Billy Corgan on Howard Stern, Fame and the Origins of ‘Oceania’

As ’90s alternarock icons go, few resonate more deeply with their devotees than Billy Corgan. Dedicated Smashing Pumpkins fans have stuck with him as he opened tea shops and fought in professional wrestling matches, and he’s repaid their loyalty by continuing to make compelling music under the Smashing Pumpkins name. In his conversation with Matt on the latest episode of The Hivecast with Matt Pinfield, Corgan talks about how industry shifts have kept him interested — and how he’s learned about the changing nature of fame from Smashing Pumpkins super-fan Howard Stern.

“Howard stands alone,” he says. “He’s a unique American personality. I think what we’re seeing now in the evolution of what it means to be famous and be successful… it’s becoming less and less about taking someone who’s talented and forcing that round peg into that square hole, and it’s actually people like us developing what we do into our own world. You get to be yourself, I get to be myself. And that’s what I try to encourage people about the Smashing Pumpkins. It’s always going to be more about what the band truly represents. People keep comparing it to what it used to mean, with a different set of paradigms, with MTV and the record labels and millions of dollars. I think in many ways, the business where we’re headed is much cooler than that business.” Corgan’s fronting a cooler band for cooler times. Check out the rest of the Hivecast for more. [Download & subscribe to the Hivecast via iTunes.]

The Hivecast With Matt Pinfield: Billy Corgan

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