The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan recently talked about the creative process and the band’s most recent album, “ATUM.” The band’s leader expressed his misgivings and how difficult it is to create fresh songs. He stated:
“When you’re making 33 songs like that, you know you have good days and bad days, and the bad days are like, ‘Oh my God, not only am I making something that’s totally insane and too much work, but who’s gonna listen to this thing when it’s done?'”
Corgan remembered submitting the album and many of the critical remarks he received for it. He went on:
“Even when I handed in the record to the people we were in business with at the time, those entities said, ‘This is a terrible idea, don’t release it, it’s career suicide.’ They said all the same things they told me about ‘Mellon Collie’ [And The Infinite Sadness]. We ended up separating our business relationships with those people and somehow it’s all worked out.”
The band maintained their confidence in the audience despite receiving critical criticism from others they had collaborated with. He clarified:
“So I just- I give it to the power of music which is if you put your faith in music and you trust your audience to know when you’ve done something good. On paper, it sounds like a lot to take on but at the end of the day people just want good music and if it just means they got to listen to it once and find the five songs they like, I’m totally cool with that.”
Despite his reservations, Corgan wanted the album-making process to continue according to plan. This lasted up until a fan phoned Corgan and said that nine of the album’s tracks had been leaked, which prompted a hacker to demand payment for the data. Thankfully, the FBI intervened and was able to stop the leak.
The 33-song ‘ATUM’ album was published on May 5. You may hear it here and see the interview in the section below.