Billy Corgan doesn’t want to play fan favourites at Smashing Pumpkins gigs: “I don’t care if they’re a classic or not”

Billy Corgan has said he doesn’t want to exclusively play fan favourites at his shows with Smashing Pumpkins, adding that he “doesn’t care” if the tracks are regarded as classics.

READ MORE: The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘ATUM’ review: bombastic space-rock opera with anthems

The frontman of the alt-rock band shared the update in a new interview with Kerrang!, where he looked ahead to his upcoming UK tour dates with the group.

During the discussion, Corgan gave insight into what to expect from the upcoming setlists – adding that he has no plans to appease fans by playing Smashing Pumpkins’ most famous songs every night.

“I don’t play any songs I don’t want to play. I don’t care if they’re a classic or not,” he told the outlet. “If I don’t want to play it, I just don’t play it. I don’t put that on the audience like, ‘Well, I’ve got to play this one for you.’ I think that’s kind of cheese.”

Instead, he explained, he’d rather incorporate some lesser-known tracks into the performances in the hopes that it’ll not only be more interesting for devoted fans, but also inspire newer listeners to dive into their catalogue.

“Here’s the best way I would say it: the best show for me would be, you’re a fan that really is mostly focused on the older music,” Corgan continued.

“You come and you hear those songs you think, ‘Wow, those sound great, band sounds great. The voice is still there.’ You feel good about your decision to come to the show.”

Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberline and James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins perform live. CREDIT: Scott Legato/Getty Images

He added: “But then you might hear five, six, seven other songs, and you find yourself going, ‘I don’t know this one,’ so you look up one, and go, ‘Oh, that was a deep cut from 1996. I didn’t know that one. It was some B-side. That’s interesting.’

“And then someone making the same discovery about your new stuff, but thinking it was old. I’m not talking about causing confusion. I’m talking about having the person be curious about that.”

Corgan honed in on the comments again later in the discussion, stressing that he thinks musicians can’t “live in the past” by only repeating their most famous releases. He also added that doing so would inevitably lead to the downfall of any act.

“It comes from a good thing, which is that people really love your music, you know what I mean? It’s not a bad thing that they want to hear songs that they love,” Corgan said. “But you can’t live in the past. It’s the death of any artist.”

The band are set to kick off their UK tour dates tomorrow night (June 7) with an opening gig in Birmingham. They’ll then follow this up with further dates in London, Dublin, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester. Visit here for any remaining tickets.

In other Corgan news, the singer recently praised Taylor Swift and defended the length of her latest album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’. In the discussion, the frontman explained that he’s baffled that people complain about artists releasing long albums, and said that he faced a similar issue with Smashing Pumpkins’ latest LP ‘ATUM’, which was released in three parts with a total of 33 songs.

‘ATUM’ scored a four-star review, with Damian Jones writing for NME: “As albums go, ‘ATUM’ is an ambitious body of work and does ask a lot of its audience. But there’s also plenty on here to please any diehard Pumpkins fan.”

Additionally, Corgan announced the news in February that he would be releasing a new unscripted series called Adventures In Carnyland. The show will reportedly focus on his involvement in wrestling – with the musician serving as the president of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) since 2017 – and the trailer dropped last month.

The post Billy Corgan doesn’t want to play fan favourites at Smashing Pumpkins gigs: “I don’t care if they’re a classic or not” appeared first on NME.

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