When Smashing Pumpkins singer and guitarist Billy Corgan appeared on the Channel 93.3 radio station in Denver, Colorado last Friday (July 31st), he talked about his “beef” with Soundgarden, specifically their lead singer and guitarist Chris Cornell. Here’s what he had to say:
“Well, there’s a little bit of a backstory there. Chris Cornell was somebody I considered a friend, and would never have said a harsh word about. When Smashing Pumpkins came back in 2007, Cornell was quoted in an interview saying, basically, he didn’t consider our reunion, in quotations, to be ‘legitimate.’ So that’s something that’s… I kind of have an elephant’s memory when it comes to somebody punching me in the face. Cornell’s one of those people who is extremely talented. I was a fan from literally, I think, their second EP. I met them in 1991 and I still believe in what was great about the band. But when we’re sitting there having conversations about who is doing what, I am no longer gonna shield somebody. If they wanna punch me in the face, I’m happy to punch them back in the face. So, I respect the man’s talent. People gloss over the Timbaland album. [laughs] You know what I mean?! My point is, look, I don’t have any specific bone to pick, although I just, obviously, made a case for one. 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?’ OK, well, if they are, great. That’s what they should be doing. They are great musicians, and they should make new music, and hopefully they’ll make great albums, because we need artists to make great albums and great music in this day and age of the robots and the posers and, you know, the ‘faux hawk’ bands.”
You can listen to the rest of the interview here.
The Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden, who both released defining records in the ’90s, broke up in 2000 and 1997 respectively, but have both been back together in recent years. Last June, the Pumpkins released their latest album Oceania, while Soundgarden will release their new album King Animal in November.