By Michael Nelson
Billy Corgan (©EMI)
The Billy Corgan / Soundgarden beef has been going on at least since that falling out at Lolla '94, and the Corgan / Pavement beef has had legs since the "Range Life" dig that same year. And man, nobody holds a grudge like BC. In an interview given prior to a show in the Philippines last week, Corgan took shots at both those recently reunited bands:
"There are those bands that are essentially coming back only to make money — playing their old albums, and maybe somewhere in the back of their minds they're thinking there might be a future. I am not in that business, obviously. I condemn anybody who's in that business but doesn't admit [he's] in that business. When Soundgarden came back and they just played their old songs, great. I was a fan of Soundgarden, but call it for what it is. They're just out there to have one more round at the till; same with Pavement and these other bands."
Perhaps Soundgarden was spurred by Corgan's harsh words to announce their own new album release date in November? Say what you will about Billy, but the dude knows how to give an interview. Some more choice quotes:
"I saw in the last 10 years as the record sales went down for everybody, so did the connection — the emotional connection to the music. And here comes the rise of music made by people who don't really care about music ... They want to be famous. They want to be on American Idol. They want to be in the spotlight. They have no respect for the people that came before them. They have no respect for the tradition of music, they have no respect for the blood and tears that have been spilt by great musicians all over the world — many of whom will never even know their name."
"Music has been hijacked by business, much like the American spirit has been hijacked by corporate interest. You know it's a reflection of our greater culture where our value systems are been hollowed out by the glamour of fame, the glamour of power, the glamour of control — and none of these things matter in the eyes of God, in my opinion."
"The music business essentially operates on a dumbing down principle. How dumb do we have to go to sell this record to the most amount of people? And the more intelligent and articulate it gets, you lose a certain degree of audience."
"Radiohead's an example — very high arc, very high message and still very popular. But for the most part, the charts are dominated by music that's essentially dumbed down — repetitive melody, style, tone, texture and message because it reaches the most [number] of people. So it's amazing if you let people be with you on a deeper journey — they'll actually figure it out because most people are deep."
Does that last one count as pissing on Radiohead? I'm not so sure.
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