Billy Answers Qs at Night - 2010-12-??
(lookup on archive.org)
In December 2010, Billy Corgan briefly ran his own Facebook page and answered questions. These daily Q & A sessions were dubbed "Billy Corgan answers questions late at night". Unfortunately, many people trolled and the page was deleted. Nonetheless, below is a record of the questions that were answered.
On The Past:
Q: Anyway, I love your music! All of it! From early 90s to now! Do ever feel some kind of betrayal when you hear of these so-called fans saying "You need to write more songs like you did in the 90s"?
BC: no, i sense they just have a tremendous respect for some great work. but the idea that any of us can ever go back to something is very misguided. i am proud of myself for just following what i feel.
Q: I hope this means there is still hope for a studio version of Towers of Rabble.
BC: there is a demo and one live version. that's it. i THINK (not sure) i have a master on the demo. i know i have a rough mix somewhere. all transfers of old material is going on as we speak.
Q: Billy, speaking of songs written by you and released by others IS there a BC version of IDENTIFY? That was an amazing song and I've always wondered that! Thank you!
BC: yes, there is a demo i sang on recorded during Machina sessions so that would come out with Machina box set stuff. i listened to it recently, it's not bad. Produced by Flood.
Q: Will you have to talk to James when you release some of the old stuff?
BC: he is only interested in the release of any of his songs. and getting paid/laid. same old story. if you guys only knew how little he cares about you and old SP. so the answer on that is no. I will make sure to always respect his contribution in what i release from the vaults (i won't make him look bad is my point).
Q: Do you regret anything about the Zeitgeist album?
BC: should have never released it on Warner Brothers, and the mix is too pop. the rough mixes are brutal heavy. should have gone that route. more true to the spirit of what we set out to make. not dark enough, but we were in a tough spot. Roy however is the best i have ever worked with. a true genius.
Q: Vinyl is just so collectible to me, I have all the Pumpkins studio releases on Vinyl except for Zeitgeist. Is there a vinyl release of Zeitgeist, or just the singles? My collection feels incomplete because I love the Zeitgeist album So MUCH.
BC: Warner Bros wasn't interested in releasing Zeitgeist vinyl. typical record company crap-ola. thank God i'm away from all that now.
Q: Stellar is one of my favorites to come out of the Zeitgeist era. Do you care to comment on the process of writing and recording that song as well as why it was singled out for the iTunes release?
BC: we should have put it on the proper release. long story there with Warner's and marketing. some day i'll tell the real story on that.
Q: Billy what I have found is a lot of 'fans' respond more to the aural, sonic, dynamic quality of the old and don't give a damn about songwriting. It's like porn.
BC: plenty of other porn to choose from that ripped me off. it's all there to be enjoyed
Q: Billy what is the typical process you go through for the rights to clear?
BC: good question. it depends who owns the recordings generally. for example, i own '1979′ (the song), but not the recording you would be familiar with. that is owned jointly by SP and EMI Records. i control it's use, but they have possession of the recording.
Q: My favorite songs were from the Spun soundtrack during this time. Thank you for them.
BC: that i do own the rights to. and also my unreleased ChicagoKid project (80? songs). Matt Walker is currently putting that together with a documentary. so i could see putting out Spun soundtrack music after the release of ChicagoKid. no timetable on release though. TBK is #1 priority.
Q: Hello, Billy. I have some questions: Are you thinking about recording any song from the past tours, like 99 Floors, Peace + Love or even Gossamer?
BC: we have discussed recording Gossamer for Teargarden, but my guess is it probably won't happen as it is essentially seen by me as a Zeitgeist song. there is an aborted Zeitgeist sessions versions that is kinda cool, albeit rough and unfinished. as for 99 floors/peace and love and others from that time there are live solo studio demo versions recorded in Sweden just after the SF residency. they sound really good and could easily be added to/overdubed. those would see the light of day when the inevitable Zeitgeist re-issue comes out. i get full rights back to Zwan/Future Embrace/Zeit in about 4 years Zwan would be first up. 60+ unreleased songs.
Q: Billy, is there a Smashing Pumpkins take on Signal To Noise?
BC: i believe there is a bc demo…but it may be super rough. bug Matt Walker, he's got it i think.
Q: Bring back Zwan!!!
BC: sure, just for YOU, i'll do that
Q: i was just surfing youtube myself and i came across Gossamer from the concert at stubbs BBQ in austin, and damn! what an amazing song to close with! as a huge prog-rocker that song is just pure epicness! is there going to be a studio version anytime soon BC?
BC: gee gosh, i just don't know
Q: Hey hey is there going to be a studio version of gossamer??? I heard that you never get asked that question.
BC: umm, i guess i could, maybe, oh, i don't know. too much of a good thing makes the baby go blind.
Q: What makes up the other three-fourths of your heritage then? :)
BC: as best i know i am 25pc Sicilian, 25pct Flemish, 50pct Irish/Scottish/English. Family names are DiBartolo, Maes, Corgan, Wortham.
Q: Hey Billy! Why do you hate San Antonio so much?!? I dont mind driving to Houston or Austin to see you, done so many times but was really curious why no San Antonio date since like 96 with Garbage I believe. Take care and fight the good fight!!!
BC: LOVE San Antonio. have had great shows there. It isn't always our call. ask your local promoter.
Q: i can see why cobain did what he did, it's a chore just trying to save face
BC: well said
Q: If you had not reformed SP, looking back, which album would you choose as your favorite era?
BC: Ten. Or Nevermind.
Q: Hey Billy, if you were going to introduce someone to your body of work and you could only fill one 70 minute CD what would you fill it with? What are the pieces you are most proud of, and if you have the inclination to offer further insight……….why?
BC: i'm gonna take the lead from Adam's question, and try to break down a few songs i really am proud of. i don't know if they will all fit on one 70 minute cd, but let's just say i'll limit my choices to 2 songs per album period…so that would be 20 songs from the different periods (gish/siamese/mellon collie/adore/machina/mary star/future embrace/zeitgeist/teargarden) i want anyone who doubts me to understand that i am quite proud of my past work. more proud than you can probably imagine. that said a sentimental perspective has never helped me to write the next song (if you know what i mean). it will be a nice way to transition to the new year with some positive perspective ;) Gish Era song #1 of 2: Siva: I used to work at a used record store in Chicago called Record Hunt. It wasn't too busy in there, so i would bring in my acoustic guitar (an ovation!) and play for hours, working on songs. I came up with the opening riff of Siva on one of these 'slow' days, and right away i felt i had something special. i didn't have a way to record it and i was worried i'd forget it. so each time someone would come in the store, i'd stress that i was gonna forget the riff, and as soon as they'd leave i'd go back to playing it. there isn't much to the riff on the surface (it's not that hard to play, etc), but i loved it because it evoked the balance i'd been looking for for SP: aggression, sensuality, mystical, cool. So to me in many ways this was one of the first 'true' SP songs (along with Tristessa) where we sounded like us and nobody else. It also has all the classic SP dynamics loud, soft, solos, set-ups for big explosive moments. One other memory is it took Butch, Jimmy, and I 17 hours in a row to mix it by hand, which at the time was the longest mix any of us had ever done. So in my eyes, a really important track to where SP would eventually go as a rock and roll band, and a song in many ways we never improved upon in any other song. and if you listen to the lyrics, a fairly honest lyric, which i can't say i was too keen on in the early days. shades of things to come… i choose the title "Siva" because he is the creator, the inhaler, destroyer, and that is how i see my role as an artist; to make it and break it. The very real symbol of Siva also brings to mind the idea that we all have responsibility in our quest for experience or knowledge.
Q: This is awesome. I really think the version of Siva from the Peel Sessions really captured the emotion of that song. Maybe more so than the Vig cut from Gish.
BC: i agree that the Peel sessions version does capture more of the raw power, but i appreciate what a great job Butch Vig did on Gish. it is very clear.
Q: How did you get that gish, bright and shimmery guitar tone. It's the weirdest tone ever, next to S.D. and Mellon's tones of course.
BC: 1974 strat (flat pole pickups) into an ADA mp-1 preamp into the low channel of an 80s Marshall JCM 100w. Master Volume all the way up, pre-amp on amp used like a master volume. Treble and prescence at 3 or 4.
Q: Did you recover that 1974 Strat? how much money would u pay for it?
BC: never got my gish strat back. would pay $20,000 to get it back, no questions asked. yes it was stolen but i don't care. wouldn't involve the police.
Q: Is there a studio version of Glorious by Zwan?
BC: a good demo or two exist
Q: I'd love to hear you talk about Tom Tom. As far as I'm concerned, when God invented rock, he had Tom Tom in mind, and I think it'd be cool to hear your thoughts on inspiration behind it, recording/production, etc?
BC: thanks for the kind comments. i've been taken aback at the overwhelming positive response to Tom Tom. i didn't expect it. We actually worked on Tom Tom for over a year! in an earleir version it had no live drums and sounded more like an Adore-type track. but i'm glad we added the drums. i think it's a nice merge of guitar pop and electronic elements. it was one where the simple version was too simple and if we overproduced it it killed the prettiness of the song. i have to give Kerry (@studiodog) a lot of credit for pushing me to find more in the recording. we all went nuts trying to get the balance right. so much so that by the time it came out i'd kinda given up on it. hence my surprise for the positive response. so thanks! a nice surprise for me. usually not the case! i usually have to wait 7-10 years to be proven right LOL
Q: I honestly didn't like Tom Tom. It was so bland.
there always has to be one contrarian in the bunch?you win the race and remind me why i don't answer questions?;)
Q: Tom Tom is my favorite of the "new era" SP songs. I was suprised by it when I heard the first time.
BC: every song i have done since Mellon Collie has been met by a fairly divided opinion. a lot of Gish fans HATED Siamese when it came out. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you can see why i have learned to ignore both praise and condemnation. To each his/her own x
Q: Would that include Spiteface?
BC: please go back to Netphoria and log in ho-ho-ho those questions mean something over there. or Hipsters Disintegrating?x
On the Present:
Q: That degree to which Smashing Pumpkins fans seem to dislike their favourite band never ceases to amaze me. I remember fans hating Adore, then Machina, the Zeitgeist, now Teargarden, I honestly don't know how you
BC: i lost my mind and way a long time ago. BUT i feel very clear now. i am very appreciative, super appreciative of the true fans who have stuck with me thru the end.
Q: Classic Billy, hating on his fans.
BC: no classic fans hating on me. so f'n boring?99.9 pct of the people i meet in my reality don't give a fuck about spiteface or any of this other shit. time to move on. i LOVE my fans, even the ones who despise me. i have never been about ass kissing fans.find an artist who reaches out more or has released more music than me and i say go hate on them instead.
Q: I find the "past is in the past" stuff odd. A lot of people became fans during the 90s, and it's work they love dearly. We all love the new directions and the new music, but I'd hate for the older material to be lost in the fray because there's some mission that seems to want to sweep it under the rug.
BC: a great point, and worthy of a longer explaination. when we brought the band back, we never figured that there would be so much emphasis on the 90s material VERSUS the new (zeitgeist) material. we'd never been in that position before where the lack of investment in our new music was equal to such a heavy focus on the past. when we saw that a lot of the audience really wasn't investing in the future, that sort of stopped me cold. i mean, what is the point of even being in a band if the majority of the audience isn't invested in where you are headed, going?zeitgeist was never designed to be a complete statement like say 'siamese' or 'mellon collie' or 'machina' was. it was seen by us as a place to begin again. instead it was a signal of the bitter end i had just put off for 7 or 8 years. so i had to go back to the drawing board and re-wire my brain. It has taken a lot of patience on my part to get past the near constant doubt of my ability/direction and also of who i put my faith in to turn this band around. i have never lost faith in me where many have. there is no band in the world like SP, nor will there ever be to come, for better or worse. what most wouldn't understand is that i have cultivated this doubt around me, and exposed the uncertainties of my journey ON PURPOSE. it is not an act so much as an act of real rebellion. the haters just become part of a sub-plot that makes the gold (and the junk) worth making. the fans who really understand are sophisticated enough to 'get' what is really happening within us
It's great getting this information straight from the source. Media and blog interpretation of your actions and choices leave a lot to be desired.
BC: thank you. i'm doing my best to close the gap a little. i'm all for a deeper exploration of what is 'happening' right now. so just so you know, to let you in on the secret, half of what i do is meant to throw people off. including the old school entitled fans who think i woe them something. and certainly for the snarks who think they got it all figured out 20 years after the fact. look twice at what i say and ask yourself am i really talking to you, or am i just trying to throw the jerks off my trail. i don't want a FAKE success.
ok, so that's enough for tonight?i appreciate those of you who took the time to write in thoughtful questions. looking forward to the show here in New Mexico tomorrow. look for me antiquing! love, BC as i said?YOU are just proving my point. God Bless.
Q: Any plans for a New Years show Billy???? (Fingers crossed)
BC: no, sorry Erin. We are done till at least April. I'm guessing not till end of summer before we'd play live again. All focus now is on finishing next 2 songs and then working on secret 2011 plans. But thanks for asking.
Q: do you still think God talks to you Billy?
BC: yep. every day.
Q: Billy I'm a new facebooker but long time fan. I noticed you say god bless you in your comments. Do you believe in god? I do, but thought you didn't.
BC: i absolutely believe in God! just don't necessarily believe in everyone else's version OF God. you'll have to read the book! LOL
Q: Billy- Being such a believer in God, what do you say to the Atheists of the world?
BC: i would say if there is a God, then he made you an atheist. and if there isn't a God, there is no upside in being right. I personally have no issue with people who don't believe in God. i just don't think it is a logical conclusion to come to. But i'm ok with being wrong if i am.
Q: Billy u used to say u werent in a band to tell people how to vote or what to do with their body…i miss that
BC: boring. the world has changed. i a'int in a band according to the world anyway LOL
Q: Billy, is it hard for you to sit back and take a good hard look at the world, only to see societies and peoples turning their backs on love and perpetuating hate? Not to say there's not some of us out there with a lot of fucking heart; it just gets disheartening to me sometimes.
BC: conscious people are definitely in the minority, BUT i would say that means we just have to be a little smarter and clearer with what we hope to accomplish as sentient beings. i try not to judge why this person is this way and that person is that way. i like to see myself as a piece in a larger puzzle. and my job is to do the best with what i have. in my case, it is the power of the word and the power of my voice and songs and band. that's the best i can offer to the whole, and then of course work on my own forgiveness, honesty, clarity, and try to take that love to those i come into contact with.
Q: facebook is destroying you Billy!
BC: nahh, facebook is helping me to let go of and get rid of what i should have done along time ago. it's my journey, i respect it. i just am willing to share it with you. i am not afraid. at least i have made something worthy of breaking.
Q: Since you are taking SP in a new direction and not focusing on the old stuff anymore would you consider retiring the SP name and starting the band fresh with a new name?
BC: I've thought about this question a lot and the answer is no. Where i go so goes SP. it is inescapable and quite honestly …i LOVE being in SP. The Spirit of SP is what drives me. it is after all just a name. Like William.
Q: Billy, if a fan hasn't heard an unreleased Teargarden song live, such as My Love is Winter, would you rather they hear it on a fan-recorded YouTube video, or wait for the proper studio version? How much do first impressions matter to you for your songs?
BC: used to matter alot, then i stopped caring…. But new new 2011 songs no one will hear until they come out. Unless we've already played them.
Q: Does this mean songs from the TbK era will be discarded? Songs like Owata, Lonely is the Name, My Love is Winter, Baby, etc
BC: no, not necessarily. It's a long process. We are working as a team trying to forge a very exciting path forward. The songs that fit that will survive.
Q: Are you able then to play Zwan songs at a show? Or are the rights not there?
BC: i own all the Zwan rights, so yes, i can play those songs say on an acoustic tour if i wanted. i just don't have the right to release on my own the Zwan stuff until around 2014.
Q: Billy, at some point doesn't the negativity become a caricature of itself?
BC: absolutely well said Julio. YES, that is my point. it is all so inherently anti-music, anti-love, anti-progress, anti-SP's mission that it becomes like one of those Escher drawings. up is down, heavy is soft, blah. i remain for the most part a keen observer within the chaos of the farce
Q: Which era sound-wise would you like to revisit most while recording for Teargarden? For example, could we hear more Gish-like songs or Adore-like songs in the future? Is something like this a conscious decision when you come up with a song or something you find as you develop songs further?
BC: none. past is boring when you've already lived it full on
Q: What's the biggest difference for you, as an artist, writing and performing music in the Facebook and Twitter era, compared to before?
BC: everything is fast food info. somebody puking on the street is equal to or greater than a great song. puking requires no skill but will get you more energy back. quality used to equal more. now it probably slows you down too much…and so on down the rabbit hole
Q: Do you think you'll get the whole band in the studio, or will you continue to do all the guitar and bass while Mike drums?
BC: the 2 new recordings we just did feature all 4 of us. i'm very pleased about that. much less work for me honestly, and they are all making great contributions to the songs. both songs are almost done, just need some background vocals
Q: Billy, I saw that you have a song, "The Fellowship" on the Vampire Diaries soundtrack. What was your decision behind lending a song to the soundtrack? Are you hoping to attract perhaps a younger audience?
BC: we heard a rumour that vampires were 'in' right now and to get the kids you got to get with the vampires…
Q: Billy do you have any tips on writing lyrics? I'm 13 and you're one of my favourite lyricists and whatever I write doesn't feel like the feeling your music gives me. I would appreciate it so much if you replied, it would mean the world to me you're a huge inspiration to me!
BC: lyric writing is a tough thing. not all words sing well. you have to have the courage to speak your mind and heart, but not in a way where you are so in the feeling you have no ability to observe. good lyric writing requires feeling what you feel without limiting it, and good observational power of who is actually doing the feeling (that would be you looking at you)
Q: Judging by these comments, it seems SP attracts conscious and witty people in general. You guys should be proud, that's the toughest crowd.
BC: by and large SP fans are very smart i have found. but also very, very opinionated.
Q: It's refreshing to hear intelligent answers to intelligent questions. I was beginning to think all the people in this world were dumbing down. Good to know there are a few smart folks left!
BC: as the rest of the music world dumbs it down, i feel it is our job to go the opposite way. and we shall.
Q: Extremely opinionated…but it's all out of love.
BC: i wouldn't necessarily agree with that. sorry. good artists are mirrors. fans think by breaking the mirror they'll be transformed. they are wrong in that notion.
Q: Yep, we're opinionated. It's what keeps us separated from the drones that listen to Justin Bieber. We think therefore we are.
BC: i love that my fans are smart. it is just when they ask me to do/believe in things that are against what SP stands for that they lose me completely. when they act like listening to a song once is equal to the effort i put into writing and recording it, they lose me. some fans are of the opinion that i want them to agree to every word i say. this is not true to how i have conducted myself. i have invited ALL of the arguments about SP. most of what the fans focus on i brought up first. it is part of the artistic mandate of SP to be that lightning rod that exposes the hypocrisy in rock and roll. am i am hypocrite or am i pretending to be one? look at the malaise the 90s revolution hath wrought on dear old rock and roll…and tell me honestly you believe rock music is better than more vital than it was in 1992? or 1985? or 1978? or 1967? you'd have a hard time finding many who are gonna tell you that music right now is better than those periods of time and there are reason for that. and they don't have anything to do with, me or SP.
Q: billy, how can you stand reading all this bs? and why bother?
BC: because it is all part of creating something new. there is nothing to be afraid of, because it is all broken anyway.
Q: Billy, I noticed your Global Warming tweet tonight. Why did you play Live Earth if you don't subscribe to Climate Change theory? have you simply changed your mind since 07 or did you feel most comfortable ignoring the politics and just playing the music?
BC: i believed at that time that the planet was warming. until i did research and found out it was all an orchestrated scam. planet has gotten colder last 10 years. hence the not so subtle change in the media from saying 'global warming' to 'climate change'. it is all connected to trying to make us all pay more taxes for our 'carbon footprint'. in essence, you should be taxed just for breathing. good scam.
anyway, let's avoid politics here because it will just get dumb fast. so don't bother asking any more of those types of questions. i'll save that stuff for my twitter.
i love when people tell me to shut up, as if i too am not a citizen of the Earth. eco-fascists need not apply here. i won't listen to you.
Q: what are the realities, again?
BC: i believe as the adage goes; you are born alone and die alone ;)
Q: do i have to say something negative about you, to get you to answer any of my questions…:)
BC: nope! i just pick out some of the negative stuff to prove my point of how nothing is good enough to some when you are honest and straight forward. but that kind of illusory thinking (the need for the fantasy) i think is at the heart of the problem of why a lot of music feels stalled…it is time to move on from that fear and just live a new kind of true. so by definition true will be imperfect. to err is human…
Q: I'm a tad curious. You know your die hard fans will always be there and love your music. What are you looking for in the new generation? Do you want the same publicity and popularity from the younger age group that you received from Siamese Dream?
BC: no. been there done that.
Q: I get the feeling that music since 2000 or so has been about imitating the success of music of the past. Especially the rock that's popular right now. One steady beat throughout the whole thing, over in 2-3 minutes, 'vintage' sounding, nasal and devil-may-care sounding vocals, irrelevant lyrics. It's music for people who don't want to invest themselves too deeply in liking music.
BC: perfectly said
Q: People find what they want to find. There is good new music out there. Cynical losers will be cynical losers.
BC: if there is so much good music out there, why aren't those bands filling arenas, selling records, and so on. music has never been more accessible. so don't say that is the problem (access to it). there are exceptions to every rule of course. that is not a point worth making.
Q: I couldn't agree more, I talk about this topic ALL OF THE TIME. I hate my generation! It's like only followers of other stars, quite possibly followers of followers, no originality in that!
BC: this is what i most hear from people wherever i go!!!
Q: There is a lot of good music out there being freshly made. It just seems like today there's a massive horde of arrogant minded listeners that are sitting high up on this pretentious musical plateau, and I have been guilty of this. I try to just freely find music I enjoy, freely listen to it, and just soak it in. Music should be spiritually liberating..not a political-esque debate I think.
BC: well said! there once was a time they burned Beatles records in the streets for what John Lennon had said about Jesus. now the Beatles are on iTunes. Everything is gonna turn out all right in the end. my point in bringing up The Beatles is if people aren't going to listen to my music because they don't like my personal views on God/the world/politics/the economy/ecology than that's fine by me. At least i am not a racist, a misogynist, a sexist, a marxist, a communist, or any -IST you can dream up. i am a proud member of the human race, i have a mind of my own, and humble gifts to offer. That's enough for me.
Q: I'm surprised you worry what people think of you Billy. Just be you. Those that love you will love you for who you are. You don't owe anything to anyone but you. Just have fun.
BC: you show me an artist who doesn't care what people think and i'll show you a liar. art is communication. it is important to effectively communicate what is intended. part of my communication is to use Billy Corgan as the mirror. signed, william patrick corgan.
Q: Art is also an inquiry!
BC: and also an INQUISITION
Q: you equated mysoginism with marxism.
BC: and also fandom of the Chicago Cubs with Dante's many rings of hell
Q: Hey Billy…just a couple of questions. First, have you used the Ichabod on Teargarden by Kaleidyscope yet? That thing looks pretty epic.
BC: yes, just used it for the first time on the next TBK song that will be released. sounds MASSIVE. i think we used 72 oscillators to get 'the' sound we were looking for…epic sound.
Q: How much would it cost to book either the band or yourself solo for a private event?
BC: we have pretty much given upon playing any private or corporate bookings.
Q: we the fans want to hire you. you know you want it! (Nat Alia)
BC: i'm guessing you can't afford it. and why hire me/us when you know i'm not gonna play what you want me to play anyway? ;)
Q: Billy, reading your last statements it seems like with Mike, Jeff and Nicole. you found for the first time, a "real band" in a common sense of that. Is it a right impression?
BC: no, old SP was a real band. New SP is the first time where everyone does their job though, and is super supportive of me. Big difference for me personally.
Q: Yeah but the original band were friends who came from nothing and made it together. They'd feel as though they were on a more level playing field to express their true thoughts or opinions on your work and the direction you wanted to take the band in. Hired guns are gonna appear more supportive because they want their paycheck. It's more of a master/servant scenario.
BC: dead wrong. people need to stop calling Jeff and Nicole and Mike hired guns. Totally disrespectful to them. It offends me and i know it offends them. So disrespectful. let me tell you all something, you need to get over this idea of what the old band was like. from 87-92 it was fun and exciting, save for Jimmy's issues. From 92-2000 it was very, very difficult. i was alone in the studio probably 85pct of the time. please get over your fantasy of what it was like. i was there, and except for about 5 or 6 people, you were not.
Q: You seem very annoyed.
BC: no, not annoyed. Just tired of hearing the same crap over and over and over again. James and D'arcy and Jimmy were very, very important to me and obviously to SP. I've never said they were not. But please some of you stop creating a fantasy about what it was like when you just don't know. Jeff, Nicole, and Mike are very good musicians and very good people. It offends me the way it all gets dumbed down to keep the old fantasy alive, and they get thrown in as if they are robots or musicians with no soul. Jeff and Nicole have played in bands for over 10+ years. that is no small thing! i know the dedication it takes to play for a dream. They love being in the band. and that is no small thing either!
Q: I think most people wouldn't assume they were hired guns if there was some sort of statement saying they were official members. Some people need that kind of clarification in order to accept things the way they are.
BC: good point but we don't play by anyone else's rules. Because we don't run our world inside that way.
Q: I like Jeff, Nicole, and Mike. I respect them. They are all very good musicians. But there was something about the original SP's that just screamed kick ass.
BC: by the time most people saw SP peaking, we had already played together for 5 or 6 years. It is too soon to make that judgment on this group. Mike, a little over a year. Nicole, not even one year. and Jeff, 4 years.
Q: The fact that you are sticking up for them only proves even more how amazing they are. I would imagine that it would take a lot to impress you musically. I'm loving the family-like atmosphere this band has been emitting. It makes me hopeful for the future.
BC: thank you. they are worth sticking up for. stuff with the old members has ZERO to do with them.
Q: Bands are like an organism, made up of individual members with their own unique creative talents, thoughts, and opinions. Like a society and every individual that exists, there is an ebb and flow, they rise and fall, and of course change. To survive for so long requires that these changes take place and challenges must be endured.
Q: What would you like santa to bring you for christmas this year?
BC: a new career
Q: i really admire your ability to continue to drive through this tiresome dribble directed towards you. you know what your wanna do, you know you do it well and you know no one can stop you…and i think that's what a true artist is, you're amazing.
BC: God bless you. does it ever occur to these ghosts that if i want to write a simple song, or a bad song, or a long song, or a silly song, that i am conscious enough to know that is what i am doing? when did i get brushed with this notion that i am too dumb to know what i am doing? very silly, these ideas ;)
Q: What is your favourite personal band/artist?
BC: Beatles always. the best ever. bob dylan is a close second. also love love Sabbath.
Q: would extra terrestrial life turn you from your faith or does it not interfere with your own interpretation of god?
BC: would only further confirm it
Q: Is your God only in your head, or does everyone of the same religion have the same God in their mind? Or is it not a matter of one's mind? (that's an easy way out)
BC: your question is not valid to the way i understand God. But feel free to try again ;)
Q: Have you always been religious/spiritual? We didn't discover that you were until a few years ago.
BC: been spiritual my whole life
Q: Then why the hell do you mention God so much?? You're starting to piss me off. ;)
BC: because you are God, so if it pisses you off YOU must hate YOU ;)
Q: Billy, can you suggest me a good modular system (not so expensive)?
Q: This was my favourite facebook page because we got to see someone who actually "made it" talking honestly about the creative process and the the ups and downs of being a Rock Star. You took enough time to read some comments and to reply to them.
BC: thank you. believe it or not i want to be a real… i would love to talk more honestly about my creative process. but environment here is not right. it may get there in time. i can't hold the space on my own.
Q: billy, this is amazing. please dont shut down your page! it's amazing to see how much you care about your music and its a real pleasure for your fans to hear from you! keep updating! it's awesome to watch you in combat vs. the douches who give you too much lip. love it!
BC: fight the good fight (a triumph song)
Q: Public forums like this rarely have a good vibe. Some people seem to have a pathological need to put others down or act negatively. It's a shame as people like me would like to get that type of insight into your process.
BC: it will change, evolve to a positive or it will die. your call. i can be sunshine and light and positive shadow but i am not a lone soldier. you got to want it bad enough to create the space to make the circle sacred and then the best of all of us would come forward. if this site is just a reflection of the culture as a whole then it's just as worthless as the culture it is mirroring. i long for the day i can be me as i am and not as i am expected to be, or as i appear to be in an over-simplified rear view mirror.
Q: we need someone with the power to boot out the assholes. I don't want you to leave.
BC: no, i don't anyone to leave or be booted out. i would prefer that even the negative types can see they can get more by making a positive contribution. positive in the sense of intelligent discourse and not criticism veiled as 'help'. i don't need help.
Q: Billy all you can do is be you and if people don't like it that's their problem your true fans know that you are human with actual feelings! You labored from the bottom up and worked your butt off to enjoy the success you have today….keep rocking!
BC: people do forget i came from nothing. and from nowhere.
Q: I hope it evolves into a positive and doesn't die! Why isn't it the right environment?
BC: too much focus on the past. and believing too much in the caricature of BC drawn by 20 years of tabloid media. those two factors drive the majority of opinion here. now compare those factors to the TOTALITY of the musical output and you decide which means more…
Q: Sometimes — well, most of the time I think — people like that need to figure it out on their own…. As in, they need to come to this realization themselves. :|
BC: yes, the group consciousness will evolve to what serves the group best. if it is narcissism or destruction, that is where the group will go. right now the group here is caught between rumour and innuendo.
Q: How rewarding have you found this first phase of creating and recording this first phase of Teargarden and subsequently finding a great combination with Nicole, Mikey and Jeff in the latest incarnation of SP?
BC: i have found the process of recording TBK to be a strange journey. The first thing i have found, which surprised me, is that over the course of recording it i have lost a lot of my passion for spending so many long hours in the studio. i mean, i'm used to it, but all those years of working alone a lot perhaps have finally fried me out. so the beauty of the situation with Jeff, Nicole, and Mike is that since they are playing their own parts my work time (or heavy focus time) is somewhat reduced. I'm still producing with Bjorn so that is still a lot of responsibility and time, but for the most part i go and get into something else when they are tracking. because i went into Teargarden with the idea that it would be an organic journey AND exploration of hopefully a new ground by which modern SP could operate from, i haven't made a lot of assumptions about the way it should be. Even the initial recording were a bit more raw and loose than i would have normally allowed but Kerry was very vocal about doing things in a more fun way. what i would like fans to understand about Jeff, Mikey, and Nicole is that they have restored my faith about even being in a band! i would see this is a pretty big deal. You can talk about old SP all you want, but they helped to destroy my faith in the band construct, and Zwan only obliterated whatever hope/faith was left. so yes, i never again thought SP would be a 'band' in the literal sense of the word. i was approaching it as more of a collective. Hence bringing in friends like Mark Tulin or even Dave Navarro to give me feedback. And we are still 'open' to our friends, but are now mainly operating as a closed system, and i think that shows on stage. it takes time for a band to 'gel', and not every band clicks at the first go. i feel quite strongly the 4 of us have what it takes to make a new (and just as important in a different way) era of SP that would yield a deep vein of rich music. what is most important for me is this has been an ORGANIC process. no record company put us together. i'm very proud of what we have accomplished so far. Comparing old SP and new SP is inevitable but ultimately misguided. Would you feel more comfortable if i called it 'The Inevitable Bananas'? And do you think we would be any less compared? that is just naive if you think we wouldn't be, especially if would be making SP style music.
Q: what is difficult for a big part of your fans is that you're not "trying" or getting the level of your past music. I like the new songs and the band. I am not stuck in the past but this is not the same commitment in your music. Of course you're not 20 anymore.
BC: some people are just never gonna 'get it'. you want fake bands, fake artists, fake anything, take your pick. real music has to come from an organic source. you can't force it. and when i hear that shit i just hear i'm supposed to force it. and for what end might i ask? all the stuff that is 'beloved' wasn't forced AT THAT TIME. So why start now? ;) if it doesn't work, ok, it doesn't work…find a better artist! switch partners…
Q: Music is about being honest and giving yourself whole to it. Frankly, I do not understand these "fan demands" and never will. I am also sad that Billy/the band have felt pressured by this nonsense over the years.
BC: thank you! me neither…we are not wind-up toys
Q: Billy, you seem to get really ticked off when a fan says anything critical towards you. Have you ever thought of just writing off those comments and answering the ones you agree with?
BC: as i've said before, i'm just pointing out the comments NONE of us should tolerate, not just me. We all need to stop being internet apathetic and create a happy space to talk.
Q: People get a lot of courage when they don't have to speak to your face.
BC: agreed. but WE shouldn't tolerate it. ALL OF US that want a civil discourse shouldn't accept any of it. This is for all of us to share ideas in. Yes, it's my world, not some idealized dystopia, but we can discuss what matters most on a consistent basis i feel.
On The Future:
Q: Don't you feel like every record is another piece of the puzzle? Like, take Gish. It's a great record but you don't need another one. Maybe albums are like relationships. You learn from each one, but you don't need to go and date the same girl over and over, you know?
BC: that is VERY close to how i feel. i explore as much as i can a certain terrain, and then i move on.
Q: Hey Billy, as you said before about re-issuing Machina, is there by any chance Mellon Collie and Zeitgeist going to be re-issued on vinyl?
BC: the plan is to re-issue Mellon Collie with a special remaster for vinyl and also release Aeroplane Flies High on vinyl as well.
Q: The acoustic Machina demos are brilliant, any chance that gets a proper release?
BC: that would all come out as part of the Machina re-issues. i've got so many great plans for putting that stuff out. Just doing our best with EMI (who have been very positive as of late) to create a solid plan. Past EMI administrations only wanted to re-issue Siamese and Mellon Collie and i wasn't having that!
Q: Billy – Do you have the desire/ability to re-release Machina II in a "proper" format? I really love this album and always thought it deserved it.
BC: the hope/desire is to re-mix the entire machina 1 and 2 and properly sequence the record, and make that available with the original mixes released in 2000. i've got my fingers crossed on that to put all the 1987-2000 work whole.
Q: I was thinking about the TBK physical releases, it would be cool if they all had interlocking boxes (or something where they could join up).. so at the end, a person could put them all together to get this complete story and visual art piece of the concept.
BC: that is the eventual hope. and then with time all my songs from 1985 could be put into a 3-d timeline.
Q: so many questions! Would you ever consider having a special show, just for fans? Give fans from all over the world a chance to congregate and hear non-hits and your faves?
BC: never gonna happen. fan base doesn't agree on anything and never will. i wish it were different. we see crowds these days that don't even know Machina songs. it's been 10 years! ship has sailed on a united SP nation
Q: Since TBK is actually a concept album would it be wrong to expect longer, epic, atmospheric songs? Experimental trippy, "progressive"? And, honestly, you are the best idol a fan could want.
BC: we are absolutely headed that way summer 2011 i think you'll see those results
Q: Hello Billy, as a fan of the Pumpkins for over 10 yrs, I've always loved discovering b-sides and demos from each album. Do you have any plans or intentions of releasing unheard songs or alternate versions of songs from the Teargarden project? Like a separate box set or Pisces Iscariot-esque disc?
BC: yes! there are so many demos. it should all be in the box set THAT YOU HAVE TO BUY $$$$ ho-ho-ho
Q: Teagarden songs are some of the best songs you've done in years. do you think you'll ever add any of your solo songs or Zwan songs to your live set?
BC: we actually discussed adding 'of a broken heart' to the SP sets back in the summer, but i decided against it. i think SP should just play SP. i have thought about doing solo acoustic shows that would cover all my fave songs from all eras 1985-2010
Q: Do you think you'll ever dabble with electronica again?
BC: i think Teargarden will have plenty of electronic elements at the end if the day. the newest recordings we just did both have a lot of synth stuff on them, but i don't like to look at it as guitars vs synths. i like it all…more is better. The Fellowship uses ARP 2600, and Oberheim 8 voice!
Q: Billy, will you ever go on Stern's show again? Sounds like he is still a big fan.
BC: i would love to. Howard is a super friendly person, easy to talk to, funny as hell and the best at what he does. i think i just saw he signed a new deal, so congrats to him on that.
Q: Hi Billy! I've been a SP fan since 1995 and have remained so to this day. I'd like to know if you are planning any gigs over here in Europe – to be specific: in Germany… and even more specific: in the eastern part? Any plans yet?
BC : there have been discussions about a Europe tour in 2011. beyond that i haven't seen actual dates or time frames.
Q: Back in the day, you wrote some stories about your childhood. They were extremely well written and gripping. Is that a project that you are going to include in the book you are working on, or maybe a separate memoir someday?
BC: the book will cover those subjects from a spiritual perspective
Q: Billy, I was wondering if you would ever do some sort of charity event for the special needs community in the NW suburbs of Chicago?
BC: i'm always open to help
Q: Billy I know you probably hear this all the time but, keep doing what you're doing. It's been working since 1988 (and obviously before that), and I don't see why it wouldn't work now. Everything sounds perfect to me.
BC: thank you. the key is that the band is an organic unit. and we are. we'll get there and a lot of motherfuckers are gonna eat crow ;)
Q: will you ever add some latin sounds in new songs?
BC: does a harmonica count? ;)
Q: will you ever make a reunion with james, darcy and jimmy?
BC: oh yes! we are all gonna have a unicorn party and ride over the rainbow!! see you there!!! bring lucky charms for the party!!!!! :)
Q: Will you play all 44 songs in concerts after they are released?
BC: the idea is to eventually one day do a Teargarden only show when it is all finished. probably on the release of the box set (someday!)
Q: what era of songs do u plan to play at concerts prior to the completion of Teargarden?
BC: Zzzzzzz. This type of question is why we aren't going to play much anymore. Our set lists have become too political ;)
Q: No matter what setlist you play, it's always an incredible experience seeing you guys play
BC: thank you. the audience experience has been co-opted by false commercial sentimentality. i 'opt-out'
Q: Will you close down this page in a week? Feels like it got off to a great start …but not sure its headed in the most positive/inspiring direction…
BC: remains to be seen. i can only go with the flow. sooner or later my respect will come. and by that i mean i will be measured as others are, thru the merit of their works and not their ability to create a pleasant image. i don't give a wee willy flying fuck if the internet culture is negative. i refuse to bow to that God. i read a CNN piece today about Lady GaGa having to postpone some shows due to messed up weather and the comments were 75pct horribly negative. success means nothing, in fact it only invites hatred now. all are not created equal in talent. and she is talented. and smart.
Q: Since you did put down those tracks more "raw" than you have in the past, do you view the first set of recordings for Teargarden as "finished" work? Or do see them somehow evolving now or down the road?
BC: i might revisit and re-mix and or add/subtract or even re-record later on down the road. always in the plans. great question btw ;)
Q: The way you describe the process is so interesting to read- any chance you're planning to document things like this … sort of memoirs?
BC: i have two books i would love to do on my 'some day' list: a book of all my lyrics with notes, explanations, and some journal entries related to music work (and unseen lyrics never used), and also an SP memoir or music life memoir.
Q: One day it would be awesome if you made a Christmas album.. It would be better than listening to the backstreet boys in every store. :)
BC: it has been discussed as a possibility
the greatest revenge will be to bring all the chaos and doubt and negativity into a clarity that crystalizes in a positivity that cannot be driven under. in order to do that you must be super clear and willing to let go of the familiar. sophisticated fans really do understand the point of the journey as it stands now…
i mean, what is the point of even being in a band if the majority of the audience isn't invested in where you are headed, going…zeitgeist was never designed to be a complete statement like say 'siamese' or 'mellon collie' or 'machina' was. it was seen by us as a place to begin again. instead it was a signal of the bitter end i had just put off for 7 or 8 years.
so i had to go back to the drawing board and re-wire my brain. It has taken a lot of patience on my part to get past the near constant doubt of my ability/direction and also of who i put my faith in to turn this band around. i have never lost faith in me where many have. there is no band in the world like SP, nor will there ever be to come, for better or worse.
what most wouldn't understand is that i have cultivated this doubt around me, and exposed the uncertainties of my journey ON PURPOSE. it is not an act so much as an act of real rebellion. the haters just become part of a sub-plot that makes the gold (and the junk) worth making. the fans who really understand are sophisticated enough to 'get' what is really happening within us