Billy Corgan Speaks About Recording Experience for Upcoming Smashing Pumpkins Album
Those familiar with Smashing Pumpkins’ history know recording sessions behind the quartet’s album were fraught with anger and resentment. But, the group, which broke up in 2000 and regrouped over the past decade, has a new album coming out next month. Titled Oceania, the group’s latest release features 13 tracks and is part of a greater recording effort, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, that began two years ago.
In speaking with The Australian, frontman Billy Corgan discussed his perspective on the album format and his group’s upcoming release. With Teargarden, Corgan dismissed the traditional format but realized later that, even with technology’s greater influence in distributing music, fans still prefer the familiarity. Still, though, he believes this format is eventually going to go out of favor.
The Pumpkins’ current lineup includes none of the original members. Bassist D’arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha did not join the reunited band, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, while playing on 2007’s Zeitgeist, eventually left. But while tension undermined all of the Pumpkins’ previous effort, the latest, with the current lineup, was the most positive for Corgan. He said: "[It was] one of the most pleasant experiences I've had making a record. [...] There was no screaming and no tearing out of hair."
With technology still an influence, albeit from a different angle, Oceania has a running theme of isolation. Corgan explained: "I think we're all going through unique isolation right now, particularly as it applies to technology. Walking down the street with the phone -- that's the new walk. You see it everywhere. I've started now . . . if I go for a walk I shut the phone off so I won't even be tempted to look . . . so I can walk for 10 minutes and just look at the trees. This is an isolation that is unprecedented. This is part of the Orwellian thinking of 'what does it mean to be part of a collective if everyone's brain is shut off'."
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