Whether or not you are or you've been a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan, their enigmatic ability to endure a career in the ever-changing music business for the past two and a half decades is quite impressive.
Much like a child actor's transition into adult roles, we've seen more than a few '90s-era bands fail miserably while attempting to become relevant to the music scene as it stands today. The Pumpkins aren't altogether exempt from that category, although it can be said with at least some certainty that that anti-transition is all part of Corgan's master plan.
Having lamented at length during a recent conversation with yours truly upon the negative current that runs through the music business today – whether it be the industry's innate desire to make money despite the cost or the unique ability of the press to hate everything – Corgan's plan for not only the future of the Pumpkins, but the music business as a whole seems to be thoroughly developed and, well, different.
So, what does that mean for those who've always been and always plan to be Smashing Pumpkins fans and have enjoyed, time after time, watching the grandiose live shows they never cease to bring through town? Well, in short, this might be your last chance to see them on grand stages such as the one they'll take at the Palace on 10/23.
"I have a four or five-ish year plan to get out of all this and evolve the Pumpkins into something else," says, effectively avoiding any specifics. More forthcoming with his what he sees as big shortcomings in the industry and how he plans to change the game, Corgan seems confident he's the right man to turn the music business on its head.
"I stand in this very unique place where we can build an entirely new franchise. It's just very hard to do," he says.
"I'd like to turn this business into something much more sustainable," says Corgan. "There are so many talented artists out there and why should they bend to the business just so someone else can make money?"
Having recently dropped a new album that's receiving quite a bit of critical acclaim, frontman Billy Corgan says with almost a bittersweet tone that Oceania's been the catalyst for many of the group's older fans to rejoin the ranks of their followers. Citing that he's had more than a few folks relate to him that the Pumpkins' newest album elicited an interest in their previous title, Zeitgeist, as well as Corgan's solo work.
"With Oceania, we've really been able to take a step forward," he says. "This period reminds me of the time before Siamese Dream. It's almost like when we came out with Gish."
While any artist would be happy to be celebrating yet another successful work after so many years in a business that's getting tougher to survive in everyday, Corgan says there are still a lot of obstacles he and that band have encountered.
"All these old bands are running around playing all their old albums, so it's difficult to compete with that. But we've gained a lot of ground with the album and this tour," he says.
While they'll be playing a few of their older hits, don't expect this to be a greatest hits show, but rather something more of a narrative telling the story of the past, present and perhaps even elusive future of the Smashing Pumpkins.
"Anytime you put the Pumpkins on tour, it's like a ball of fire," says Corgan. | RDW
Smashing Pumpkins • 10/23, 7:30 p.m. • Palace of Auburn Hills • 6 Championship Drive, Auburn Hills • palacenet.com • 248.337.0100 • $25/$40