Depending on your POV, the 45-year-old Corgan is either spot on or just a codger railing, fists raised, against those kids today.
Speaking to the Daily Beast about his latest studio album, Oceania, Corgan points out that you can’t be alternative (and therefore dangerous-slash-exciting to the masses) without being alterative to something. Pitchfork, he says, has marshaled a too-willing community.
"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!
"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."
Jeez, and Pitchfork speaks so highly of Corgan, though ironically of course.
In reviewing Oceania, the site cleverly manages to stroke Corgan and smack him with a backhanded compliment, always a feat.
“In terms of sheer sound, Oceania hits its mark: It succeeds, at least, in seeming Pumpkins-y. The towering slab of guitars, the sense of hurtling forward motion, the alt-rock-meets-Les Mis sweep, are present, and help make Oceania Corgan's most worthwhile work in years,” the blog concludes.
Zinger! Meanwhile, back at the Daily Beast, Corgan says what had made "Nirvana so dangerous" was the fact that they attracted listeners from across the cultural spectrum and not just from one scene.
“You've got to want to subvert the social order of the high school. That's why Nirvana was so f---ing 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 f---ing years!' Cira 1993 the name Smashing Pumpkins made people go, 'Aw, I f---ing hate that band,' or, 'I f---ing love that band.' The name still has a charge in it."
That last bit is debatable, but I like Corgan’s fiery spirit and absolutely unwavering belief in himself. Nicely played, sir, nicely played.
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