thing that I know, I do know. I'm never quite sure about anything else, but I know how to play the guitar." [PRINT] BC00028

Comparisons to Other Bands:

"I think the original, 'They're the next Jane's Addiction' things that people said about us in the beginning have been pretty much wiped out." [PRINT] BC00023

"It seems to me that references to bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin meant more to me a year ago and all those old things are totally losing importance." [PRINT] BC00023

"People always called the Cure gloomy, but listening to the Cure made me happy. There was something about the gloominess that gave me comfort, and I think we're the same way." [PRINT] BC00013

"You can't out-solo Jimi Hendrix and you can't out-god Led Zeppelin, and you can't out-pop, Iggy Pop, Iggy Pop." [???]

"Music has basically followed a shallow route for 50 years. People come along, do something really cool and different, everyone copies them, the original gets diluted, distorted, and eventually the diluted - in most cases achieves more success than the thing that started it. And I kinda thought the alternative scene was gonna be different: We thought 'Brave new world!' So it's really wierd to be competing against the imitators. It wasn't always comfortable competing against Nirvana, and it was certainly not healthy living under that shadow at times. But at least there was honor in it. We always respected that it was a great band - Pearl Jam too. But competing against Bush?! It's nothing to get your dick hard about, you know what i mean? There's no mojo in that!" [WEB] BC00012

"Physically, we overpower anybody as a band." [???]


"...When I watch Missy Elliot, it's the same thing as when I watched Soundgarden for the first time. I get that same excitement, and you feel like someone is doing something that is so new. Maybe to some people it sounds like the same old thing, but to me it sounds so fresh. I want to stay there, I want to be there, all the time. I want that feeling all the time. So I had to go through my little mourning period to let it go, and now I've let it go. My band has let it go, and we're ready to move on, into whatever we're going to be. We apologize if anybody doesn't like it, but, you know ... C'est la vie!" [VIS/AUD] BC00002

"You give me a fucking kazoo and I'll write you a good song." [???]

"The music is all we care about -- so if that's bad, then we're bad." [WEB] BC00012

"In my philosophy, if any song is not important to you in some sense of the word, then it shouldn't be on the album. Every song has to be important." [???]

"Every year that goes by, I lose that much more motivation to play rock." [???]

"I almost feel that we're more powerful being acoustic than we are electric." [PRINT] BC00023

"Music is 99% of my life. But I know I need a break. Besides, if you give people too much, they start to not want it. We need to restrain ourselves." [PRINT] BC00014

"I use music as some kind of weird salvation to get away from life." [???]

"The Pumpkins love rock-and-roll, we absolutely love it, but we also think it's a flatulent, ego-serving kiddie playground. You can have your cake and eat it too." [PRINT] BC00016

"Well, when I was 20 and I met D'arcy, my whole thing was music, music, music, 24-7. And i couldn't understand why D'arcy wasn't music, music, music, 24-7. D'arcy was like, 'I have a fucking life. It can't be that way.' " [???]

"Music's pretty cool and I'm glad to be a part of it. Sometimes when you reach for the stars, you end up in the fucking shit. I don't believe in God. I don't believe in America. I don't believe in rock-and-roll. I believe in me." - from Lollapalooza at Cowning Stadium [???]

"I have a hard time thinking of men trying to sing my songs, because I think my perspective is very much feminine... For me the idea of having a feminine perspective is a willingness to be vulnerable. It's very easy to cock-rock and posture. I can't help but wear my heart on my sleeve-- I'm like nervous endings. That's just the way that I am and, to me, that's very female because it's not a male thing to do. A male thing to do would be to fuckin' posture." [PRINT] BC00023

"I've often felt that our B-sides show more of our true character than some of our albums." [PRINT] BC00003

"I don't want to achieve the distance of a rock band that's too cool for you to deal with or too whacked out for you to relate to -- but the exact opposite... I want our music to come across like someone whispering into your ear and going right inside your brain. Instead of letting the sound go from our mouths and our hands through a thousand rock pretenses and Spinal Tap-isms, I want it to be like we're right in front of you. That's the kind of intimacy and trust I'd like the band to achieve." [???]

"If you take any band that's ascended to stadium rock and look at their live show it becomes a series of everybody-put-your-hands-in-the-air singalongs. Why is that? Because they're dealing with the lowest common denominator of the musical audience -- the least amount of sophistication and the least amount of emotional connection with the band... And sometimes when we play, I feel that people are only there to hear 'Disarm' or 'Today' and they don't give a fuck about the rest of the show or who we are as people, yet they want some emotion from us." [???]

"The closer I get back to being who I really am, the stronger the music gets." [PRINT] BC00023

"...Instead of taking the 'I'm cool, I hope you adore me' path [with my music], I chose the path of how to connect. I think that's the reason a lot of people feel a deeper connection with our band than other bands, and I also feel that's why people polarize on us. If you don't get it, it seems preposterous; if you do get it, it's really heavy -- it has a weight to it." [PRINT] BC00019

"When you move artistically, the natural inclination is to denounce everything that's gone before." [PRINT] BC00023

"We don't make music for people to take drugs to, we make music for people to live their life." [???]

"Great music completely obliterates any conceptions of genre." [???]

*NEW!* "Heavy metal is a universal energy -- it's the sound of a volcano. It's rock, it's earth shattering. Somewhere in our primal being we understand." [PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* "I'm going through a real struggle with my voice right now. I feel like my lack of technical ability is really holding me back. I actually started taking voice classes." [PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* "I don't have a problem with my voice - I accept and appreciate it. As many people point out to me, it's the distinction that makes the Pumpkins unique." [PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* "I think I'm a better songwriter than I am a singer, and sometimes our songs suffer because I can't always deliver vocally." [PRINT] BC00028


"My earliest memory is of feeling different. My parents told me that I wasn't like other children." [PRINT] BC00023

"I wish from Day One, people could would have looked at me and said, 'You're all right, come on, join the team,' but it's never been that way with me. I don't know why." [???]

"I never seemed to fit in. But it made me try to strive for things ten times harder." [???]

"To me, music was about being accepted and escaping from this crummy existence." [PRINT] BC00023

"Well, I didn't make the team, so rock 'n roll was the next thing." [???]

Growing up:

"I was kind of a cosmic child. As a little kid, I remember wondering about God and the universe. I just remember reading bits of National Geographic magazine and watching shows on public television and being entranced by this thread of spirituality running throughout the world. There seemed to be this kind of secret chant for forgiveness and spiritual redemption. There was something mysteriously alluring about it, almost sensual." [???]

"As a child I learned that it was more advantageous to be this creation than it was to be who I really am. But my personality is so strong that it kind of bubbled out from underneath, and it was tough to distinguish who was the faker and who was real." [???]

"Back in 1979, I was bigger than most kids by a lot. When I was 12 I led my baseball team in home runs. By the time I was 14, I had been totally passed up. That's when I turned to guitar." - on the year 1979 [WEB] BC00012

"I know what it's like to be 15-years-old and live in white suburban America." [PRINT] BC00023

"If you can imagine, I was more emotional than I am now -- with nowhere to put it [laughs]. Imagine that same kind of twisted heart locked in this 18-year-old body with nothing to do. It wasn't pretty." - on being a teenager [???]

"As a 28 year old who's lived long enough to know the difference, I know now that the feelings I felt an 16 were not necessarily correct. But however overly dramatic, the desperation and hopelessness I felt at 16 was my reality." [WEB] BC00012

"I was a jock, but I wasn't on the sports team. I played guitar, but I didn't hang out with the stoners. I just couldn't hang in any way, and when you're young and you can't hang, you oppose. So I was anti-everything, fuck you all." [WEB] BC00012

"My first real kiss was with somebody I really, really liked, and still like, and it was in my bedroom in the suburbs. There was no music playing, and it was after school, I think. When you're young like that, and especially being as weird as I was. I don't think that it was so much a romantic love as it was a love of the spirit and the connection that two people have at that age. We still have that same connection. It stopped articulating itself as a romance, but we're still really good friends. I love her very much." [PRINT] BC00016

Success and Celebrity:

"For a 6-foot-3 guy with no hair and a whiny voice, I've done all right." [PRINT] BC00014

"Well, pretty much everything from casts, to breasts, to you name it. Cars." - on Regis and Kathie Lee when asked what the weirdest thing he's ever been asked to autograph [VIS/AUD] BC00004

"When you're nobody and have nothing to show for anything that you've ever done you never question where people are coming from beyond the simplest of motivations. But these days I really question why people talk to me, and it's sad. I don't think people are malicious, I think they're just attracted to celebrity in general. You have people coming up just because they want to be able to tell someone that they met someone, and I don't think they realize that it takes away from your own life." [???]

"So success has changed my life in that way, but it's also changed the way that I think. I feel more free to do whatever I want to do musically, because I've always thought that you should take a success as a reinforcement for what you're doing and, rather than get more concerned, you should go the other way and get more bold." [???]

"Why do I need 1,000 people validating my existance?" [???]

"[Fame and fortune] was the mythological means of escape. My myth was rock-goddom. I saw that as a means to become one who has no pain." [???]

"I no longer feel the need to torch my soul in public, because I don't think it's really worth it... You have to decide what's worth it publicly and what's not worth it personally. That's the battle, artistically, at the moment. I could take the doubters and nay-sayers and make them believers, but there's such a personal toll that goes with it. I have to ask myself: is it worth killing myself or reaching deep inside myself to prove our worth to somebody who's just as likely to buy a Mariah Carey record?" [???]

"Actually, I was having dinner with Michael [Stipe, of R.E.M.] when our second album went platinum, which up until that point was the highest success we'd ever had. And he turned to me during dinner and said, 'Welcome to the deep waters, kid.' I'll never forget that." [PRINT] BC00026

"At one point, I think he [Michael Stipe, of R.E.M.] played into the enigma, and then the enigma came to haunt him. And then he kind of walked away from it, which is something I really respect about him.  The modern-day version of Michael is actually a very accessible, really lovely person -- really sweet and there's no bullshit.  I don't see somebody who's trying to live up to this myth image." [PRINT] BC00026

"One of the other reasons that we quit having journalists come here is because they would kind of hang out for several days, and they'd see me around at the clubs, and the story would get written and it would be me and my 'disciples' or my 'acolytes.'  The word acolyte - that's like fuck you.  These are my friends, but because they're not Billy Corgan or Helena Christiansen, they become my 'posse' or my 'followers,' and it's like, fuck you for insulting my friends like that.  That's so fucking incredible to me." [PRINT] BC00026

*NEW!* "I don't necessarily believe that the sting of failure is a bad thing. It gives you a certain amount of freedom to just say 'fuck it!'." [PRINT] BC00028


*NEW!* "Nobody wants to hear about justice unless there's injustice, especially in America. We don't care about sexual harassment until the president gets a blow job, you know." [PRINT] BC00029

Public Image:

"I've become the guy who's like a complaining, whining neurotic." [PRINT] BC00023

"It's like nobody knows I'm also a sports geek who sits around and watches games all day." [PRINT] BC00020

"I just got so sick of worrying about appearance that by shaving my hair completely de-emphases 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." [PRINT] BC00018

"Everyone has a misguided perception of my brain. When people ask me questions about being sad, or thinking sad, or wanting to be sad, or do I listen to sad songs, it makes me think that I must be sad." - from "Rockline" interview [???]

Being an Asshole:

"'Disarm' is about when I became an asshole." [???]

"My Mother came to a Smashing Pumpkins gig once, and I was wearing a dress. She was very upset. She said, 'Everyone's gonna think your a fag.' I said,'Well, they already think I'm an asshole.' " [PRINT] BC00016

"There's a really a cold, cold side to my personality that I'm not really comfortable with. I'm constantly dealing with that side of my personality versus my overly sentimental side… There's just a side that's a real motherfucker side; it's nothing I want to admit or even look at. It's where a lot of my strength lies. It's been the part of me that's been able to steel my spine against situations that probably would have broken a lot of people, or caused them to jump off the loop." [PRINT] BC00019

"Don't judge yourself by somebody else's standards. You will always lose." [???] [my note: This isn't really a "Being an Asshole" quote, but it helps to put this perception of Billy as an asshole into perspective.]

Direction of the Band:

"The Smashing Pumpkins was never meant to be a small band. It was going to either be a big band, or a no band." [PRINT] BC00023

"If there was a simple ethic for the band, it was that we want to be able to do whatever we want to do." "I reached a point in my life where I felt like I was living through some old character." [PRINT] BC00023

"Smashing Pumpkins has never been a band about hit songs." [PRINT] BC00022

"I think it's important that a band doesn't get applaud happy." [???]

"The whole point of the Smashing Pumpkins was to blow everybody away, so it didn't make sense to be funny at the same time. We were too busy trying to pummel your fucking head in." [WEB] BC00012

"We had a wonderful time with this kind of grunge awareness, where suddenly rock was cool again. People wanted to head loud guitars. It was a great time, and I'm glad we were there. But the gimmick part has worn off." [WEB] BC00012

"We've come to the conclusion that we're exactly where we want to be. If you're going to put us onstage for 90 minutes of three hours, we are going to give you more than anyone else, and we are going to kick your ass harder than anyone else. You can laugh at us, poke fingers at us, but for what it is, we're as good as it's going to get." [WEB] BC00012

The Name

"It could have been any vegetable." [PRINT] BC00023

"It's The Smashing Pumpkins. That was my stupid idea." [VIS/AUD] BC00005


"Certainly the media saturation is way worse. Now you turn on the TV, and there's fashion and culture and news aimed directly at 16-year-olds. I've met kids who get laid at 10, 12. I didn't lose my virginity until I was 18. Kids are acting grown-up, but they're not grown-up inside." [PRINT] BC00006

"We have a problem with any labels that people try to hang on us, because all it does is drag you down." [PRINT] BC00023

"I hate how in magazine pictures, they always stick me somewhere in the back. It means they don't think I'm the cute one." [???]

"For, like, two years, every interview was, and occasionally still is, 'Don't you guys hate each other?' " [WEB] BC00012

"There is and will not be any public record on my marriage. That's one thing I have to draw the lines around." [WEB] BC00012

"We've always done better with readers than with critics. Usually that means you've at least got people's hearts." [PRINT] BC00015


*NEW!* "My mother's death, and the grace and courage with which she faced it, gave me a perspective on my life that maybe I hadn't had previously. I started to understand her connection to me at a very deep level. It's a very hard thing for me to put in any concise form." (on "For Martha") [PRINT] BC00028


"I'm a Pisces, and Pisces have this weird inability to be completely spontaneous. We're too conscious of our actions. I've always been way too sensible for my own good." [???]


"The title of a song is like the wrapping on a present." [???]

"Say you write a song about a chandelier, and the chandelier gives off light. And the light is the color red and red reminds you of the color your not supposed to wear around a bull. So you name the song 'Cow.' " [VIS/AUD] BC00024

"Was it a hit song? The answer is no. Did it have a video? No. Do people cite it as their favorite song? No. Do they scream for it at concerts? No. But does it mean something to me? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes." - on "Spaceboy " [???]

"It's about the girlfriend who left me last year. I tried to put all my anger in those words, even though I'm just as much to blame for the break-up. 'Soma' is based on the idea that a love relationship is almost the same as opium: it slowly puts you to sleep, it soothes you, and gives you the illusion of sureness and security. Very deceivable." - on "Soma" [PRINT] BC00011

"I have a younger brother who has a rare genetic chromosomal disorder. He's not a mongoloid, he's not retarded, but he's definitely different. He's like 17 now. And there's a lot of things where I identify with him, cause I went through very similar things-not because of anything genetic, but my whole life I was told there was something wrong with me, that I was different. I mean, all I ever heard was, 'You're a freak, you're different, you're not like everyone else. ' " - on "Spaceboy" in 1993 [???]

"There's a lot of me in that lyric. There's certainly an acknowledgment of that self-absorbed woe-is-me thing. The chorus says a lot: 'In your sad machines you'll forever stay.' It's a wink back at the overly dramatic 18-year-old me." - on the "death rock boy" lyric in "Here Is No Why" [???]

"The basic thing is just fuck everybody. It's that feeling where no one understands: 'Who the fuck are my friends? Fuck you. Fuck everybody. Fuck everything.' It's just that thought - pure frustration." - on "Fuck You (An Ode to No One)" [???]

"And with 'disconnection,' we're talking about different levels of existence here, like in high school. I'd sit and look at that fuckin' clock and think, 'I'm not gonna make it! I can't make through the rest of this day - I'm gonna freak out, I'm gonna fuckin' strangle this teacher, I'm gonna fuckin' shoot this guy next to me!' Well how do you get through that? You just turn yourself off. How do you get through, like, your fuckin' parent beating you over the head? You just shut it off." - on the "disconnection" lyric in "Fuck You (An Ode to No One)" [???]

"Well, I had this really traumatic experience when I was fifteen. I got shrunk and I had to live in a thimble, and let me tell you that it was hard. The food was plentiful and all, but the attack of the rats got to be a bit much. It came out of the experiences of that time." - on inspiration for the song "Stumbleine" [???]


"If a man can't keep himself from doing those kinds of things with everything to lose, his band, his life, his status, his economic and whatever future... If he can't stop himself and pick himself up from that, then what's gonna stop him? Us? Us three suburbanites? It ain't gonna happen." - from MTV Year In Rock 96 [VIS/AUD] BC00007

"We're like a really nice drink. We help people get through the day--we make life a little sunnier. I don't think we have any profound effect. If anybody has had a profound effect, it's the Beatles, and their effect is still minimal. There are things in the world way more important than music. Family is 50 times more important than music." [PRINT] BC00013

"We can look you in the eye and talk to you about life, heart, love rock'n'roll, whatever, but we do not have the moral authority to tell people how to vote or what to do with their bodies. We are just a rock band." [WEB] BC00012


"My view of the world is always tempered by the fact that there are people who are less fortunate than I am." [PRINT] BC00023

"Life is everything and nothing all at once." [???]

"The simplest way that I can understand therapy is that we're born a certain way, we're taught to be something different, and we spend our whole lives trying to unravel it and ultimately align ourselves with who we really are. Life, experiences, traumas -- whatever -- they all add up to make you some altered version of what you are. So there's this battle that goes on between what you are and what you become, and it's been very important for me to unravel what I was taught to be or what I became. and to draw a direct parallel to music -- the closer I get back to being who I really am, the stronger the music gets, because I think what talent I do have is connected to that person, it's not a manipulative process, it's intuitive. You can learn about chords and guitars, but there's a piece of you that makes it individual, and it's been a slow process for me to become whatever it is that I'm supposed to be." [PRINT] BC00023

*NEW!* "In my Corgan brain, I've decided it's almost as simple as 'All you need is love.' Almost." [PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* "People do devastating things out of love and devotion. And if some guy rides a bus and blows himself up and twenty people around him because he loves God so much, it doesn't mean he's wrong or right. You can't just turn your head away from anything that you find repulsive, because in anything that has power, there has to be devotion." [PRINT] BC00028

The Band:

"We are the most beloved and hated band in the world."- during a concert [???]

"We're the worst band in America... That makes us the best." [WEB] BC00012

"We are a bit preposterous, but we're also a really special band." [PRINT] BC00016

"I've always believed that we could reach past genre -- we didn't ride the grunge coat-tails; we've always been on our terms." [PRINT] BC00023

"We weren't like mates who decided to form a band. The other three met me because they were interested in being in the band that I was starting." [PRINT] BC00023

"People always seemed to pay attention to us. I have no idea why -- there was just a presence between the four people or something." [PRINT] BC00023

"The world is not set up for a band like the Smashing Pumpkins -- it's set up for bands who can play the angle better." [PRINT] BC00023

"There's a lot of chemistry in the band that the outside world could never witness. In our band, D'arcy is the moral conscience -- it's really hard to do something if D'arcy thinks its fucked." [PRINT] BC00016

"Well, we have brought certain things upon ourselves. I've certainly brought things upon us with my mouth." [WEB] BC00012

"We were just a little immature in the past. I think we actually wanted to create difficult situations for ourselves just to be able to use that emotion for stimulation." [WEB] BC00012

"Now we've come to the realization that we don't have to live in a virtual state of anarchy in order to make the music happen." [WEB] BC00012

"As we've gotten older, it's the diversity among us that's made us more of a compete entity. We're not like an untuned motor anymore." [WEB] BC00012

"I still believe that we are a blessed, lucky group of people. We are not your tragedy band." [PRINT] BC00017


"I don't know if God would agree with me, but believing in God is kind of unimportant when compared to believing in yourself. Because if you go with the idea that God gave you a mind and an ability to judge things, then he would want you to believe in yourself and not worry about believing in him. By believing in yourself you will come to the conclusion that will point to something." [???]

Other Bands:

"My role models were Judas Priest and Ozzy Ozbourne." [PRINT] BC00023

"There's always going to be the bands that change where the river flows... And there's always going to be people who get in their boats to ride down the river, who'll go as far as they can until someone changes its course again. It's upsetting to see people not having the guts to be their own band and riding someone else's little trip, but it's just the way that it is and it will always be that way. It will never change because it's about money and it's about power." [???]

"People act like Nirvana invented grunge; they just took it and personified it." [PRINT] BC00023

"I draw minimum influences these days. I've created my own self-sustaining machine. There's a point where you go beyond your influences. You break away. It's like moving out of your parents' house or something." [PRINT] BC00027

"This whole '90's thing is like this negative brand. Throwing a tantrum. But what it was, was energy that said, 'I can't take this the way that it is.' That kind of rebellion against suburban America. And that's why I think [Marilyn] Manson's such an important artist right now, because in essence, he represents the next, the next generation, which even more disenchanted and disconnected." [VIS/AUD] BC00002

"...What people miss about [Marilyn] Manson is that he is just reflecting, he's an artist, people want to focus that energy on him, but it's not really him, it's really about you. So for every guy sitting there with a beer and a .45 in his belt, Manson is just 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." [VIS/AUD] BC00002

"Courtney [Love] is one of the most powerful live females that I've ever seen." [PRINT] BC00023

*NEW!* "I have a very down opinion of musicians. Because most musicians' heads aren't on straight. It's usually about technique, when it should be about creativity." [PRINT] BC00028

*NEW!* "Most musicians suck." [PRINT] BC00028


"The thing that makes it all worth it is when someone comes up and says, 'I had a really hard time in my life and your album really helped me.' As long as that happens, all the idiots in the world and all the stupid press can say what they want to; it just doesn't matter." [???]

"Some people want to express ... apathy with noise and brutality... It's the want to transcend all that, to find some deeper essence in life, that drives me." [???]

Indie Rock:

"I'm like the Fugitive, running from the one-armed indie-rock community" - on the early Chicago scene [PRINT] BC00023


"My inspiration has been to translate what I see in total. People often ask me why I write sad songs, but life is sad and life is happy. So, it seems to me that I should write happy songs and sad songs." [???]

 A Fax from Billy to a Reporter Who Said the Pumpkins Sucked:

"I'm glad that I'm such a good rhymer,
Better than being a social climber,
Just because I'm a bit brighter,
Than some fucking writer."
[WEB] BC00012

The Future:

"When we're ready to end the band, we'll end the band. It started on our terms, and it will certainly end on them." [PRINT] BC00016

"We've worked out a plan where eventually we'll replace ourselves with machines. So roughly by the year 2002 we'll sit at home and the machine will go on tour." [???]

"I hope we mature gracefully, but right now I don't really care because thinking about the future and thinking about the past is really away of avoiding the present. And the present is really good right now, and I'm very lucky; we're very lucky." [???]

"I have always said that if one person leaves, that's the end of the band. I'm not going to carry on with a faux Jimmy or faux D'Arcy. No fucking way." [???]

"We used to say that if anybody left the band, that would be it. Then we realized that we still have a lot between us, and we couldn't really pull that trigger." [PRINT] BC00015

"I'm not going to die glamorously. I'll probably be eating a Twinkie, take a bite, and fall over." [???]

"You can only be this high-powered mojo rock band for so long, then you just can't look people in the eye. So, we've projected our own demise." [WEB] BC00012

"I'm looking forward to some kind of well-coordinated Floyd future, perhaps even a floating pig of our own." - from Mojo Magazine [???]

"All we need is creativity." [???]


"I'm about to take the stupid shirt off... but the band won't let me." [???]

Kurt Loder: "Will you be growing your hair back soon?"
Billy: "Yes... But only through the ears." [???]


"Well, what we normally do, is every city we go to, we hire a fifteen year old boy and we turn it up until he starts to make a funny face, and then we turn it up about ten notches louder then that." - explaining how they decide how loud a concert should be [???]

"I think it's probably because we didn't do dumb things like, 'Wave your hands in the air' that we suffered a little, but I would rather suffer and not be a fool." - on playing live [PRINT] BC00023

"Our concerts have it's moments when it's stupid, where it's funny, little cheerleading moments, and there's moments when we are just totally crushing the audience." [WEB] BC00012

"You see all those empty seats? That's not who we play for -- we play for you. I want you to remember, we won't forget you -- so don't you forget about us." - to diehard fans who stayed at a concert for "Silverfuck" [???]

"See, we don't normally play this song; we thought it would be kinda fun to play it, but obviously we don't know our own song, so... We'll just play some Bush or Stone Temple Pilots or something... [band plays short "Smells Like Teen Spirit" riff] ... Usually we wait until the end of the concert to apologize for sucking, but I will apologize now. I'm very sorry -- we suck." - during the 1/26/97 concert [VIS/AUD] BC00008

"Are you all ready to have a rockin' mashed potato time?" - during a concert [???]

"I guess we should apologize now for making you all miss the Super Bowl. If it makes you feel any better, um, in the second quarter the players decided that they were all going to choose the path of non-violence and they all gave up football. So the game was suspended anyway so you're not missing anything." - talking to fans at a concert on the same day as the Super Bowl [???]

"Remember, Nagroc is Corgan spelt backwards. Don't you fucking forget that!" - during a concert [???]

"I cut all my fucking hair off, thats what i did. It seems like a very obvious thing, but this idiot can't seem to see it," - during a concert after someone asked where his hair went [???]

"I said rat in a cage, not monkey from a fucking wire." - after seeing a guy hanging off the balcony after "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" duing a concert [???]

"We are proud to be the first full services alternative rock band. What does that mean to you? You want service, we'll give it to you....If you want to hear an Oasis song, we'll play one." - during a concert [???]

"My favorite are the people who sit down during the songs they don't like and stand up during the ones they do- those are my favorite people. Go ahead and sit down cause you're not gonna like this one so... If you're bored already, I would, I would just go. You've already heard most of the hits so...We'll keep trying though." - during a concert [???]

"Alright, dancers...and you are dancers. Don't disappoint me or I will hurt you. James will now read you your rights...and a small disclaimer insuring the Smashing Pumpkins against any harm or injury should anyone fall." - talking to the fans picked to dance on stage during "1979" at a concert [???]

"Before Thanksgiving, the turkey on your tables was a happy, free turkey, who could think and do as he wished. Just think about that after you're done eating on Thanksgiving." - talking to his fans during a concert around Thanksgiving [???]

"There's been someone up here screaming 'Landslide' for the whole show... Normally we don't play 'Landslide,' but on occasion we've been known to play it... So since this person's been screaming it all show long... That just about kills the chances of me playing it tonight, or ever again." - during a concert [???]

"How cute. A Big Bird doll with a zero on his chest... I am against the... disgrace of innocent Sesame Street dolls... I was molested by big bird himself once... When I saw that thing flying at me, it brought back alot of painful memories... I can't tell you what he did to me... But, he does have that long beak..." - reacting to when a fan threw a Big Bird stuffed animal at him during a concert [???]

Jimmy's Departure:

"I wish it was all gone and we could just go back to being the most killer band in the world." [???]

"We're just gonna throw out the rule book and start over." - on plans for the band after Jimmy's dismissal [???]

*NEW!* Q: Was the band lacking something without Jimmy then?

Billy: "We noticed the absence of a maniacal laugh." [PRINT] BC00029

Other Quotes:

"I get more out of life just being myself, by just being a human being. Not by being a rock star, not by being whatever. Sometimes I act like a jerk, but I think people respect me for being myself. That's the ultimate thing about the Smashing Pumpkins." [PRINT] BC00027

"You're in Pumpkin World, buddy. Where nothing is as it seems." [???]

"We don't have a production company. We have a record label." [???]

"It's my girlfriends; I had to pry it out of her to use it for the album." - on the Sacred Heart on the back of Gish [???]

"When I watch a puppet show, I'm not watching the puppets -- I'm trying to see who's pulling the strings." [???]

"I've thought many times, 'I can't write this,' but on my own little planet I found the courage to write it because it was true. I put aside fear of Father being angry with me. It's hard though; the world pales in comparison with the stature of a parent. In some small-consolation way, my parents feel I'm helping people by giving them something to identify with. They feel proud in a sort of reverse way. My mom's proud of the fact that lots of kids look up to me." [PRINT] BC00019

"This is war, motherfucker, and don't you forget it. It's us versus them, and if your giving in your giving up." - from the introduction to The Aeroplane Flies High box set [???]

"If practice makes perfect and nobody's perfect then why practice?" [???]

"Stay in school. Lie to your teachers, but stay in school." [???]

"All I ever wanted was everything and all I've gotten is shit." - from "I Am One" in Vieuphoria [VIS/AUD] BC00009

"What goes on between a person and himself and the universe is their own damned business. There's no way we could ever cheapen it." [???]

"If you hear one of our songs on the radio and it's chopped up -- you call that radio sation, and tell them they're fucking stupid!" [???]

"Hey Hey Hey...You're right."- answering to a fan who said, "Hey Hey Hey... You're Billy Corgan!" [???]

"I'd probably be the guy your brother buys pot from or something." - during an interview when asked what he'd be doing if he wasn't playing music [???]

"I fucking told you that this town sucks! Did I fucking tell you this town sucks? I fucking told you. I didn't want to play here, and now these fuckers want my fucking autograph!" - in Tulsa '94 [???]

"I'm Irish and I was born on St. Patrick's day. I'm lucky sevens." [VIS/AUD] BC00005

"If I had spent fourteen months in a small room with Jesus, I'd want to fist fight with him." [???]

"At this point in time I actually don't know who I am." [???]

"We are, we have been, and always will be the Smashing Pumpkins." [???]

"Everything about life makes me lonely." [???]

"Wow. That's it?!?! That's all we get? We won all these awards and that's all we get?!?! Beavis and Butt-head got more time then us!" - during an interview at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards Post-Show [VIS/AUD] BC00010

"Would I be in these silver pants?" - on SP Videography referring to if he wasn't a rock star [???]

"Once a pumpkin, Always a pumpkin." [???]

"Me and my father have the same slouch and walk. I've been to family gatherings, after dinner, everyone goes into the living room, there will be eight people all sitting in the same Corgan way." [WEB] BC00012

"Shave your head, wear a 'ZERO' shirt. Take away your identity. What do you have? You still have yourself." [???]

"There's a lot of UFO sightings in New Orleans, which isn't really too surprising. There's a lotta crazy people there. The people there lack the intelligence to know what they are seeing, so that's why the UFO's go there." [???]

"I'm no messiah, I'm just some dumb Mid-West guy." [???]

"Been there, done that, seen it, heard it, pissed on it." - from a SPIN article [???]

"Can I ask a question? Has the interview started? Is James in this interview? I mean we're not doing this interview unless everyone's in on it. I got another double album to write so hurry up." - before an interview [???]

Interviewer: "Billy, there's alot of on-line discussion about the books of Elie Weisel and your lyrics. Was their a definite influence?"
Billy: "I've heard this and I have absolutley no idea. You know what it is? He wrote this one thing called 'Mayonaise.' So it starts there. You know how I got the title "Mayonaise"? I looked in my refrigerator." [???]

"I was never violent, but I had that streak underneath me all along. People who have known me all my life, when they first saw us play, they were like, 'Holy fuck,' because I'd turn into this beastie. They had never seen that side of me, but I knew it was there." [WEB] BC00012


Billy Quotes | James Quotes | Jimmy Quotes | D'arcy Quotes
Melissa Quotes
| Other Quotes | Vieuphoria Quotes

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