Billy Corgan On Radiohead: “Publicity Is Better Than Music”

brandon | March 27, 2008 - 9:37 am

Remember what we said the other day about Billy currently being better at bitching than making worthwhile music? A Rolling Stone Q&A with the man proves our point yet again. Well, to be fair, before the bitching he does say that yes, the Pumpkins will, in fact, make albums. Just in a “different way.” Via RS:

I can tell that our plans right now are to do an album over two or three years and put it out in pieces and then maybe eventually bring it all back together. The album doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be ten songs. Some dumb white guy somewhere doesn’t have to like it. Some old fart, out-of-touch has to decide, oh, these ten songs aren’t as good as Sgt. Pepper’s. Well, you know what? I don’t think the Beatles would be making an album right now.

Dumb white guys. Speaking of which, we also get Corgan’s thoughts on Amy Winehouse, American Idol, and Radiohead, among other things…

Rolling Stone: Artists are finding their own ways to get paid outside of the major-label system, like the Eagles with their Wal-Mart deal, Madonna signing up with Live Nation.

Billy Corgan: I think it’s really difficult for the young artist, who doesn’t have at least some sense of a pathway. For example, if you were a kid today and you’re looking at the bands who are successful right now, you think, if you don’t sort of sell out and let somebody make you a star, go on American Idol, then you can’t be successful. Alternative culture is really critical towards introducing new ideas. We need those young bands to push old band like us, to push new boundaries. We need our butts kicked regularly. That’s where all the energy comes from, from the bottom. And when the message on Amy Winehouse is drama is better than music, and for Radiohead publicity is better than music — no disrespect to them. But I think it’s a bad message to young bands of how to make it happen. It’s almost like the evil stepchild of the rap bling-bling thing, like, the only way to make it work is I’ve got to come up with a gimmick.

Why didn’t RS call him on this? Like, instead of lobbing softballs, maybe they could’ve asked if he’s so true to his art and what the kids want … why did he let Best Buy and Target milk fans for special edition Zeitgeist’s? Instead, they follow up with “Selling out has lost its negative stereotype in a sense…” Good one, friendo.