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Billy Corgan explains why Smashing Pumpkins aren't a '90s band

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Jonathan Weiner

Smashing Pumpkins‘ new double album CYR is full of synth-pop, but Billy Corgan has a response for anyone who tells him how “eighties” the record sounds: Well, duh.

Noting that he was heavily influenced by The Cure, as well as the indie Chicago record label Wax Trax! — whose roster featured KMFDM, Underworld, Meat Beat Manifesto, Front 242 and The KLFCorgan tells NME of CYR‘s electronic sound, “We grew up on all that stuff. So to us it’s not a big deal.”

He continues, “But people say to me in interviews, ‘It sounds very ’80s’, and I’m like, ‘Yeah we started in 1987; we’re an ’80s band.’ You’ve somehow got us stuck in the ’90s in your head all the time. That’s not really who we are.”

Asked if he’s frustrated by critics who peg the Pumpkins as a ’90s band, Corgan responds, “I think what that really says is, you just haven’t conquered the last memory. It’s up to you to conquer the last memory.”

“Pete Townshend once told me it’s up to you to do that,” he notes. “The audience isn’t gonna tell you what to do; you have to tell them what to hear. And he’s right, it’s kind of on you [to get people to move on].”

But even as he tries to distance himself from the ’90s, Corgan is hard at work on the follow-up to the Pumpkins’ landmark 1995 album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

“We have 33 songs written so far and demoed out. We’re likely to see the first single at the end of next year,” he predicts.

By Andrea Dresdale
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