View Full Version : Zwanfluence


xezton
01-23-2008, 01:07 PM
The more I listen to Zeitgeist and American Gothic, the more and more I hear a continuation of Zwan rather than The Smashing Pumpkins.

Neverlost sounds like a sombre Settle Down.

Death From Above is a more lively Ride a Black Swan.

(Come on) Let's Go! is similar to Declarations of Faith in many ways.

That's The Way (My Love Is) is like a more solid version of Honestly.

I mean, they're not exactly the same, that would be stupid. But I can listen to Mary Star of the Sea and Zeitgeist and American Gothic interchangeably, other than Bleeding the Orchid, and still think I'm listening to the same album/band.

It seems as if Zeitgeist is what The Smashing Pumpkins would have sounded like had they not broken up and Billy still went through the same motions, musically, personally and religiously... not really a continuation of the Pumpkins as many would assume. Sure, Zwan wouldn't have been around, but I think most of those songs would have appeared in some form or another with the original members of TSP.


Yet so far, except for very few songs and only little parts of them, The Future Embrace hasn't crept into any of Zeitgeist except for Pomp and Circumstances and a little bit of Bleeding the Orchid.


So it's like Zwan, Zeitgeist and American Gothic are all part of this similar branch. The Future Embrace sounds more like a natural extension from Adore and Machina I and II, but it's a little off (which makes sense as a solo album, so it never needed to extend the Pumpkins in the first place).


Although with American Gothic came one ray of hope that the Pumpkins are going to turn around, get off the Zwanfluence, and get back to progressing from where the Pumpkins left off as a band: Again Again Again.

Again, Again, Again sounds VERY similar to Age of Innocence. Of course they're not the same song or anything, but their sound is so close, it's crazy.



Do you think the next full-fledged album (if there ever is another actual album and not just more EP's and singles) will be a more direct continuation from where The Smashing Pumpkins left off? Or do you think it will still be full of Zwanfluence?


Or do you care? :)

SlingeroGuitaro
01-23-2008, 01:12 PM
nope

SpFission
01-23-2008, 01:17 PM
Do you think the fact that Billy and Jimmy were in Zwan have anything to do with it?

Patuquitos
01-23-2008, 01:20 PM
I think the real question is: 'is there a SP sound anymore?'

xezton
01-23-2008, 01:30 PM
Do you think the fact that Billy and Jimmy were in Zwan have anything to do with it?

There is a clear distinction between Machina and Mary Star of the Sea, yet Billy and Jimmy were in both those bands.

That's not the point anyway. The question is will they continue to perpetuate that Zwan sound based on what we've heard so far, or are there reasons for them to ever go back and continue to progress from Machina?

Mr. Mister
01-23-2008, 02:07 PM
There is a clear distinction between Machina and Mary Star of the Sea, yet Billy and Jimmy were in both those bands.

That's not the point anyway. The question is will they continue to perpetuate that Zwan sound based on what we've heard so far, or are there reasons for them to ever go back and continue to progress from Machina?

Bill needs to un-progress the gayness of his singing. If this happens, it will be the first step out of the grave for SP2. The second step will be to write some lyrics that aren't embarassing. This will be more difficult than step one, but less important. The music is fine whichever way it progresses IMO.

hcueva
01-23-2008, 02:08 PM
There is a clear distinction between Machina and Mary Star of the Sea, yet Billy and Jimmy were in both those bands.

That's not the point anyway. The question is will they continue to perpetuate that Zwan sound based on what we've heard so far, or are there reasons for them to ever go back and continue to progress from Machina?

I agree with you: Zwan and New Pumpkins are the same piece of shit. I also agree that there are some few exceptions, and I would add "United States" to the list.

TFE was awesome, though, and in a few years everyone's gonna love it as they now love Adore.

Mr. Mister
01-23-2008, 02:37 PM
I agree with you: Zwan and New Pumpkins are the same piece of shit. I also agree that there are some few exceptions, and I would add "United States" to the list.

TFE was awesome, though, and in a few years everyone's gonna love it as they now love Adore.

You think so? I think people will come around on the front half of TFE, but the second half...I don't think it's going to age well...I also don't think all of a sudden I'm going to "get it" either.

i_adore_adore
01-23-2008, 02:46 PM
TheFutureEmbrace is awful, and the fact that I've seen all these Adore comparisons (not only in this thread, mind you) makes me kinda sick.

As for Zeitgeist being Zwan-ish... I can see that. Actually, since Zeitgeist and American Gothic I've seen Zwan as more of a continuation of the SP1 than a whole new band (as far as their sound goes), so that must mean something. I don't necessarily agree with all of your specific comparisons (Death From Above and Black Swan sound NOTHING alike to me), but in general I hear some Zwan in Zeitgeist and American Gothic (Again Again Again sounds like a Zwan song to me... for some reason it reminds me of Endless Summer. Not necessarily because of the music or lyrics, but just the feeling I get when I listen to them both)

bja1288
01-23-2008, 02:50 PM
billy corgan is the mastermind behind zwan and sp. A band name is nothing more than a politically correct way of being able to choose which backlog of songs you will play. There will obviously be more noticeable progression from zwan to sp2 rather than sp. If you say that you are only going to play sp sounding songs in sp2, then you are boxing yourself in. perhaps.

tensionhead
01-23-2008, 04:55 PM
i also think that b0ll wisly allowed himself to be influenced by those discusting immoral beasts in zwan. seemingly a good thing.

i like z-kist

greedo
01-23-2008, 05:43 PM
billy corgan is the mastermind behind zwan and sp. A band name is nothing more than a politically correct way of being able to choose which backlog of songs you will play. There will obviously be more noticeable progression from zwan to sp2 rather than sp. If you say that you are only going to play sp sounding songs in sp2, then you are boxing yourself in. perhaps.

The main difference is in attitude and how the music is approached. The songs on the Zwan album were apparently selected because they sounded least like the Pumpkins (quite a few of the non-album Zwan songs sound more like the Pumpkins).

It's the same mastermind behind both bands...there will always be similarities. To me, Zeitgeist follows on quite logically from the Machina albums but with a hint of Zwan influence.

Zeitgeist sounds nothing like Zwan to me, though there is an obvious thread of influence in the more melodic approach...but Zeitgeist in general is much harder edged...Zwan would never have released 7 Shades of Black or Tarantula.

The only Zeitgeist songs I could imagine Zwan performing are United States (jammy) and Come on Let's Go (upbeat).

trev
01-23-2008, 06:53 PM
The more I listen to Zeitgeist and American Gothic, the more and more I hear a continuation of Zwan rather than The Smashing Pumpkins.

no shit, we've been saying that since the 30 sec sample of tarantula came out.

stripes
01-23-2008, 08:20 PM
:rolleyes:

mellon_c0llie
01-23-2008, 09:02 PM
I think the main problem is that bill doesn't write songs that breathe anymore.


There is no room for personality it's just... go go go... with the music. Every song on Mellon Collie has this strange personality but Zeitgeist is more like a parade of artificial feelings.

It seems that during Adore he made a decision to stop writing music that happened naturally, almost as if he has some agenda when he's writing.

He's also responded to criticism with each album.

1979 was so well recieved that he decided that he would write an album cenetered around that sound >

Adore > Sales weren't as good so then he went back to the "rock sound"
> Machina failed to take off like he invisioned and decided to call it quits.

forms Zwan and creates the poppy metal album that he thinks will do the job.

FAILURE!

Works on Solo career knowing that the full responsibility would lay on his lap. Tries to recreate the feel of 1979.

FAILURE!

Zeigiest: "I have to rock, no matter what because they won't like me."

FAILURE!

He's a perfectionist through and through.

greedo
01-24-2008, 06:34 AM
I think the main problem is that bill doesn't write songs that breathe anymore.


There is no room for personality it's just... go go go... with the music. Every song on Mellon Collie has this strange personality but Zeitgeist is more like a parade of artificial feelings.

It seems that during Adore he made a decision to stop writing music that happened naturally, almost as if he has some agenda when he's writing.

He's also responded to criticism with each album.

1979 was so well recieved that he decided that he would write an album cenetered around that sound >

Adore > Sales weren't as good so then he went back to the "rock sound"
> Machina failed to take off like he invisioned and decided to call it quits.

forms Zwan and creates the poppy metal album that he thinks will do the job.

FAILURE!

Works on Solo career knowing that the full responsibility would lay on his lap. Tries to recreate the feel of 1979.

FAILURE!

Zeigiest: "I have to rock, no matter what because they won't like me."

FAILURE!

He's a perfectionist through and through.

I don't understand your point of view here. Adore was more a reaction to some bad things that happened in Billy's life (Jimmy's drug use and the keyboardist's death, his mother dying, divorce?, etc.). I think saying Adore was an extention of 1979 is a bit superficial. Adore happens to be a great album. The fact that there are electronic beats is because they fired the best damn drummer in the world, not to try to make an album of 1979 clones. And Billy always said that 1979 was the last song he wrote for MCIS and that was the direction his songwriting/production was heading in. Considering that MCIS covered so much ground, you could say any collection of songs after it was a continuation of a particular song.

I think you're right that Billy tries to be popular (in a deluded way), but he still manages to create music that is truly great. As long as his music is as idiosyncratic as it is he will not gain the same popularity as he did with albums 2 and 3.

I think you may be forgetting how successful Mellon Collie was. Pretty much everyone I knew had that album back in the day, but most of them certainly won't have any other Pumpkins albums. Billy is savvy enough to know that he's not going to regain the peak of the band's popularity.

Do you think the Zwan album failed? True if you judge success by albums sold. I judge its success by the music, which to me is one of my favourite albums of all time. It's unique, and it's great to listen to on a Sunday morning cleaning the house. I'm sad that that band has gone.

Do you think Machina was a failure? Again, didn't sell as well as MCIS, but it's an amazing album. It's probably the album that turned me from a Pumpkins fan to realising that the Pumpkins were my favourite band (sorry, REM). Machina is unique. You're right that it seemed a contrived effort to get back to the rock sound, but what other choice was there? Folk rock? Dance?

Do you think Zeitgeist is a failure? I love Zeitgeist. For me it's the best thing I've heard since...probably Zwan. It's not the greatest Pumpkins album, but I haven't been able to stop listening to it in the 7 months or so since it came out. It perhaps would have been a lot better with the inclusion of Stellar and Death From Above though.

Do you think Billy didn't know that his solo album would have been more successful if it was a bunch of heavy rock songs? We know he has enough riffs (Pistachio), and we know he is prolific. He certainly did not go for selling the most records he could. He might have been aiming to surprise or to gain the critics' favour, but I doubt that. He wanted to make a personal, gentle album as far from the Pumpkins sound as possible.

The problem here is that many 'fans' are way too focused on the negative. For the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, look at how much outrage was caused by the zed on Starz! This is a band that excels in stupid song titles. What the fuck is Mayonaise referring to? Jizz? And Tales of a Scorched Earth...Porcelina of the Vast Oceans, etc.. I think you forget that Billy has a sense of humour. He's taking a leaf out of Marc Bolan's book and being semi-sincere yet self mocking. Maybe it's not for you, but one of the things I like about the Pumpkins is that there is a self-aware ridiculous over-the-top grandeur about the band.

I can understand that some don't like Machina or Zwan or Zeitgeist, but when someone criticises such small things, it makes me wonder if they're trying too hard to hate.

Billy is never going to record a clone of Siamese Dream. In my opinion the new album still sounds like the Pumpkins...but slightly different...which is what I want out of every Pumpkins album.

Let's face it, I don't think anybody could argue that Adore sounds more like Siamese Dream than Zeitgeist does. I suppose someone can if they are a deaf dumbass...probably from Tasmania or the US equivalent.

That didn't take as long to type as it looks...

xezton
01-24-2008, 07:55 AM
Awesome read, greedo.


I agree, I don't think Adore was made to perpetuate 1979's popularity. But there is one song that I think producers/Billy/whoever decided to stick on that album that mingles with 1979 in all sorts of ways and got somewhat popular for a short time: Perfect.

Besides that, the rest of that album is pretty much what it is: a reflection of Billy during that time after all that had happened.



I'm not sure of everything that was behind Machina, but I assume some of those songs had a lot to do with the inevitable breakup of SP ("Wound"), as well as the feeling of empowerment from having his band back, for at least a short time, and the conceptual part of psychoneurosis (of course, "GATGC"). Which, to me, makes that album one of the best.


As far as Zwan goes, I can definitely see a new religious zeal not found as often in previous Pumpkins material. Obviously, the album is named after a church. At the time, Billy was clean from his mental problems, for the most part, and feeling at peace again with a fresh band, and so he proclaimed this with a happy album about what saved him. Pretty good stuff.





But to be honest, I have no fucking clue what is behind Zeitgeist. Like I said in the OP, it SOUNDS, to me at least, like he tried to continue the Zwan sound, but make it a little less "happy" sounding. I mean, I understand the conceptual "spirit of the times" part, but is that really all there is to that album?


Maybe this is one of the larger reasons why I think Zeitgeist and Zwan are too similar: because I don't understand the personal influence behind Zeitgeist as much as I do every other album.

Perhaps if I knew more about why Zeitgeist was Zeitgeist, what Billy was feeling, etc. etc., I could separate it more from Zwan and hear more than just a musical difference.






Maybe we can start a new thread discussing song meanings? Or is there a site that has suggestions for meanings/themes somewhere already?

RenewRevive
01-24-2008, 09:31 AM
Again, Again, Again sounds VERY similar to Age of Innocence. Of course they're not the same song or anything, but their sound is so close, it's crazy.

i keep reading this and i still don't see it.

i_adore_adore
01-24-2008, 06:17 PM
^ It's all about the drums. The intros have very similar drum parts.

Past that, I don't see many similarities, either (and the drum parts aren't exactly the same, of course... but they are similar)

greedo
01-24-2008, 07:12 PM
^ It's all about the drums. The intros have very similar drum parts.

Past that, I don't see many similarities, either (and the drum parts aren't exactly the same, of course... but they are similar)

I agree...but also at times the melody reminds me of AOI (my favourite Machina song)...but maybe that is my brain being confused by the similar drum beat.

greedo
01-24-2008, 07:26 PM
But to be honest, I have no fucking clue what is behind Zeitgeist. Like I said in the OP, it SOUNDS, to me at least, like he tried to continue the Zwan sound, but make it a little less "happy" sounding. I mean, I understand the conceptual "spirit of the times" part, but is that really all there is to that album?


Maybe this is one of the larger reasons why I think Zeitgeist and Zwan are too similar: because I don't understand the personal influence behind Zeitgeist as much as I do every other album.

Perhaps if I knew more about why Zeitgeist was Zeitgeist, what Billy was feeling, etc. etc., I could separate it more from Zwan and hear more than just a musical difference.


Maybe we can start a new thread discussing song meanings? Or is there a site that has suggestions for meanings/themes somewhere already?

http://www.songmeanings.net/lyric.php?lid=3530822107858670729

That site has a lot of ideas...

Mr. Mister
01-24-2008, 07:27 PM
Perhaps if I knew more about why Zeitgeist was Zeitgeist, what Billy was feeling, etc. etc., I could separate it more from Zwan and hear more than just a musical difference.


Did you see the "Inside the Zeitgeist" DVD? Bill says he and Jim decided that they would make "the record people want". A record that "people would immediately recognize as a Smashing Pumpkins and say Oh, I like it."

The album was supposed to act as a "hello" to their old fans and new listeners alike. They wanted to see if their art (minus half the band) was still relevant and progressing. He talks about how he and Jim just rotated sounding like Pumpkins '93, Pumpkins '98 for a few weeks until they starting writing stuff that sounded fresh.

I think Zeit is very representative of where Billy is at right now, 40 but still too young to give up the dream he worked to hard to acheive. Maybe that's why he's "giving back the dream" in POX or whatever.