Billy Corgan calls for rock stars to take ‘aggressive’ stance against pop music

Smashing Pumpkins frontman says 'everybody belongs on their own side of the street for a good reason'

Billy Corgan has called on rock artists to be more “aggressive” in distancing themselves from pop stars and the music they make.

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman gave an outspoken interview on Australian TV yesterday (January 25) in which he tocuhed on subjects including pop music, Kurt Cobain, Kanye West and the media’s reaction to his comments .

Asked by the hosts of Channel 7’s The Morning Show (via Faster Louder) about the differences between rock and pop music in 2015, Corgan replied: “Rock ‘n’ roll will be fine. I just think it needs to be more aggressive in taking on pop music.”


Expanding his argument, Corgan added: “Particularly in America there’s a very cosy relationship between rock stars and pop stars – and I don’t think that’s a good relationship. Everybody belongs on their own side of the street for a good reason. By definition a rock star is supposed to be an independent individual who pursues a vision to an end – an Axl Rose, an Elton John. And a pop star is supposed to do whatever they can do to pray at some horrible idol of fame which is ubiquitous and fleeting. And that contradiction to me is why everyone should stay on their own side of the street.”

“What’s difficult about it from an insider point of view is that it sends out a message to kids that that’s the only way to be successful in the music business, is to sort of package yourself … And quite frankly if you look at the history of the music business the biggest stars are individuals. There’s only one Bob Marley, there’s only one Ozzy Osbourne or Madonna. You can try, but you can’t recreate them. So the industry has become about following rather than leading. I think it’s reflected in the sales.”

This isn’t the first time Corgan has gone on the offensive during the promo for his new album. In December 2014, the singer dismissed fellow ’90s alt-rockers Pearl Jam as “derivative” and Foo Fighters as undeveloped, adding that Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins were in a class of their own. “I think the work speaks for itself,” he said.

Smashing Pumpkins’ tenth album ‘Monuments to an Elegy’ was released last year, with another record entitled ‘Day for Night’ expected for 2015.


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