Billy Corgan Explains How 'Gish' Influenced Pearl Jam, Nirvana And QOTSA

By Katrina Nattress

June 1, 2021

Smashing Pumpkins' debut album Gish turned 30 last week, and ahead of the anniversary Billy Corgan chatted with Rolling Stone about how the record influenced some of the biggest names in grunge, including Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

“I remember having a conversation with Eddie Vedder when we were on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers," he recalled. "He told me how much of an influence Gish was on [Pearl Jam's] first record.”

And he's not the only musician to credit the album as inspiration. “Through the years, I’ve talked to many, many people who really pointed to Gish as the game-changer in their mind about how to approach guitar and how to record,” Corgan noted.

Butch Vig co-produced the album with Corgan in 1990-91, during that same time he was also working on what would become quite possibly the biggest grunge album of all time, Nirvana's Nevermind. According to Corgan, their session “had a lot to do with how Nevermind was recorded.”

Gish also had a hold on Josh Homme. “The album had a lot to do with what became Queens of the Stone Age," Corgan added. "I remember Josh Homme talking to me about Kyuss, the band he was in before Queens, and how Gish was the record for him that really turned his head."

The Pumpkins recently released Gish merch on their online store to celebrate the milestone. They're also encouraging fans to share their favorite Gish memories and launched a digital scavenger hunt via social media, where one lucky fan will win “the ultimate Gish merch collection.”

Photo: Getty Images

Smashing PumpkinsNirvanaPearl JamQueens of the Stone Age
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