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Corgan's Fury: Exclusive Q&A
Posted 29 March 2008 - 02:58 PM
This week, the Smashing Pumpkins filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against their former label, Virgin Records, alleging the band's name was used without permission for a Pepsi promotion. Band leader Billy Corgan called up Rolling Stone from a bathroom in Australia to explain his side of the story and wound up dishing dirt on his career, explaining how the Pumpkins will release music in the future and offering an opinionated take on Amy Winehouse, Radiohead and the state of the record industry: "I don't think the Beatles would be making an album right now."
Tell us about your personal perspective on this lawsuit.
We've been treated very poorly by [Virgin] as a label for years now. Even when we were going to put the band back together, we went to them for the umpteenth time and said, look, it's a natural thing to want to put out a best of, and they keep telling us nobody cares. And then to turn around and use us like this against our will obviously shows you how full of crap they are, because obviously you have value or they wouldn't be trying to make money on you on the side. And in our case we actually have the right to say no to these types of things. They had to ask our permission to put our music on iTunes. So this is just them getting really sneaky trying to push stuff through, because the only place they're going to get money now is from corporate sponsors.
And look, it's no secret that the record labels are out of touch. They've lost money continuously for seven or eight years and they continue to hold on to the Titanic. This is just another indication of them thinking that they can get away with whatever because they're the big old record business. You know, Josh Homme from Queens [of the Stone Age] came out talking about Interscope, Trent Reznor ... It's a very difficult position because whether it's blogs or people posting on Web sites, fans can get very frustrated about what they perceive about how you do your business, not being aware of how we continually have a gun pointed at our head.
Did you approach the label with your concerns before filing the suit?
No, because it's like talking to a brick wall. These people, they treat your music like it's worthless and they treat you like you're even more worthless. And that goes for our current label, Warner Bros., too. There's no passion. There's no love. There's no respect. It's just, like you're just a number. You might as well be some cookies, or a rock. I really think it's total arrogance on their part. I think they just thought they could get away with [using our music for the Pepsi promotion] and we wouldn't do anything about it. And luckily enough we have the ability to do something about it.
Do you have thoughts about how to go forward with your music and how to release it?
The first thing we're talking about doing is in essence not doing an album that has any walls. So we'll release the album in different forms in different places. Not just one CD with twelve songs. Our next album might be forty songs. Now, to the mainstream person, that's too many songs. So maybe you only give them one or two songs at a time. And then I think what's cool is you can deal with different people. You can do a deal with a skater Web site or you can work with Pepsi if you choose.
The music business has sown the seeds for it's own destruction here. So we're not in any hurry to go back and help save them. Warner Bros. treats us like we're from another planet. We've had a good record and we've sold records. And I haven't spoken to the label president since 2005. Now we're free, we're out of our contracts. So I think that makes us really dangerous, because we really are the kind of band that's willing to take chances. We really will work with anybody if we feel it's a cool, fun thing. And it doesn't have to always be about money.
Way to go Billy. Tell them like it is. It is about time more and more artist are finally waking up to the evils of The Recording Industry and the power they hold over the artist.
Read the full Q&A HERE
Posted 06 April 2008 - 09:19 AM
well thats true, nobody cares. if you want a pumpkins best of buy Siamese dream and forget about it.
we went to them for the umpteenth time and said, look, it's a natural thing to want to put out a best of, and they keep telling us nobody cares.
but I do like that he can see the writing on the wall, and looking at different ways to market music. its guys like reznor, radiohead and maybe billy that will bring the record industry into the 21st century. the days of perusing record store aisles is sadly over. there isn't even more then 1 dedicated record store within 50 miles of me right now.
Posted 10 April 2008 - 07:16 AM
Posted 13 April 2008 - 12:19 AM
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