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It was just a few weeks ago that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan took a dig at Soundgarden in an interview, saying that the band's recent reunion was done purely for financial reasons, while his own revival of the Pumpkins was for artistic ones. Now Corgan has expanded upon his remarks, telling Colorado modern rock "channel" Area 93, "(Soundgarden singer) Chris Cornell was somebody I considered a friend, and would never have said a harsh word about. When the (Pumpkins) came back in 2007, he was quoted in an interview saying basically he didn't consider our reunion to be, in quotations, to be 'legitimate.' I kind of have an elephant's memory when it comes to somebody punching me in the face."
Corgan added, "My point is don't lump us in with people who are sort of just doing the reunion lap. Now, of course, fans are lighting up my Twitter saying do you realize Soundgarden is doing a new album -- well if they are great, that's what they should be doing. Great musicians should make new music."
Corgan's original comment about Soundgarden to PhilStar.com was, "There are those bands that are essentially coming back only to make money . . . 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."
Although many fans were upset that Corgan did not reunite the original Pumpkins in 2007, he told us that he wasn't interested in looking backward: "To go back under the Smashing Pumpkins name engendered a lot of people expecting us to be nothing more than a reunion band, playing its greatest hits, and with a fan base not particularly keen to listen to the new music. What I try to tell people that get caught up in the reunion kind of concepts -- like where are the original members and stuff like this -- the band was founded on an idea that it must be progressive and it must always be moving forward."
The Smashing Pumpkins will head out on a fall North American tour, beginning on October 10th in Seattle, in support of Oceania, the band's seventh studio album. The disc debuted at Number Four on the Billboard album chart in June.
Soundgarden will release its first new studio album in 16 years, titled King Animal, on November 13th, with tour plans yet to be announced.