The Smashing Pumpkins: The Great Pumpkin
GW What accounts for the enduring appeal of Mellon Collie?
CORGAN It was a really beautiful time, because the band was in sync, the practice space sounded amazing, we had the best producer in the world in Flood, and we were just flying at 1,000 miles an hour; I couldn’t write songs fast enough to keep up with the passion of the band. There are such extremes on the album: “X.Y.U.” is total Pumpkins brutality—seven minutes about death and fucking—and “1979” is a Sonic Youth/New Order take on bittersweet adolescent life. And then there’s “33,” a gentle, open-G tuned acoustic piece with a beautiful lilting melody.
GW Because of the expansiveness of Mellon Collie, are there tracks that you feel may have been overlooked?
CORGAN There are a few songs that, on a different record, would have been singles. There were seven singles from Mellon Collie, which is a lot. If I had it to do over again, I would have taken about four songs off and put them on the next album. In that way, some of the songs that I thought were the best of all didn’t get much attention. We spent much more time working on the crap songs, trying to make them good enough to be on the album. I fought the band on “Thru the Eyes of Ruby.” We worked on it for six months before I felt it was good enough to be included.
GW What are your feelings about the Smashing Pumpkins today?
CORGAN I am still wrestling to the ground the concept of the Smashing Pumpkins. It’s so hard to explain, because it sounds improper in the public forum, but to me, I am a Smashing Pumpkin. It doesn’t matter to me that there is no band. It is so much a part of my identity.
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