View Full Version : Did Singing Lessons Affect Billy's Singing?


Liandrin
01-08-2008, 09:29 PM
I've noticed a lot of complaints about Billy's post-Adore singing. I agree that there is a difference and I wonder if singing lessons are the cause. I remember reading an interview from the late 90s where Billy mentions that he is taking lessons. It seems like this is around the time when his voice changed

If you listen to songs like Soothe, Rhinoceros, Today, or 1979 Billy sings very quietly and softly--almost like he is in a trance. He doesn't seem to sing softly any more. If you listen to his more recent stuff, there are times where appears to attempting to sing "softly," but something is different. The emotional quality is not the same. I don't think that his voice is "blown out" from years of singing. Singing quietly is still possible even when your vocal chords are shot.

Even when Billy is singing "softly," it sounds more reedy than before--as if he is trying to project more. I think that this is an issue that a lot of singers run into when they start taking lessons. They get focused technique, rather than getting the emotion across.

I like American Gothic, but this an album that calls for a type of singing that would have sounded much better if it was sung by 1993-vintage Billy, even with the same music.

i_adore_adore
01-08-2008, 09:31 PM
What a revolutionary opinion you have.

Could this very post be the answer to the Machina mystery? I think it's possible. It's just so profound.

brillo998
01-08-2008, 09:35 PM
yea his voice is even worse during this zeitgeist era. he seems to intentionally not pronounce consonants and muffles vocals from the back of his throat.

slunken
01-08-2008, 09:42 PM
Liandrin backwards is Nird Nail

cork_soaker
01-08-2008, 10:01 PM
What a revolutionary opinion you have.

Could this very post be the answer to the Machina mystery? I think it's possible. It's just so profound.

you are heading toward the dark side, it seems

redchandelier
01-08-2008, 10:03 PM
I think so

skipgo
01-08-2008, 10:09 PM
i was just about to say the same thing cork_soaker said.

xezton
01-08-2008, 10:17 PM
i was just about to say the same thing cork_soaker said.

What have we done to poor i_adore_adore :(

themadcaplaughs
01-08-2008, 10:31 PM
I do not know, but it does not seem right

Liandrin
01-08-2008, 10:31 PM
Do you guys ever get tired of posting self-consciously ironic non sequiturs to each other all day?

Liandrin
01-08-2008, 10:34 PM
OK. Maybe that's overreacting. But, it does seem like anytime someone attempts to start a thread here, it gets drowned out by some people that are trying way too hard to be funny.

monkeyfritters
01-08-2008, 10:43 PM
i think billy is not a good person for music.

Frankenstein
01-08-2008, 10:56 PM
is it so hard to believe that the mods are posting as Rake Fighters just to fuck with the masses?

darcyismybass
01-08-2008, 10:57 PM
What a revolutionary opinion you have.

Could this very post be the answer to the Machina mystery? I think it's possible. It's just so profound.

Be more Netphorian.

Mayfuck
01-08-2008, 11:04 PM
What a revolutionary opinion you have.

Could this very post be the answer to the Machina mystery? I think it's possible. It's just so profound.

This was a pretty valid thread topic and your post was a pretty stupid one. You are bad at critical posting and should stick to asinine puberty stories about your SP fandom.

redbull
01-08-2008, 11:05 PM
seriously i adore adore, can you at least not turn the decent topics into shitfests? only the dumb ones

Mayfuck
01-08-2008, 11:08 PM
I've noticed a lot of complaints about Billy's post-Adore singing. I agree that there is a difference and I wonder if singing lessons are the cause. I remember reading an interview from the late 90s where Billy mentions that he is taking lessons. It seems like this is around the time when his voice changed

If you listen to songs like Soothe, Rhinoceros, Today, or 1979 Billy sings very quietly and softly--almost like he is in a trance. He doesn't seem to sing softly any more. If you listen to his more recent stuff, there are times where appears to attempting to sing "softly," but something is different. The emotional quality is not the same. I don't think that his voice is "blown out" from years of singing. Singing quietly is still possible even when your vocal chords are shot.

Even when Billy is singing "softly," it sounds more reedy than before--as if he is trying to project more. I think that this is an issue that a lot of singers run into when they start taking lessons. They get focused technique, rather than getting the emotion across.

I like American Gothic, but this an album that calls for a type of singing that would have sounded much better if it was sung by 1993-vintage Billy, even with the same music.

This is all true. Also of note on old SP records his voice was sometimes double-tracked and buried into the mix. I mentioned this before. On the newer material his vocals are brought to the front of the mix and dominate everything else. It's bad production in addition to the more rigid and focal intonation as well natural limiting of range due to age. Personally I think it's killing most of the new material. I miss the hushy, breathy Corgan of Obscured and Rhinoceros.

Rickpat12
01-08-2008, 11:19 PM
Yes. Everyone is right on with this thread.

SpFission
01-08-2008, 11:21 PM
I thought he took vocal lessons <i> for </i> Adore. Although his singing style did change, his actual vocals are what changed the most..

redbull
01-08-2008, 11:24 PM
np: bleeding the orchid

redbull
01-08-2008, 11:24 PM
also yeah, i thought they were for adore

monkeyfritters
01-08-2008, 11:30 PM
i think the one two punch of singing lessons/ getting way too comfortable with the recording and production process are what did him in the first time around... now add a desperate need to be relevant and you get the idea.

Frankenstein
01-08-2008, 11:33 PM
its liek this.

in 1995:

media says, "YOUR VOCALS SUCK YOUR VOCALS SUCK YOUR VOCALS SUCK"


in 2007

billy says "FUCK YOU"

tcm
01-08-2008, 11:39 PM
WOW i've NEVER seen ANYONE make THIS little "OBSERVATION" before NOW, i REALLY have NOT!! also i give a fuck

Sarcastic Smile
01-08-2008, 11:39 PM
people that are trying way too hard to be funny.
and/or smart

Frankenstein
01-08-2008, 11:42 PM
WOW i've NEVER seen ANYONE make THIS little "OBSERVATION" before NOW, i REALLY have NOT!! also i give a fuck

I give a fuck. because of ear fatigue

Liandrin
01-08-2008, 11:42 PM
You are probably right--it was before Adore.

I actually thought his voice was good on Adore. Maybe the lessons are not to blame after all.

tcm
01-08-2008, 11:45 PM
I give a fuck. because of ear fatigue

you're a fat motherfucker, stop crying and START PUMPING.

Frankenstein
01-09-2008, 12:20 AM
you're a fat motherfucker, stop crying and START PUMPING.

hmm. im 5'11 160. lots of situps and rice.

sorry broseph

kingy
01-09-2008, 12:38 AM
I think his live vocals peaked around Adore, they were consistant while still full of emotion, See Tear, For Martha, etc.

tcm
01-09-2008, 12:39 AM
hmm. im 5'11 160. lots of situps and rice.

sorry broseph

if you are getting winded from listening to this beautiful music, something is very wrong. could be a congenital thing... but you can't blame Billy for that.

Frankenstein
01-09-2008, 12:39 AM
I think his live vocals peaked around Adore, they were consistant while still full of emotion, See Tear, For Martha, etc.

in an sing-song way sure. but the edginess of both machina albums is something to be reckoned with as well.

Frankenstein
01-09-2008, 12:40 AM
if you are getting winded from listening to this beautiful music, something is very wrong. could be a congenital thing... but you can't blame Billy for that.

what ever you say slim

tcm
01-09-2008, 12:46 AM
yeah i may be in pretty bad shape and it's not easy at times but my motto is, no pain? subsequently: no gain.

Frankenstein
01-09-2008, 12:47 AM
yeah i may be in pretty bad shape and it's not easy at times but my motto is, no pain? subsequently: no gain.

I prefer pain and gain

tcm
01-09-2008, 12:56 AM
what ever you say mr owww my poor ears are sooo fatigued:(((

Frankenstein
01-09-2008, 01:01 AM
what ever you say mr owww my poor ears are sooo fatigued:(((

Im not sure why you are singling me out on this one.. of all the shit ive posted. but seriously. 50 per cent of zeitgeist hurts my ears. Im not eager to complain but more upset if anything and ask around yourself, start a fucking poll... Im not the only one who feels this way. Anyways it's not like you wrote the songs or produced thealbum so why you are taking this so personal is curious enough in itself. For the new material I prefer the aol sessions, xm recordings, and american gothic.. and of course the older stuff. personally I never thought James and D'arcy were missing but more so Flood. Bring that guy back and see what happens.

tcm
01-09-2008, 01:11 AM
sorry i thought you started it. misunderstanding, forget it.

monkeyfritters
01-09-2008, 01:17 AM
DROP IT OK!?

Frankenstein
01-09-2008, 01:19 AM
sorry i thought you started it. misunderstanding, forget it.

eat shit

Frankenstein
01-09-2008, 01:19 AM
DROP IT OK!?

you smell

monkeyfritters
01-09-2008, 01:21 AM
im having an asthma attack.

tcm
01-09-2008, 01:53 AM
BBLAAAEERRGHHH!!!

suncrashesdown
01-09-2008, 02:06 AM
Turning into a tree, my dick is

JRiordan
01-09-2008, 02:25 AM
The question is, is he still capable of screaming with the same ferocity as the 90s?

I think he can, but he purposely restrains himself as to avoid extra strain which could have negative impact as a tour goes on. See for example the "screams" as 1:44 and 2:52 of Heavy Metal Machine on AOL Sessions ( http://music.aol.com/video/heavy-metal-machine-aol-sessions/smashing-pumpkins/1975722 ).

Strangely, trying to scream like that seems to hurt my throat more than a "standard let it all out" scream

But I mean, compare the HMM above to some vintage Rat in a Cage:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gQrA5ggPqJo&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gQrA5ggPqJo&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

^ The old style rules, of course. But if avoiding this style so as to not have all the veins in his head burst can save Billy's life, well then fine.

JRiordan
01-09-2008, 02:39 AM
His singing with Djali Zwan was fantastic, btw. Death From Above @ Fillmore last summer was also. Actually, almost all the soft stuff sounds great. But for the mosh pit songs, the intensity has dropped way down.

rolmos
01-09-2008, 02:42 AM
D'arcy looks amazingin that video. :-0

RenewRevive
01-09-2008, 10:24 AM
This is all true. Also of note on old SP records his voice was sometimes double-tracked and buried into the mix. I mentioned this before. On the newer material his vocals are brought to the front of the mix and dominate everything else. It's bad production in addition to the more rigid and focal intonation as well natural limiting of range due to age. Personally I think it's killing most of the new material. I miss the hushy, breathy Corgan of Obscured and Rhinoceros.

agreed. rtb mentioned they would be putting the vocals up front for zeitgeist and he did not lie. this is doubtless why billy doing his own backing has become an issue all of a sudden, with them being more noticeable. burying the vocals in the mix would improve the songs enormously. billy must bear the bulk of responsibility; he clearly feels happy with his singing now and wants it out there ahead of the music.

mayday
01-09-2008, 12:06 PM
But I mean, compare the HMM above to some vintage Rat in a Cage:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gQrA5ggPqJo&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gQrA5ggPqJo&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

^ The old style rules, of course. But if avoiding this style so as to not have all the veins in his head burst can save Billy's life, well then fine.

what is it like bieng a rat in a cage do you suppose?

lol. possibly anyone would scream like that if they felt like one. he sounds more like a tortured rat in a cage.
:confused:
poor Bill

Twineball
01-09-2008, 01:08 PM
I thought vocal lessons were supposed to make vocals better.

In my experience, vocal coaches don't teach their students to separate opening consonants from the rest of the words. T'ime is never t'ime at all, etc.

Nachtkabarett
01-09-2008, 04:31 PM
I think his voice has always had a quality to be desired, regardless of what stage of his carreer he was in.

There's been something to be had of all the eras thus far.

i_adore_adore
01-09-2008, 04:36 PM
OK. Maybe that's overreacting. But, it does seem like anytime someone attempts to start a thread here, it gets drowned out by some people that are trying way too hard to be funny.

Sure, any time someone tries to start a thread, SOMEONE shoots it down, but it's not always me. It just seems like this topic is one that has been discussed about 8000000 times, and I don't really understand what anyone is gaining from seeing it again.

I DIDN'T MEAN TO HURT ANYONE'S FEELINGS JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ.

I wouldn't say I've crossed over to the dark side, either. I honestly didn't mean to come off as such a jerk, if I did *shrug*

Anyway, that was so one page ago, so carry on.

smashkin33
01-09-2008, 04:38 PM
people probably aren't used to you being a wise-ass.
you're a good kid.

DeviousJ
01-09-2008, 04:47 PM
This is all true. Also of note on old SP records his voice was sometimes double-tracked and buried into the mix. I mentioned this before. On the newer material his vocals are brought to the front of the mix and dominate everything else. It's bad production in addition to the more rigid and focal intonation as well natural limiting of range due to age. Personally I think it's killing most of the new material. I miss the hushy, breathy Corgan of Obscured and Rhinoceros.

I think he also kinda half-sings now, almost like he's talking with melody. Not exactly, but the vocals feel like there's less behind them - so they multitracked them to put some weight behind them, only that makes it sound more obvious. Also when he sings lower (which he does a lot more now) he sounds bored.

i_adore_adore
01-09-2008, 05:01 PM
people probably aren't used to you being a wise-ass.
you're a good kid.

I guess that's probably it.

And what's this about the song a day thread getting deleted? That just makes me want to cry... really. I loved that thread. Clearly there is no logic in which threads get deleted.

Sorry I keep posting off topic here.

yes. Billy's vocals were better back in the day. Yes, voice lessons probably have something to do with it. No, he doesn't like consonants. yes, it's very annoying and no one knows why (though some have speculated that it's due to some crazy technique he picked up in voice lessons).

morecowbell
01-09-2008, 09:53 PM
Imagine knowing there's an entire messageboard dedicated to ripping you a new one, and that shutting it down would 1) make you look like a prick, and 2) hurt publicity. He probably sings like that just to fuck with you people, or else just doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks anymore.

SpFission
01-09-2008, 10:07 PM
I think his voice has always had a quality to be desired, regardless of what stage of his carreer he was in.

There's been something to be had of all the eras thus far.

yeah, but back in the day, although flawed...his vocals were edgy, harsh, but yet still cool. to me at least.

it seems like he sings better live than in the studio now...which is the complete opposite of prior eras.