Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Great moments in arrogance: Corgan cannot bear the weight of his "genius" (With a bonus stupid joke that only Jason and I will find funny!)

Oh poor, poor Billy Corgan, it appears from this interview in Pitchfork that he is dissatisfied with the amount of serious critical attention paid to his thought provoking and nuanced lyrics. Here's the relevant section, emphasis mine:

Pitchfork: Along those lines, on your website you wrote something about not wanting to obscure meaning or emotion in your music anymore. Does that relate?

BC: I think it relates in the sense where we've all been in the position where, let's say we really love somebody, and we wanna tell them but we just can't. We're not capable of fully going into the emotion because of fear of being rejected. So I think I kind of approached music with this sort of, like, weird thing where I kinda set myself up where I could kinda be myself but not really. I kinda had a backdoor out. So if you criticized me, I kinda had my defenses working. And the problem is that some people seize on that as inauthenticity, which is understandable. So that's painful because it's not that you're being inauthentic...there's a difference between being a poseur and being someone who's so emotionally challenged they're kind of just doing their best to show you what they've got.

Pitchfork: Oh, totally.

BC: And the only transformative difference between the first [Gish] and the second album [Siamese Dream] was that after the first album, I became completely suicidal. It was an eight-month depression, give or take a month, and I was pretty suicidal for about two or three months. And I made this sort of weird fundamental choice, which was "Well, I'm kind of at the bottom and there's nothing else to live for, so I might as well make the music I really wanna make." It was the beginning of the change in my life, that's when I started writing stuff like "Disarm" and "Today", which for me were like, literally ripping my guts out. And to actually have them be successful, and to play the songs live and have four or five thousand people sing these words was like, wow, it just did my head in.

Pitchfork: How did that affect you?

BC: It created a dual bind. It now sealed me to the concept that confessing and being open was where the energy was, but at the same time, it was like holding my head underwater because now I couldn't retreat. So what I did was I sort of amped up other parts of my personality as a diversionary tactic.

This interviewer said the other day, "God, you have a horrible get on the internet and you read about you, but then I pick up your albums and read these lyrics and it's this beautiful stuff, very feminine, you know? How do I correlate these two visions?"

And I said, "Well, it's pretty simple. When you're so wide open that you can't deal with the vulnerability but you know that's where you have to be, you create a lot of smoke and shit over here." Because then they're fighting about what you said about rock and roll. And they're really not on the point. For someone who's had the level of success I've had, there's been very little critical review of my work, which is pretty fascinating.

Think about it. I mean, there are books on Radiohead, theories. As far as a theoretical point of view for my generation, I'm probably the most successful theoretician. I mean, double albums and concepts and dresses and major disasters and wonderful successes and yet you don't see the critical review of my work. Why? Because it's all focused on the persona. Billy Corgan. But I get to sort of jump in and be Billy Corgan. But then I get to sort of jump back out and be like, sensitive man in the corner.

Pitchfork: Well, that's true. There aren't really any smart books about Smashing Pumpkins as a concept.

BC: But see what I'm saying? I created a paradigm by which I could succeed, and up until recently it was the only way I could do it. I could not take the brunt of standing in the light of my own work. There was a Faustian bargain I could not make. I could have you mock me for wearing funny clothes that I could deal with. But I couldn't deal with actually standing in the light of my own musical power. That's the difference now. It's like, okay, no more of that, you're done.
...could not stand in the light...of his own musical power.


and now, the aforementioned stupid joke:

(tell me why)

I don't like eBay

(tell me why)

I don't like eeeeeBay

(yes, I realize the title has set Jason up for the obligatory "I don't think it's funny" comment, but he does. He knows it, I know it and the American people know it.)


At 6/15/2005 12:07 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I wanna shoooooooot the whole bay down... down.. shoot it all down.

I thought it was good for a chortle.

At 6/15/2005 2:42 PM, Blogger Z said...

Billy Corgan = Phil.

At 6/15/2005 2:57 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I was really hoping someone else was going to make that connection, my original working headline was Corgan's arrogance trumps even Phil Jason's, but then I'd have to explain.


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