As the Smashing Pumpkins gear up for their summer reunion tour, Billy Corgan happily embraces being a jerk in a new interview with the New York Times. “If I kept my mouth shut, and if I kept my band together, we’d be playing a lot bigger venues and we would be a lot more successful and we’d be in somebody’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” he told the Times. “I’m a class-A heel,” he went on, acknowledging his reputation. “I’d put me two, behind Lou Reed, who’s the king.”
But despite taking some ownership over the Smashing Pumpkins’ 2000 demise, when it comes to the band’s recent reunion drama, Corgan is salty, saying that the bridge between him and the band’s former bassist, D’arcy Wretzky, is burned “forever.” “I think what she did demonstrates why she couldn’t be involved,” he said of Wretzky’s recent public discussion of their feud. “I was vulnerable and shared things and trusted that there was a reason to give it a change, despite plenty of empirical evidence that that was not a wise decision.” Though when it comes to his other bandmates, original members James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, Corgan’s offered a glowing description.“I would say this is the happiest time of the band,” he said.
Corgan didn’t let the interview go by without a veiled hint of self-pity. “I can sit here and tell you all day, ‘I wrote the songs,’ and ‘I was alone in the studio at 12:00 at night, while you were drinking wine on the Riviera,’ you know?” he said. “It seems really irrelevant.” Relevant enough to highlight the specifics, though, it appears. Time passes, lineups change, but Billy Corgan’s perfect combination of humor and angst lives on. We can’t wait for his next feature in the cat magazine Paws Chicago, which he also hinted might be in the works.