HE IS ONE!

The ex-Smashing Pumpkins vocalist is demoing new songs in Chicago...

Ex-SMASHING PUMPKINS vocalist BILLY CORGAN has started work on a solo album.

Speaking in an interview with the local Chicago Tribune newspaper (July 22), Corgan, who has recently visited the UK to make a live appearance with New Order, said he is currently recording demos in a Chicago studio, with a view to starting an album proper by the end of 2001.

Speaking about his time since the demise of the Smashing Pumpkins, he said: “I didn’t pick up a guitar for a while, which I hadn’t done since I was 19, when it was coming down to whether I should cut my hair and get a job or play rock ‘n’ roll. This was a similar thing. I put it down and said I’m not picking it back up unless I want to. It just came back. And I feel like a million bucks.”

Speaking about the as-yet-untitled record, he commented: “I’m trying to be flexible about all aspects of it, the music and the personnel. I originally thought it would take till next year, but I’m now thinking by year’s end we’ll start recording.”

Elsewhere, Corgan said he has co-written a song for a forthcoming record by Lisa Marie Presley and elaborated on his work with ’60s star Marianne Faithfull. As revealed on NME.COM, Corgan, members of Blur and Beck are amongst the stars who are working on the record.

“We did three songs for her next album,” he said. “Two originals and a cover of `Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good’ the Herman’s Hermits song. I asked her what she had been listening to, and she told me somewhat sheepishly that she’d been listening to Herman’s Hermits. And we talked about that sunny-ness in music, and how people don’t trust that anymore. So why not do the song? A mature woman singing about that happiness? When she understands what she’s translating to that voice, it’s unbelievable. Don’t let the mature Marianne fool you. She is still a punk rocker and it’s so refreshing. I’m like, here I go. I’m 34, it’s a new phase, it’s not about teenage pain anymore. But when you meet someone like that, and realise they’re still all there, it’s so inspiring. “

Smashing Pumpkins are planning a Greatest Hits compilation and DVD for future release.