GO FIGURE!

The star wants to be seen as a "musician - not a figurehead"...

BILLY CORGAN has said following the split of the SMASHING PUMPKINS, he wants to be “a musician – not a figurehead”, and is considering leaving the US altogether, to live in ITALY.

Speaking in an interview with the Irish Times, out in Ireland tomorrow (November 14), Corgan said he was so “concerned” with the “corrupt ” and “disengaging US political system” that he is “seriously considering” emigrating.

Speaking about the recent election chaos in the US, he said: “(Pearl Jam’s) Eddie Vedder did gigs for (Green Party candidate) Ralph Nader but people were saying that a vote for Nader might have been a vote against Gore, which meant a vote for Bush so I was concerned about that. It’s so disengaging the US political system, it’s so corrupt. I’m worried that Bush will change the social focus of the country – bring us back to the days of a ‘strong military’ and promote some ‘American vision’ idea which was never real in the first place. I don’t want to live in the US anymore, I’m seriously considering leaving to live somewhere else – maybe Italy.”

Elsewhere, Corgan talks about the “cultural erosion in the US” which has “taken the feet out of underneath music”. He also accuses Napster of having “sold out” over their strategic alliance with music giant BMG. He said: “I think Napster teaming up with BMG is a counter-productive gesture. That free flag they were waving wasn’t real and now they’ve joined the ranks. They’ve become a business, they’ve sold out.”

Finally, Corgan hinted he plans to remove himself from the public eye on the release of his solo album. He added: ” I’ll return, but not on such a public level, more of a musical level. I believe I need to re-invent the paradigm by which I operate. I’m still living a paradigm I entered into at the age of 23 when I was confrontational, both in person and on stage. I’m 33 now and I’ve got a wider view. Now I primarily want to be a musician – not a figurehead.”