10 Things We Learned From Billy Corgan's Reddit AMA

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Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins performs on the Other Stage during day 4 of the 2013 Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 29, 2013 in Glastonbury, England. 

With a new Smashing Pumpkins album Monuments to an Elegy out this week, Billy Corgan made time to answer questions about "anything" on Reddit yesterday. With a cup of tea in hand, obviously. Here’s what we learned:

1. The shortest (5 minutes) and the longest (5 months) amount of time it has taken him to write one song.

2. The couple in the “Tonight, Tonight” music video are the voice actors who play Spongebob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) and Sandy the Squirrel (Jill Talley). “That is true. And I have seen them on occasion. They're wonderful and obviously talented people. And it's a great thing to tell nieces and nephews that I know Spongebob.”

3. A dream collaboration of his that hasn’t happened yet -- working with one of Deep Purple's founding members. “I would be thrilled to work with Ritchie Blackmore.”

4. He doesn’t assume the Smashing Pumpkins will get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- and if they do, he doesn't necessarily see James Iha and D'arcy involved. "I don't assume that that would ever happen. So speculating on how it would all go down, if it did, seems kind of strange to me.”

5. He’s never been good at Twister, referencing the time Nirvana played "slippery Twister" with the Smashing Pumpkins. “I remember playing with them, thinking (by the way, the show wasn't sold out) that someday people were going to talk about the show.”

6. The thought process behind developing the lengthy track “Silverfuck” off 1993’s Siamese Dream. “Um, back in the day, with SP, we felt we never had a song that was good enough to finish the show. So we started this idea of a song called 'Silverfuck,' but the song would always change, so in essence, we would never know where the song was going, nor would the audience, so over time we developed different themes and feelings to create what is in essence a living song.”

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7. How Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee ended up working on the new album. “Tommy was destined to play on this record, and I think the results show that.”

8. His favorite recent music. “I've been praising Phantogram's single 'So in Love' -- to me, this is the song of the year.”

9. The inspiration for the track “1979” off 1996’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. “Sometimes I write a song from a particular sense-memory. And '1979' came from a memory where I was sitting at a traffic light on a rainy day, and that's all I remember.”

10. Nothing thrills him more than seeing a young crowd react to new Smashing Pumpkins music. “Someone asked about how much it meant to have the crowd sing along with my newest music at a concert, and how their coworkers were debating whether it didn't matter to me and it was just about me doing the show and getting paid: Your coworkers' cynicism is endemic of the culture's cynicism. To assume that 'what I get paid' has any influence on my emotional experience shows that they do not understand the path of an artist. One of the most disappointing aspects of the last 7 years has been the assumption that I have made music that is not worth listening to.” (He touched on that concern in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, which found him claiming the Pumpkins' next album will be their last.)

As for his Reddit AMA experience, Corgan came back later to post: "I loved these questions because they were questions for a human being. And as a human being, I don't mind talking about it.”


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