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Fathoms (unadored) 05-23-2004 05:37 PM

Corgan Interview in Guitar World (April 2000)
Smoke and Mirrors+

GW: Unlike your previous albums, this one isn't especially riff heavy.
Corgan: "... It's rare that you escape the trap of rewriting an earlier riff. And once you think you have escaped it, you come across some Deep Purple bootleg and realize that Ritchie Blackmore was there 27 years before you"
GW: Why did you choose to be vague about the themes and lyrical references on MACHINA?
Corgan: "I'd rather let people make of the songs what they will. And I say that knowing that many people will come to these songs making certain assumptions about what they mean and what it is I'm saying in them. But perhaps some day they will revisit these songs and hear them for what they are, and not for what certain recent events make them appear to be..."
GW: "Art becomes mirror?"
Corgan: That's right. And I have no problem using the band or myself as a mirror. I can definitely say we're probably the best mirror of the nineties. We've held alot of things up for scrutiny-that's part of what being a public artist is about. And when I personally choose not to be a public artist anymore, I think I'll approach art in a very different way. But my understanding of public art is that it's a mirror, whether its cracked or in 1,000 peices.

Everything holds a mystery and everything possesses a new answer at every moment. You could stare at athis table right in front of us for 100 years, and maybe in the one-hundred-and-first year you would see something you haven't seen before. It doesn't mean it wasn't there. I think that possibility exists in everything, whether it is a person, the sky, a PIcasso painting or "supernaut" by Black Sabbath. I return to grreat art over and over again because the mysteries that it contains are infintesimal.
Corgan: "...There are songs from our old albums that I thought were stupid at the time we recorded them. I see the beauty and the depth in them now, but I didn't possess the ability to see thos things at the time. I find that kind of development very poignant. I can certainly say that the greatest things that we've ever done as a band have been unconscious acts, because unconscious acts are pure"
GW: I think that's rather evident on several of the new songs. Whenever your lyrics seem on the verge of becoming maudlin, you jerk them in the other direction. For example, "stand Inside Your Love" begins with somje rather stock romantic proclamations. But by the song's end, the intent has become quite the opposite when you sing, "I'll wrap my wire around your heart and your mind/you're mine forever now."
Corgan: [laughs] "I would say thats a very astute observation..."
GW: What is this album about?
Corgan: "The simple answer is "life.". To expand upon that, I can say that, if life were a room, this album would represent me walking in and checking the temperature. I'm kind of like a doctor. [laughs]

A more complex answer is that I'm looking at relationships and asking if they're based on true impressions or reflections of ourselves: Am I seeing my girlfriend, my bandmates or God as they are, or am I seeing them how I need to see them in order to survive?..."
"...Sane people have the ability to deny the truth and rationalize the obvious..."
GW: In ther words, you are making a clear delineation between your job as a performer and your individual identity.
Corgan: Absolutely. Look at it this way: Let's say I had a stage name-there's Billy corgan, the person you are talking to, and then there's Ricky Banana. Let's say Rcicky Banana exists on three different levels: There's Ricky Banana the tortured artist who had a rough childhood and represents the misanthropes of the world. Then there's Ricky Banana the space child who sings and talks of cosmic unity. And then there's Ricky Banana who's willing to be what people want him to be-he's just a big fucknig mirror that you can hurl kisses and insults at.

As an artist-as Ricky Banana-I'm willing to be all those things. If it helps people fix their gaze on our album by believing things about Ricky Banana, it doesn't matter to me. That's part of the artistic carny game that I play. Certainly, some aspects of my public persona are also part of me as a private individual, but the public persona certainly doesn't represent me. And now that it approaches what I would consider to be a caricature, I have no problem shoving it down everybody's throat, if only to titilate and amuse. People should realize that I'm intelligent enough to play my public persona off myself.
Corgan: "...I guess what I'm saying in a roundabout way is that we're much more sophisticated artists than people would ever think we are. And if they want to think we're simpletons, that's fine.
GW: But have you ever found that was the perception?
Corgan: "...If you came from another planet and you read about the Smashing Pumpkins without ever having heard a song, you would be hard-pressed to understand how such a motely-crew of misfits could make the prolific amount of music that we've made. So somewhere there's a schism-a place where public perception doesn't conform to the facts at hand. And in response I would say that there's a lot more strength, alot more will and alot more heart within our artistic unit than anybody would ever understand, and that part of our game has been to let people think that it's not there.
GW: How would you like people to view the Pumpkins?
Corgan: With complete understanding and complete acceptance. But it's not going to happen. And for any artist who has any sort of edge, it doesn't happen. There are flashes: moments where it seems like it will happen, but it doesn't.

i wanna die 05-23-2004 06:11 PM

ah memories... one of my favourite interviews.

the interviewer was on a roll until started asking about courtney love (or was it darcy? dont remember)

Fathoms (unadored) 05-23-2004 06:28 PM


Originally posted by i wanna die
ah memories... one of my favourite interviews.

the interviewer was on a roll until started asking about courtney love (or was it darcy? dont remember)

Yeah, the lameness is actually in the first half, but things get much cooler.

sledge 05-23-2004 06:32 PM

Is their a website that has pumpkin interviews? Most of the ones on spfc don't work. I'm specifically looking for guitar ones like this one here, but with more emphasis on the actualy guitars.

[edit] damn, I really should search before I post these. Anyways, I found what I was looking for.

Egadsman 05-23-2004 07:22 PM

Ricky Banana is a MUCH cooler name than Glass.

hereisnowhy 05-23-2004 10:32 PM


Originally posted by Egadsman
Ricky Banana is a MUCH cooler name than Glass.
King Ricko Banana had a few good troll threads back in the day. My favourite was "Corgan to endorse Rayovac batteries". :D

Isle 05-24-2004 12:20 PM

if billy changes his stage name to Ricky Banana i will streak through london with a sign in the air proclaiming "Ricky Banana Cometh"

Zwan Are Suck 05-24-2004 02:13 PM

rrrr.. rayovac are suck

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