Billy Corgan Explains Why Meeting Britney Spears Made Him Respect Pop Stars

By Katrina Nattress

October 5, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Billy Corgan told an interesting story about the one and only time he met Britney Spears on the latest episode of his Thirty-Three With William Patrick Corgan podcast, admitting that it changed his perspective on pop stars.

“When pop came in hard at the end of the nineties, I was in a room once at the Chateau Marmont with Bono, Britney Spears, Natalie Imbruglia, Daniel Johns from Silverchair and a bunch of other celebrities – typical Hollywood," he recalled. "I met Britney for the one and only time, and that was when Britney was at the hot peak of Britney craziness – 19-year old Britney. I looked and thought this is just a human being, not a cartoon. This is a human being who has navigated Disney and all this stuff. I started to really look at the pop people and thought, if anyone reaches the top of this mountain, you've got to give them respect. It kind of changed my mind.”

Elsewhere in the episode, he debuted "Embracer," a new track off Smashing Pumpkins' upcoming rock opera ATUM. “'Embracer' is an interesting song…Not everything in music is an immediate sensory feeling," he explained. "There are those moments where you write the riff of 'Cherub Rock' and think, ‘This is something!’ Other songs are sort of like a romance – they take time to develop and you really find the heart and soul of a song. There's a personal taste in ['Embracer'] that I like in terms of things I like to hear and feel when I do music. Maybe I am biased, because I wrote the song, but I don't always love everything I do to the extent that I want to listen to it…I really do love this song in particular. This being the fourth song of the ATUM thirty-three songs. This song returns to the narrative of [the character of June] in space.”  

YUNGBLUD also joined the show, where he revealed he has a finished psychedelic album that he hopes to release sometime. “I’ve got another album – I don't know when it's going to come out. It was [recorded around] New Year's Day 2021… we made a full psychedelic rock album in a month and it's just sitting there, and I don't know when it will come out yet," he divulged. "I just want to kind of drop it and let it be a thing. I don’t want to work a psychedelic rock album. There’s no singles, just one kind of feeling the whole way through that I just want to drop at some point. Everyone is going to ask me what the single is – I just want to let it be.” 

Corgan will share new episodes of the Thirty-Three podcast every week, where he plans to unveil new songs off ATUM. The album will be released in acts, with Act 1 coming out 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, being released on April 21, 2023.

Listen to the latest episode of Thirty-Three With William Patrick Corgan above.

Smashing PumpkinsBritney Spears
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