Billy Corgan on Music Media and Reviews

Is your relationship with Marilyn Mansion the kind of friendship where you’d call each other up when things seemed to be going badly for the other one. Say, during the aftermath of Columbine …

I’m sorry, but to me that’s a silly question.


Because it presupposes that those situations needed attending to. I think those things, and some of the things I’ve been through, they’re false narratives. They’re not real narratives. He’s brilliant in that he can intuitively identify those false narratives and rather than run from them he goes straight at them. We need people like that.

Do you think you’ve suffered from false narratives throughout your career?

I think that’s obvious. I’m laughing because I thought for sure I would get really strong reviews for our new album [Monuments to an Elegy], based on all the feedback I was getting. But I’m getting the same reviews I got back in the day, these kind of middling, muddling reviews that just won’t fucking say: “This is a fucking brilliant album from a brilliant artist.” It’s always got to have a qualifier to it. So my point is this: I made, according to most people, two classic albums in my life. But go back and read those reviews – I got the same type of reviews then as I’m getting now! People assume we got great reviews back then – we got shit reviews. So it’s weird because this is like: “Here I go again.” I strike on to something fresh, fans are going fucking nuts, everyone’s excited, and we’ve got to have some fucking guy going: “Oh I don’t know how to feel about this.”

You feel like the reviews are pre-written?

Yes. I think these are false narratives. The old guard sets up gatekeepers who decide who is in and who is out. The joke for me is that I’ve been on the fucking outside for 25 years and yet here I am. My whole point is – at what point do I get invited inside?

Do you even want to be invited inside?

I do.

I don’t understand why you’re bothered by what critics think if fans are liking the record.

It’s bad for business. If you’re Martin Scorsese and you’ve got a new picture coming out, you want good reviews, because then more people see your film. So if you make a good album then you deserve a fair review of your work, especially after being in the culture for 25 fucking years. But I realise now I’m not going to get my due from that culture.

Via The Guardian