Billy Corgan

American musician

William Patrick Corgan[1] (born March 17, 1967), most commonly known as Billy Corgan, is an American vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his work in the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins.

Billy Corgan


  • I get more out of life just being myself, by just being a human being. Not by being a rock star, not by being whatever. Sometimes I act like a jerk, but I think people respect me for being myself. That's the ultimate thing about the Smashing Pumpkins.
    • Lewman, Mark. Dirt Magazine. 1992.
  • It's about the girlfriend who left me last year. I tried to put all my anger in those words, even though I'm just as much to blame for the break-up. 'Soma' is based on the idea that a love relationship is almost the same as opium: it slowly puts you to sleep, it soothes you, and gives you the illusion of sureness and security. Very deceivable.
    • regarding "Soma"; van den Berg, Erik. "Smashing Pumpkins." Oor. 10 June 1993.
  • ...Instead of taking the 'I'm cool, I hope you adore me' path (with my music), I chose the path of how to connect. I think that's the reason a lot of people feel a deeper connection with our band than other bands, and I also feel that's why people polarize on us. If you don't get it, it seems preposterous; if you do get it, it's really heavy -- it has a weight to it.
    • "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Success." LIVE! Magazine. August 1996.
  • There's a really a cold, cold side to my personality that I'm not really comfortable with. I'm constantly dealing with that side of my personality versus my overly sentimental side… There's just a side that's a real motherfucker side; it's nothing I want to admit or even look at. It's where a lot of my strength lies. It's been the part of me that's been able to steel my spine against situations that probably would have broken a lot of people, or caused them to jump off the loop.
    • "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Success." LIVE! Magazine. August 1996.
  • About six months ago, I listened to Siamese Dream. That was the first time I'd ever really heard my own album, because I had separated from the experience of making the record. And it really moved me. It made me cry, it's so beautiful.
    • "Out on a Limb." Details Magazine. October 1996.
  • The Pumpkins love rock-and-roll, we absolutely love it, but we also think it's a flatulent, ego-serving kiddie playground. You can have your cake and eat it too.
    • "Out on a Limb." Details Magazine. October 1996.
  • I'm Irish and I was born on St. Patrick's Day. I'm lucky sevens.
    • Corgan, William. Interview. Chicago Sports Channel. April 1997.
  • People always called The Cure gloomy, but listening to The Cure made me happy. There was something about the gloominess that gave me comfort, and I think we're the same way.
  • We're like a really nice drink. We help people get through the day--we make life a little sunnier. I don't think we have any profound effect. If anybody has had a profound effect, it's The Beatles, and their effect is still minimal. There are things in the world way more important than music. Family is 50 times more important than music.
  • My mother came to a Smashing Pumpkins gig once, and I was wearing a dress. She was very upset. She said, 'Everyone's gonna think you're a fag.' I said,'Well, they already think I'm an asshole.'
    • Rolling Stone. 23 January 1997.
  • Actually, I was having dinner with Michael (Stipe, of R.E.M.) when our second album went platinum, which up until that point was the highest success we'd ever had. And he turned to me during dinner and said, 'Welcome to the deep waters, kid.' I'll never forget that.
    • Icon Magazine. April 1998.
  • One of the other reasons that we quit having journalists come here is because they would kind of hang out for several days, and they'd see me around at the clubs, and the story would get written and it would be me and my 'disciples' or my 'acolytes.' The word acolyte - that's like fuck you. These are my friends, but because they're not Billy Corgan or Helena Christensen, they become my 'posse' or my 'followers,' and it's like, fuck you for insulting my friends like that. That's so fucking incredible to me.
    • Icon Magazine. April 1998.
  • This is not a reaction against a negative world. It's a response to a negative world.
    • regarding Adore, Guitar World. July 1998.
  • I don't necessarily believe that the sting of failure is a bad thing. It gives you a certain amount of freedom to just say fuck it!
    • Guitar World. July 1998.
  • ...What people miss about (Marilyn) Manson is that he is just reflecting, he's an artist, people want to focus that energy on him, but it's not really him, it's really about you. So for every guy sitting there with a beer and a .45 in his belt, Manson is just speaking to that end of society. He's speaking as an artist. He's not speaking as himself, and that's where people get really lost with Manson.
  • Music is 99% of my life. But I know I need a break. Besides, if you give people too much, they start to not want it. We need to restrain ourselves.
  • Life is everything and nothing all at once.

Smashing Pumpkins (1996)


Stapleton, Jim. Smashing Pumpkins (Interview disk and fully illustrated book). Carlton Books Ltd. 1996

  • The simplest way that I can understand therapy is that we're born a certain way, we're taught to be something different, and we spend our whole lives trying to unravel it and ultimately align ourselves with who we really are. Life, experiences, traumas -- whatever -- they all add up to make you some altered version of what you are. So there's this battle that goes on between what you are and what you become, and it's been very important for me to unravel what I was taught to be or what I became. and to draw a direct parallel to music -- the closer I get back to being who I really am, the stronger the music gets, because I think what talent I do have is connected to that person, it's not a manipulative process, it's intuitive. You can learn about chords and guitars, but there's a piece of you that makes it individual, and it's been a slow process for me to become whatever it is that I'm supposed to be.
  • I think the original, 'They're the next Jane's Addiction' things that people said about us in the beginning have been pretty much wiped out.
  • I have a hard time thinking of men trying to sing my songs, because I think my perspective is very much feminine... For me the idea of having a feminine perspective is a willingness to be vulnerable. It's very easy to cock-rock and posture. I can't help but wear my heart on my sleeve—I'm like nervous endings. That's just the way that I am and, to me, that's very female because it's not a male thing to do. A male thing to do would be to fuckin' posture.
  • The closer I get back to being who I really am, the stronger the music gets.
  • When you move artistically, the natural inclination is to denounce everything that's gone before.
  • My earliest memory is of feeling different. My parents told me that I wasn't like other children.
  • To me, music was about being accepted and escaping from this crummy existence.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins was never meant to be a small band. It was going to either be a big band, or a no band.
  • We have a problem with any labels that people try to hang on us, because all it does is drag you down.
  • People act like Nirvana invented grunge; they just took it and personified it.
Wikipedia has an article about:
  1. Billy Corgan. IMDb.