Hello. I am Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins.

Our new album, Monuments to an Elegy, is released today on iTunes, on Amazon and on Google Play.

Victoria's helping me out today in rainy NYC. I'm enjoying a nice cup of tea.



Update: I loved these questions.

Because they were questions for a human being. And as a human being, I don't mind talking about it.

And I hope everyone gets a chance to check out the new album that is out today. We are super-super proud of it, and when people say it's the best album in years, they're not lying.


Comments: 2556 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

iamBillyCorgan1678 karma

Someone asked about how much it meant to have the crowd sing along with my newest music at a concert, and how their coworkers were debating whether it didn't matter to me and it was just about me doing the show and getting paid:

Your coworkers' cynicism is endemic of the culture's cynicism.

To assume that "what I get paid" has any influence on my emotional experience shows that they do not understand the path of an artist.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the last 7 years has been the assumption that i have made music that is not worth listening to.

And so, nothing thrills me more than seeing a young crowd react to new Pumpkins music.

BrushGoodDar904 karma

The song 1979 absolutely transports me back to the happiest time in my life. Was that song based on an actual experience you had? Do you remember how that song came to you?

iamBillyCorgan1225 karma

Sometimes I write a song from a particular sense-memory.

And 1979 came from a memory where I was sitting at a traffic light on a rainy day, and that's all I remember.

MegaShit753 karma

Why is the world a vampire?

iamBillyCorgan1731 karma

Just look in the mirror.

operation_hennessey686 karma

I read somewhere that the voice actors who play Spongebob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) and Plankton's computer wife (Jill Talley) are the couple in the Toinght, Tonight video. How did you guys meet? Have you been in contact with them since the video was produced?

Edit: corrected which character Jill Talley plays (thanks for letting me know)

iamBillyCorgan1016 karma

That is true.

And I have seen them on occasion. They're wonderful and obviously talented people. And it's a great thing to tell nieces and nephews that I know Spongebob.

thund3rgun3xpr3ss426 karma

what was it like to meet Homer Simpson in real life?

iamBillyCorgan329 karma

Silly question!

operation_hennessey397 karma

How in the hell did you get the Twitter handle @Billy? That seems like witchcraft.

iamBillyCorgan643 karma

Very long story.

But basically, somebody was squatting on my name, and through that, Twitter offered me @Billy.

Underwater_Grilling385 karma

What do you use to keep your head so smooth?

iamBillyCorgan619 karma



That's my answer.

Velcrosuit225 karma

Do you play video games? What do you do to switch off? Read? Meditate?

iamBillyCorgan487 karma

I did. I stopped, because i don't have time. And I'm an obsessive gamer, so once I get going, I can't stop.

theArnoldFans1207 karma

What was the best and worst part about being on the Howard Stern Show today?

iamBillyCorgan404 karma

There's no worst with Howard.

He's the best in the business.

A fantastic and incisive interviewer.

And the best thing is he loves music.

TimmyGUNZ202 karma

Smashing Pumpkins are deservedly eligible for the Hall of Fame - if you get in, do you foresee James and D'arcy also attending?

iamBillyCorgan243 karma

I don't assume that that would ever happen.

So speculating on how it would all go down, if it did, seems kind of strange to me.

IamDroot184 karma

Favorite wrestler of all time or currently?

iamBillyCorgan435 karma

Ric Flair.

imail724182 karma

You have so much Zwan material that was never released officially, do you have any plans to ever release any of that stuff? Studio or live?

iamBillyCorgan273 karma

Yes. There are about 65 unreleased Zwan songs.

And again, have had some discussions with BMG about maybe putting out some sort of boxset at some point.

Neg_Crepe176 karma

What happened to the Official Forum on smashingpumpkins.com? Why is it closed?

iamBillyCorgan336 karma

Good question.

Ultimately, most forums descend into negativity.

And it is very hard as a business owner to basically support a culture which is inherently counter-intuitive to the business that you're running.

And because many fans who are informed and obviously intelligent weren't happy about a lot of the music-making in a particular period, it got to the point where I just didn't feel like supporting what could easily be done for free somewhere else.

TheGreatWildFrontier168 karma

Would you consider nostalgia to be a good or bad thing?

iamBillyCorgan471 karma

Nostalgia is a beautiful thing.

Under the right circumstances.

And what I mean by that is we all should celebrate moments that last. My problem is when those moments last and last and last and last and last...to the point of a kind of sickness.

wesomg160 karma

One pedal to keep forever, which do you choose?

iamBillyCorgan252 karma

The off pedal.

SilentButFriendly157 karma

Hey Billy! What's your favourite kind of tea?

iamBillyCorgan395 karma

I will admit to drinking Coca Tea in the Andes.

Which I suppose is illegal here in the US. But there is readily available. And helps deal with altitude sickness.

It tasted kind of earthen. You basically get kind of a mild stimulant buzz, cuz it's the Coca leaf you know?

Gohagan133 karma

How excited are you for the new Star Wars movie?

iamBillyCorgan274 karma

I'm very excited.

I have a feeling that these new series of movies (particularly because of the technology that is available now) will finally realize the vision that George Lucas must've had when he began.

RawrHaus129 karma

Billy, what's the new album's cover art suppose to be? I like it. I think I see a lion

iamBillyCorgan221 karma


I'm sorry I can't explain this to you.

The mystery is the mystery.

vigilantostrich117 karma

Hey Billy. Was there a pivotal moment when you were growing up where you realised just how much you wanted to be a musician? Like was there a point where you kind of just went "This is what I want my life to become" or do you feel maybe it was just inherent?

iamBillyCorgan193 karma

There was that moment.

I saw a friend of mine playing a guitar, and knew in that instant that that's what I wanted to do.

I was about 14.

kotooni107 karma

Hi Billy, I've been a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins for a long time and I appreciate you doing a AMA. I have two questions

• Have you improved at twister over the years? (Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lqH2Ag6fxU)

• What was your fondest memory of playing with Nirvana?

iamBillyCorgan172 karma


Was never good at it. And I'd assume I've lost a step in it.

I remember playing with them, thinking (by the way, the show wasn't sold out) that someday people were going to talk about the show.

DelusionsOfCandor101 karma

Rotten Apples is one of my favorite songs of yours, rarely played live and recorded only once as a demo. I think it’s one of your best lyrics. Do you regret not putting the song on Mellon Collie? Also, you said that of all your songs, this was the one that you would’ve submitted to Johnny Cash to cover before he passed away, so clearly you’re quite fond of it. I was just curious about the writing and recording of the song and why you didn’t consider it album-worthy. Thank you! Last night at Webster Hall was AMAZING.

iamBillyCorgan157 karma

Thank you.

The process of song selection is a mercurial one. And it's easy to look back and say "This one should've gone on and this one shouldn't."

In the case of Rotten Apples, I'm not sure it would've made MCIS a better album. And the version that you like so much is a home demo that I did in about an hour, which happened to be the same hour that I wrote the song.

CPIz94 karma

What is a dream collaboration of yours that hasn't happened yet?

iamBillyCorgan236 karma


GREAT question!


stares out window

I would be thrilled to work with Ritchie Blackmore.

supremefeather87 karma


Did you ever find Vince?


A fan since the Gish days.

iamBillyCorgan206 karma

Vince... was... James' high school buddy who at times served as the band's tour manager and/or guitar tech.

So the "Where's Vince" was when we'd send him out for something, say, for example, a soda pop, and then he would be gone for hours, hence us singing "Where's Vince?"

luunaverse84 karma

Where is your favorite place in the world to be?

iamBillyCorgan250 karma


lvest84 karma

Hey, Billy, what is shortest and the longest amount of time it has taken you to write one song?

iamBillyCorgan141 karma

5 minutes. And 5 months.

Dent1879 karma

Hey Billy!

  • How did you develop those long Silverfuck jams? What was the thought process behind it?

  • What song that you wrote is the hardest for you to play, technically speaking?

iamBillyCorgan162 karma


Um, back in the day, with SP, we felt we never had a song that was good enough to finish the show. So we started this idea of a song called "Silverfuck," but the song would always change, so in essence, we would never know where the song was going, nor would the audience, so over time we developed different themes and feelings to create what is in essence a living song.

Good question.

The song "Fuck you" comes to mind.

operation_hennessey78 karma

My friend Mazda has a really bad-ass Mellon Collie tattoo. How often do fans show you their SP inspired ink? What was it like the first time you saw one?

iamBillyCorgan154 karma

Almost every day.

And it still freaks me out!

Hantra77 karma

What's your favorite recent music?

iamBillyCorgan218 karma

I've been praising Phantogram's single "So in Love" - to me, this is the song of the year.

CalicoJack58 karma

Billy! I've heard you say before that your time in Zwan was kinda rough, and that you weren't really interested in revisiting those songs until some time had passed.

That was some time ago... have your feelings changed about Zwan? Any chance of hearing those songs live in the future?

Also: Saw you at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa last time you guys were there. You rocked the house!

iamBillyCorgan74 karma

Actually, played some Zwan songs at my Ravinia concert this last August.

AGallagher41053 karma

What's your favorite ride in Disney?

iamBillyCorgan144 karma

I'm partial to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, because it's very much like being in the record business.

adamdanger45 karma

You stated last year that you were working with Gibson on a signature guitar. Is it still in the works and what body style is it?

iamBillyCorgan104 karma

After initial conversations, they never called me back.

john_x_43 karma

Hey Billy. As a young musician, I face a lot of self-doubt at times, even though I believe in what I'm doing, the task ahead (trying to be successful whilst maintaining integrity and doing what I want) can seem daunting. You've spoken about this to a certain extent, any advice for a young guy who tends to get in his own way creatively? Thanks. Huuuuge fan!

iamBillyCorgan138 karma

Thank you.

Ultimately, success in any field is only going to come if you're original.

Imitation serves no one long term.

So where you have doubt, understand that that's the thing you must overcome to make your OWN music. Your own meaning possessive, as in music only you can make.

vioquoise41 karma

How does it feel to know that your music has touched so many people on a personal level? Do you see music as a way to connect yourself to the world as well as a creative outlet?

iamBillyCorgan132 karma

I don't view my musical life in those terms. I'm very humbled that my music touches people. And I do not in any way wish to diminish the individual accomplishment of one person reaching another. But that said, I believe my real purpose as an artist is to break the machine. And as the machine grows, so grows the purpose.

fugaziozbourne34 karma

Can you put the "Fuck Anderson Cooper" shirts up for sale online? Please?

iamBillyCorgan79 karma

We considered it.

To then therefore donate the profits to charity.

But ultimately, we didn't want to associate a negative with a positive.

montelds15 karma

how did you go about selecting Brad and Mark to play with the pumpkins?

iamBillyCorgan23 karma

There was no "selection," it was literally thinking of people who we knew and trusted who could come onboard and promote the release of the record, and as some of you can see, from the fan response, we reached out to the right people.

bunglejerry15 karma

How are your cats, Billy?

iamBillyCorgan34 karma

My cats are riding a wave of popularity, thanks to the dubious character assassinations of one Anderson Cooper.

AND they want him to know they are available to appear on-camera at any time to refute his character assassinations.

erikmad10 karma

Hey Billy. I’ve always loved the visual/cinematic qualities of your songwriting, so I always felt a little bummed that the animated short film based on "Glass & The Ghost Children” didn’t happen. How far did this get project get before the plug was pulled and do you still entertain ideas for visual projects (outside of music videos) to accompany your work? P.S. - I’m really loving Monuments to an Elegy.

iamBillyCorgan19 karma

Oh. Thank you!

I think they only made it through about 2-3 episodes when the plug was pulled on the animated series. And looking forward - I'm either going to have to make my own films and/or work with animators to get the same visual depth that I"m looking for, that I was at least able to hint at with past Pumpkins videos.

ghostbackwards8 karma

Billy, what is your favorite venue to perform at and why?

Also, you like soup? What's your favorite soup?

iamBillyCorgan28 karma

Too many to choose.

I've probably played a thousand different venues in my life.


Um... I'm a simple soup person.

I don't like complex soups. So give me just a good potato soup, haha!

CPIz7 karma

What is your favorite recipe for fish? My wife & I are trying to eat more of it, but we've pretty much only been seasoning it with salt, pepper, & lemon.

iamBillyCorgan14 karma

Haha! I'm pretty simple when it comes to eating fish. It's whatever the fish is plus some lemon. Sorry, can't help you there.

getinthekitchen6 karma

Hi Mr. Corgan!

My partner, Patrick, says he would like to thank you for making the music that made him the person he is today.

*My question- is there any previous album in particular that most resonates with you now, that still rattles your heart and fills it with electricity? and why? *

iamBillyCorgan14 karma

If you mean an album that I released, I tend to look at my past albums as a postcard that's been sent, and the thought and the feeling of it can never return, it is of the moment, so maybe it might be somebody else's moment, but never mine.

thereadletter3 karma

Billy, what is your prediction for the Cubs next year? Do you think we're going to get Jon Lester?

iamBillyCorgan6 karma

Don't know.

Seems like the team has some money issues and that they're trying to rebuild both the infrastructure of the stadium and as they've said, make a team that's going to win for years to come.