Billy Corgan Thinks The Music Industry Is 'Designed To Mess With Your Head'

By Katrina Nattress

September 23, 2022

Photo: Jonathan Weiner

Billy Corgan has overcome a lot to get where he is today, but during a new interview (via Loudwire), when asked about his personal happiness in this stage in life after enduring an abusive childhood, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman had some choice words about the music industry.

"I don't know if you can be happy in the music business because the music business is sort of designed to mess with your head," he confessed.

"I think the music business in particular has been very late to the game with mental health and artists," Corgan added. "You spoke about Jimi Hendrix. We lost Jimi Hendrix at 27 years old to addiction and think of all the music that Jimi Hendrix didn't make. We're still talking about Jimi Hendrix 54 or 55 years after his death. I get lost in there because it's so sad to me."

Hendrix, who died in 1970, was not an isolated incidence either. Corgan than spoke about his own generation of musicians. "Think of all the people my generation has lost just to addiction and suicide alone. It is a travesty that there wasn't more support systems around those artists," he lamented. "I don't mean to throw shade at anybody. I just know how the business works. It's one of exploitation."

That being said, Corgan is grateful that he's been able to stay active in the business despite it all. "I feel blessed, so that's the start of every sentence," he said. "I would just like people to say he made it through, and if that inspired them to try harder, great. I'm not trying to be that role model, but I don't want to be on the other end of the casualty list."

The Smashing Pumpkins recently unveiled their 33-track rock opera ATUM. The album is broken into three 11-track acts, which will all be released digitally. Act 1 is slate for November 15; Act 2 on January 31, 2023, and Act 3 along with a special edition boxset featuring all 33 album tracks plus 10 additional unreleased songs, will be released on April 21, 2023.

But fans will be able to hear the tracks before even those dates. Corgan launched a podcast series called Thirty-Three with William Patrick Corgan, where he debuts each of the new tracks and give fans insight into each of them. In addition to new music, each episode will also boast Smashing Pumpkins history and a classic track, as well as special guests. The first episode, about the title track, features David Bowie's longtime pianist Mike Garson, and the second episode, "Butterfly Suite," features sound engineer/producer Tommy Lipnick.

ATUM is the conceptual sequel to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Machina/The Machine of God. Listen to the first two episodes of Thirty-Three with William Patrick Corgan above.

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