Billy Corgan on Radiohead

In a recent interview on Billy Corgan has lashed out… well sort of at Radiohead.  Here’s the full quote:

You’ve said this is a new story, about renewal. You’ve spoken of diversity in approach being key to longevity, as seen with the Beatles, Zeppelin and so on. That clearly runs tandem with taking chances – aside from the creative collaboration, what would you say the risks are with Oceania?

That’s a really good question…. If I’m being honest, I think it was the emotional risk. Musically, I’ve done riskier things. I knew what I was doing. I was conscious. I like the conscious choices that I made. But it’s really hard to produce great work if you don’t open up that part of your heart that just doesn’t want to be opened. It requires a level of honesty and vulnerability that’s just really uncomfortable, certainly at 45. Because I’m just tired of hearing it. I’m tired of hearing who I am.

From others, or from yourself?

From others, from others. I mean, pick your year. From ’89 on I’ve had people tell me who I am. And they pick my personality as if it’s a one or two-dimensional thing, and I’m more like a tetrahedron. I can’t think of any people outside of Weird Al Yankovic who have both embraced and pissed on Rock more than I have. Obviously there’s a level of reverence, but there’s also a level of intelligence to even know what to piss on. ‘Cause I’m not pissing on Rainbow. I’m not pissing on Deep Purple. But I’ll piss on fuckin’ Radiohead, because of all this pomposity. This value system that says Jonny Greenwood is more valuable than Ritchie Blackmore. Not in the world I grew up in, buddy. Not in the world I grew up in.

So I find myself defending things. Is Ritchie Blackmore a better guitar player than me and Jonny Greenwood? Yes. Have we all made contributions? Yes. I’m not attacking that. I’m attacking the pomposity that says this is more valuable than that. I’m sick of that. I’m so fucking sick of it, and nobody seems to tire of it.

I did find this interview with Billy from earlier this year at SXSW and he mentions Radiohead (and Muse) as bands that currently make great records.  It’s actually a pretty good interview.

Check it out below (the part where he mentions Radiohead is the 8:30 mark in the video):

  • Me

    Ummmm Brett? Global Warming is a scam dumbass!!!

  • Blake

    Everyone is taking his comments the wrong way. He even admits Radiohead make contributions and make good records. He says it right THERE that Johnny Greenwood has contributed. He could have chose his words better. Pissing on Radiohead? He could have said, “I’ll piss on the IDEA about Radiohead.” He’s not dissing Radiohead by any means. He is talking about how they are regarded as the best thing that ever happened in the history of the world. And they are an amazing band. They are phenomenal. Easily top 5 in my opinion, but they have the most elitist fans ever in the history of the world! Haha. I’ve even been one of those fans, I can admit it.

    By the way, Billy spouts stuff off, like the rest of us. But he seems to be in a good place recently, and if you like(d) The Smashing Pumpkins, please listen to their new record, Oceania. It’s VERY good and it’s deeper than anything he’s done since Adore. At least check it out and listen to the whole album straight through.

  • This is coming from the guy who thinks vaccines are dangerous, thinks the government leaves chemical trails in the sky from planes to keep the populace under control and still thinks global warming is a scam.

    Yeah it’s the 21st century Billy. Sorry your band left you because you were too fucking depressed and whiny to make any music worth listening to. Zeitgeist and Teargarden were laughable albums, one gold sticker for trying to get back to your “psychedelic roots”. You weird gnome – go back to your bunker with your CB radio and stop saying things out loud to people, we’ve grown tired of that bizarre, high-pitch frequency you speak with.

  • rocket_tan

    Well, maybe Billy Corgan wouldn’t be so pissy if he had seen half the success Radiohead has. It’s easy to be bitter when you SUCK.

  • Sean

    I said “FUCK BILLY CORGAN” earlier and my comment was deleted. I still mean it regardless of how you phrased it. He’s a tool and a hater. Fuck ‘em

  • Kim

    Fans are annoying in any musical genre. I’m sure there are plenty of annoying SP fans too. Billy Corgan is arrogant and overrated IMO.

  • cooldude

    I think it’s really boring to talk about good guitar playing because “Anyone Can Play Guitar”. Even I can play most things with enough practice. I think Jonny has come up with a lot music that is bigger than what ever instrument he’s playing.

  • Paul

    I agree that the shots were not at radiohead as people, but more at the perception of what radiohead is. He doesn’t think they deserve this sort of pedestal that some people put them on as “greatest whatever of whenever.” I also watched that google interview with him, which is an awesome interview, but it that he talks about how there are no huge landmark rock groups anymore. He talks about how how there won’t be these grateful dead, beatles, talking heads, floyd, who groups anymore. I find it odd that he fired these shots at the perception of radiohead because it seems as though radiohead has elevated themselves to that status of this generation to some degree. The fact that they have done this while pushing musical boundaries and being widely successful plus having immense cultural impact while pissing on the dead musical industry model is something that should be celebrated, not shat on.

  • Ron

    This is super weird for me. Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins are my absolute favorite bands. I listened to Oceania and it was great. I’m going to buy it right away on Tuesday. I’ve always thought of Billy Corgan as a terrific guitarist, singer, and songwriter and I’m really glad he’s stepped up to his former glory with this album. Seriously, it’s his best work since the 90s. Billy Corgan taking random shots at Jonny Greenwood, who is undeniably a musical genius and a genuinely awesome dude who means no harm to nobody, doesn’t make any sense to me however. I love you to death, Billy, but you’re kinda crazy.

  • martin, denmark

    LOL he is such a joke…. Go join the Gallaghers in cuckoo land

  • Kuhbooky

    I think “has lashed out” at Radiohead is a bit sensationalistic. He’s not attacking Radiohead. He’s attacking people that venerate Radiohead over other bands. He’s not going to say they make crap music, because he’s a smart guy. He knows RH are a great band and have made contributions. He’s just saying he’s sick of people that make hierarchies in music and get all high and mighty about certain bands or artists. He’s not lashing out at Radiohead.

    • BlueberryFire

      True, although the phrasing “I’ll piss on fucking Radiohead” is his own.

    • I changed it a bit. I wasn’t trying to be controversial or anything like that by posting it that way.

    • ags

      I find your interpretation accurate, and I have to agree with Billy. Radiohead is one of my all time favourite bands, I really admire their work, but some fans are really immature and expect everyone to love Radiohead when simply it won’t happen. They end up embarrassing themselves, and music shouldn’t be filled with extreme fanboyism that can be found with some of radiohead’s followers. Again – I love them but I find a lot of fans very annoying

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