Billy Corgan: ‘We didn’t want Oceania to sound like Duran Duran’

Smashing Pumpkins singer wanted to make sure the band's ninth album had no "gimmickry"

Billy Corgan says he threw away songs that sounded “too much like Duran Duran” when writing ‘Oceania’.

Talking about The Smashing Pumpkins ninth album, Corgan – the only original member of the band – says he rejected any ideas he thought too “flashy” or if he thought the band were trying too hard. You can read NME’s review of ‘Oceania’ here.

Speaking about the writing process for the record, he told “From a producer standpoint, at this point in my life, I really stress not trying to let gimmickry or some kind of flashy thing get in the way of something that will work every time.” He added:

For every idea in ‘Oceania’, we probably threw about seven away. It’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s trying too hard. That sounds too much like Talk Talk. That sounds too much like Duran Duran. Fuck it.’ It was natural. It wasn’t possessive.

Image in middle: Corgan also said that he wants to play ‘Oceania’ in full live, inspired by seeing Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour do a solo concert, despite previously telling NME that it would be against his ethos. He said:

We want to play the album and then play some classics to go with it. I have to give some credit to David Gilmour. I saw him on his solo tour in 2006, and he did that. He came out and played a couple of ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ songs. He played his whole new record. Then he did ‘Echoes’, ‘Comfortably Numb’, and all of that stuff. It was awesome.

He added: “It was a really cool thing, and you felt like he was honouring where he was at and did this idealised set afterwards. That’s what we’re shooting for.”

The singer told NME last week that he would never play any album from his back catalogue in full live, as it would be against his ethos. He said: ”The managers will tell you, ‘You’ll be playing in front of big crowds and you’ll have an opportunity to move from there into the next cycle’. I’m sorry, but if you play in front of an audience and give them exactly what they want, the way they want it, they’re not coming back.”