View Full Version : Coming Down the Mountain


MrPantyFAce
04-14-2005, 08:03 PM
i wanted to infringe billys copyright

Coming Down the Mountain

Life in the mansion, or ‘The House’ as it becomes commonly known, is fairly
simple and calm…I spend most mornings writing, usually getting up at least
an hour before my girlfriend, picking at the typewriter or strumming softly
in bed with an old 1950’s acoustic…if I get a decent idea, I just grab my
hand-held tape player, hit record, and let it roll…because we are up high in
the Hollywood hills, a cool breeze usually rides in with the smell of
pine…it is all very quiet, a perfect setting to work and create in…the rooms
are decorated in L.A.-Spanish style, which is a faux mix of simulcura
old-world ‘espanol’ blended with the need to show off that whoever owns the
joint has lots of money…so we sleep on a rustic bed, in a rough hewn room
that sits on the second floor overlooking a lower terrace and pool (D’arcy
is up in the tower, Bjorn next door, Gooch on the first floor)…we quickly
fall into a rhythm of me writing in the morning, and then perhaps my
girlfriend getting up and going for a swim to exercise (with me watching and
talking to her by the pool)…I’m usually at the studio by 11 or 12, work a
full day until say 11 or 12 p.m., and then we hang out at night by or in the
jacuzzi, with all of Los Angeles’ twinkling lights spread out in front of us
like so many jewels (a beautiful, vibrating sight)…often, we will pop some
downers to unwind, some messy pill that we were turned onto by the Manson
boys, what everyone commonly calls ‘blue pills’…or, on special nights, take
some mushrooms and tread water in the pool until the sun is about to come
back up…this is, generally speaking, fairly fun and not that harmful on
first look…we are where we are supposed to be, doing what we are supposed to
be doing…because if you are in one of the biggest rock bands in the world,
you hang out by the pool, take drugs, and shoot the shit with other rock
stars in the Sodom and Gomorrah of America…often, other luminaries drop by:
Johnny Depp, Anthony Kiedis, Dave Navarro, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, to
name a few, all to take in the sights…it is a typical situation one could
find on any night of the week in these hills…so it does not feel special,
nor do I feel special doing it…the most notable omission to the party is
that James almost never comes by…(by never, I mean he comes to the house
just once or twice in the 6 months that we are here)…

The sessions are generally slow paced and technical (we work 6 days a week,
by the end 7)…most of my time is spent figuring out how to get new sounds
out of old equipment…I have purposely brought none of my usual gear, denying
myself access to my most trusted equipment and thereby forcing me to have to
work in unfamiliar territory…the amps are old, vintage tube amps, not
designed for massive walls of sound…there are almost no guitar pedals to
speak of, certainly none that make the guitar distort…I have backed myself
into a corner with the hope that I would care enough to fight my way out…the
control room we work in is very cramped, which makes it hard for anyone
beyond the 3 principals (me, Bjorn, Howard) to hang out leisurely…as is
often the case during recording, if they are not needed, James and D’arcy
tend to hang out in the lounge, where they can watch T.V…the only problem is
this lounge is really small and cramped, so it makes even hanging in there
uncomfortable…I tell D’arcy that I really would like her to come and spend
the days with me working, that at the worst she can help guide the direction
the album is taking (a request I have not made before)…I tell her I need her
guidance (she always had a good sense of what is ‘good’), and even though
the space is tight, would really appreciate her support…she gets angry and
spits at me, “why would I want to sit in there all day with you? It’s so
fucking boring!!”…James mostly sits outside in the courtyard and talks on
his cell phone…it is a difficult time for everyone…they are used to me
working on my own, and any attempt I now make to engage them either doesn’t
go so well, or is met with emotional disinterest…things only seem to click
if we all play at the same time, but this does not always work for every
song, nor is the playing level high enough (on their part) to justify this
kind of recording for the whole record…it turns into a case by case, song by
song basis, where each song must claw it’s way to a direction, and then
based on what I determine is best for a particular tune, set a course that
brings the various dysfunctional band dynamics into play…for example, if
they aren’t really needed on a song in a fundamental way, they don’t seem to
care at all how it turns out …if I ask them to play on a certain idea
because I feel their contribution is important (i.e. “why don’t you try out
some bass/guitar on this one) our communication is so poor now that if it
doesn’t go well fairly quickly, I don’t know how to ‘work’ with them, nor do
they feel comfortable enough to put out their best, most committed
effort…sometimes things click, like D’arcy’s 6 string bass ideas on the song
“waiting”, but more often than not they offer little and less as the days
tick by…the situation is just too damaged, and seems essentially beyond
repair…having sold myself on the idea of using drum machines and/or samples
instead of a “live” drummer, I quickly discover this is not as easy or as
exciting a way to work as I had envisioned…so the drums become a source of
frustration and concern, and we start thinking that some songs (though not
all) would benefit from the use of a real drummer…

We reach out to Joey, from Beck’s group, to fill in…his style is basically
reminiscent of Jimmy’s playing, so this is an easy fit…work with him goes
fairly quickly…mostly, I just have him play to tracks that are already
somewhat recorded, and his timing is so solid it is a breeze, saving lots of
time and effort…(a month later, I ask him if he would like to do the
tour---he immediately says yes, and one week later quits without
explanation)…the other drummer we work with is Matt, from the now disbanded
Soundgarden…Matt is one of the few drummers I have ever felt rivaled Jimmy
in the chops department, and we ask him to come in and record live with
us…although his style is different than Jimmy’s, he, like Jimmy, takes the
songs to a new level of dynamic…the highlight of our work with him is the
song I have written for my mother, “for Martha”, a 7 minute or so opus with
lots of parts, stops and starts, and even tempo changes…I play the piano
live in an “iso” room, while James and D’arcy are out on the floor with him
in the main…we do many, many takes to get the whole piece just right (so the
master can be just one whole piece), and it turns out beautifully as
everyone plays with a lot of passion and soul (a real highlight of the
record)…

After so many months of pressure, the contrast of these incredible moments
of grace set against the mundane pursuit of the smallest details start to
drive me crazy…the album, and it’s concepts, are now sprawling out of
control…there are some 30 songs that are half-finished, and I can’t even say
I know what it is I am looking for…it’s not acoustic, and it’s not
electronic, it is more of a sad, lost feeling with beams of hope shining
thru…band, no band, drummer, no drummer…I am there in person, but not really
in spirit…I work, speak, but feel disconnected from all of it…as the writer,
it is an odd thing to also be the performer…I enjoy the writing immensely,
but am very disappointed in myself as “the artist”…and looming in the
background are all the events that brought me here, still unresolved…I
haven’t even taken a moments pause to mourn my mom…it is all so painful that
I cannot bear to hold the entire truth, so I just break it into smaller and
smaller pieces that are easy to digest on a day to day basis…but there is no
longer a point on the horizon I am marching towards anymore…I have achieved
the greatest of success and tasted the stupidity of my own hubris…the old
dreams are dead, and now my life becomes more a trudge of survival, and in
some messed up way, as long as I keep working I am o.k….there is a part of
me that does not want it to end, because I am afraid of what is waiting for
me on the other side…

To make myself feel better, I march into a Ferrari dealer and pay cash on
the barrel for a brand new 355, the first new car I have ever owned…to
complete the charade, I buy 2 pairs of leather pants at the urging of my
European girlfriend…if you were to pull up next to me at a red light, you
would find a depressed, bald headed, overweight pisces wearing leather head
to toe (don’t forget the $300 shades), with a silver-gray poodle panting in
the passenger seat…I would be listening to Prince b-sides, avoiding eye
contact, but feel as if the whole world was staring at me in my silver
spaceship…I realize all of this is absurd of course, but it doesn’t stop
me…in fact, it reassures me to know that I am aware that I am living in a
cartoon, playing in a fictional band, and going along for the ride…

At about the halfway point of recording, our managers come and visit for a
little “look-see”, to find out what is really going on, and hear the record
as it stands…(you can see them for yourself in the Metallica movie “Some
Kind of Monster”)…I play them most, if not all of what I have, and they sit
there song after song in a sort of stunned silence…after it is thru, they
look pained to find something positive to say…it is certainly not what they
had thought, figuring perhaps it was more of an acoustic record, but now
they realize I am way off the plot…they leave me with little hope,
encouragement, or suggestions beyond possibly bringing in a producer…I take
in all of it, particularly there seeming non-understanding of what I am
trying to accomplish, as a good thing…

Off their suggestion, we end up recording one song with famed producer Rick
Rubin (who I know a bit socially)…the as of now still unreleased “Let Me
Give the World to You” (with Joey playing drums)…after a few false starts of
direction, we eventually end up recording the song live, with no
vocals…after various incarnations and incantations, I suggest straightening
the beat out with a four-on-the-floor tom-tom drive…at first Rick is bored
by this, doesn’t agree with where we are headed, and goes to lay on the
couch (I don’t blame him)…after about 5 minutes, he leaps up, and says
“that’s it, that’s it, let’s do it!”, and we commence doing takes (Rick’s
enthusiasm is contagious)…after 68 takes, I am finally satisfied…James,
D’arcy, and I are pretty used to working this way all the time, but Joey
looks absolutely shell-shocked…he later (in an interview) describes working
with us (I’m paraphrasing) as one of the most intense experiences he has
ever had in music, but goes on to add that beyond any doubt he may have had
in the moment, in the end he realized that what we were after was worth all
the effort…

The album seems to finally to have found a solid footing, with it’s odd mix
and match approach, and starts to gain a little momentum…I now feel I have
the direction in hand that I wish to go…I make plans with Flood (the
producer on Mellon Collie) to come in at the end and help me pull it all
together, and mix the album…knowing I will have his support and guidance
when I am almost finished gives me a lot of confidence to continue, as I
feel that no matter where I go from here, there will be someone there to
guide me out of the darkness…the downside is now I have a deadline to meet,
so I must start making serious choices about where to put my energy…this
also means that I have to start tracking my vocals (of which almost none are
done), and come to concrete decisions about lyrics…

It is right about at this moment, where all seems calm, that everything
starts to go to hell…

Copyright 2005 Billy Corgan. All Rights Reserved. Please do not do reproduce or publish in hard or electronic form without written authorization.

gpub
04-14-2005, 08:05 PM
I'm fucked too.

MrPantyFAce
04-14-2005, 08:24 PM
was coming down the mountain the working title of you know youre right?...speaking of which, did billy meet kurt? i remember james speaking in i think it was that god awful rolling stone publication of a brief encounter in whicch kurt complimented james on his jacket and then remarked he'd like to paint an elvis on it.

Quiet CD
04-14-2005, 08:40 PM
these keep getting better and better....

pineapple*soul
04-14-2005, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by Quiet CD
these keep getting better and better....

and better

ladollyvita
04-14-2005, 09:21 PM
Billy, Johnny & blue pills... what more could anyone want!? :D

ladollyvita
04-14-2005, 09:27 PM
Billy, Johnny & blue pills... what more could anyone want!? :D

wHATcOLOR
04-14-2005, 09:30 PM
and better

Axis of Action
04-14-2005, 09:32 PM
I think, to me, it's fascinating we're getting Adore first... besides the 1986 introduction... like, of all the albums I'd want to hear about, this would probably be last, simply because I thought it was just him being sad and so on but there was actually a huge amount of struggle that went into it. I'm blown away by the amount of time and dedication he had to put into Adore.

pineapple*soul
04-14-2005, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by Axis of Action
I think, to me, it's fascinating we're getting Adore first... besides the 1986 introduction... like, of all the albums I'd want to hear about, this would probably be last, simply because I thought it was just him being sad and so on but there was actually a huge amount of struggle that went into it. I'm blown away by the amount of time and dedication he had to put into Adore.

im blown away by the amount of time and dedication he's putting into these blogs, not that im complaining mind you...

Axis of Action
04-14-2005, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by pineapple*soul


im blown away by the amount of time and dedication he's putting into these blogs, not that im complaining mind you...

that too, but I think the level of consistancy and quantity really indicates this is all pre-written... he's given us 13,000 words in 5 days... that's roughly 40 pages of a book.

pineapple*soul
04-14-2005, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Axis of Action


that too, but I think the level of consistancy and quantity really indicates this is all pre-written... he's given us 13,000 words in 5 days... that's roughly 40 pages of a book.

yeah thats what i've been thinking for a while now...
must've been what he's been up to while he 'disappeared' that time

purelunacy77
04-14-2005, 09:41 PM
Let me give the world to you is way underrated. Especially the live acoustic version. One of my Favs

Jonny5
04-14-2005, 09:46 PM
idk if it was posted yet, but here's todays news update from bc.com
I think it's pretty funny.

April 14, 2005

Howdy pardners!!!
How y'all doin'??
Me and big Brian are in the studio today, yahoo...
We are doing some remixes for the Future embrace movie...
Soon to be released on cellphones everywhere...
Yippee-yippee-yah-yah-huahhh
Keep those eyez posted for my 'multi-demographic', tear inducin' life
story...(over there on that wacky mySpace)
It's a rag to riches to expensive rags tale, so you wanna be sure not to
miss it...
Y'all come back now, ya here?
Keep your boots dry, and your eyes to the heavens...
Signed, Cowboy Bill

wHATcOLOR
04-14-2005, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Jonny5
Signed, Cowboy Bill


i TOLD you guys his name is Bill

douglas78
04-14-2005, 10:31 PM
buffalo bill!!!!!!!!!

downerbuzz
04-14-2005, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by Axis of Action
I think, to me, it's fascinating we're getting Adore first... besides the 1986 introduction... like, of all the albums I'd want to hear about, this would probably be last, simply because I thought it was just him being sad and so on but there was actually a huge amount of struggle that went into it. I'm blown away by the amount of time and dedication he had to put into Adore.

maybe he's just trying to shed some light and give us a deeper insight to the many times he's committed career suicide. which adore falls under that category because it was something different, way different from what the sp fans were used to.

downerbuzz
04-14-2005, 11:46 PM
oh yea and the marked.

pu pu platter
04-14-2005, 11:49 PM
blue pills from manson and shrooms who fucking knew.

drugs are great. I LOVE DRUGS.

Jonny5
04-15-2005, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by pu pu platter
shrooms
while treading water in the pool, no less. holy shit! I bet he had the biggest grin on his face.

ZackZ
04-15-2005, 12:40 AM
OF all the shit he talks on James and D'Arcy, it's really a surprise he kept them on all the way through Machina. Especially James. Seems like he turned bitch years before he "broke up the band."

vanilla
04-15-2005, 12:57 AM
so, we all know now. darcy is a spitter.

Slurpee
04-15-2005, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Jerome



i TOLD you guys his name is Bill

So do we have to call him B0ll now?

Slurpee
04-15-2005, 12:59 AM
P.S. 4000 Post party.