Billy Corgan thinks that metal music is looked down upon by rich people and hipsters

"It's amazing how disrespected it is"

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has spoken out about how he believes that metal music has always been looked down upon by the upper classes and hipsters.

Corgan was speaking to Beats1 Radio for another edition of It’s Electric by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, when he looked back on the music that shaped him in his youth.

“For years I would take shit about being a fan of metal – it should be beneath you. It gets into weird class politics – most of the people who criticise people like us, for being who we are, what we are, or what we represent, had better backgrounds than we had,” said Corgan.


“We didn’t necessarily go to the nice school, we didn’t get to read the cool newspaper. For me, bands like you [Metallica] told me that there is this other world that is more closely aligned with the experience that you’re having, than the one you’re being told about.”

D'Arcy Wretsky and Billy Corgan with Smashing Pumpkins on SNL
D’Arcy Wretsky and Billy Corgan with Smashing Pumpkins on SNL

He added: “So when I heard Mercyful Fate, Metallica, or Ted Nugent – ‘Wait, there’s this other world than the world you’re telling me that I’m supposed to believe in.’ Even to this day, for all the money that metal moves, it’s amazing how disrespected it is.”

The frontman went on to add that part of the reason for the discrimination may be not to be associated with the various subcultures and ‘undesirables’ involved in the scene.

“You can’t get that through to a hipster’s brain,” he added. “If you sat around and drew up who you wanted to be on paper, you wouldn’t be in Metallica or The Smashing Pumpkins.”


Last week also saw Corgan compare the ’90s grunge scene to a ‘high school popularity contest‘.

“If everybody is sort of branded with the same brush, okay we can live that,” he said. “But you know, you’d see some people would be exalted and their sins were forgivable.”

 “It really reminded me of high school, which I didn’t like. So now I’m in the bigger high school and now we’re playing with millions of dollars and millions of people, and it’s just like a popularity contest. And it brought out maybe the worst or the best in my personality, which was like, ‘I’m gonna take this on and I’m gonna use myself as the battering ram so I’m gonna make it about me, knowing it’s not about me.’”


The rock veterans, who currently gearing up for a US tour as well as the release of three EPs of new material with the majority of their ‘classic’ founding line-up, last week announced details of a ‘1979 House Party’ in Los Angeles on June 28.

The first new material from the band is expected to arrive any day now.