"All we ever wanted to do in this band is kick people's ass": The Smashing Pumpkins on '80s Marshalls, epic guitar arrangements and their essential pedals

Billy Corgan (left) and James Iha perform with Smashing Pumpkins at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

The following interview was featured in the December 1995 issue of Guitar World.

"Yep, we've played some really awful jams in this room." Billy Corgan laughs, his sweeping gesture taking in the wide expanse of the Smashing Pumpkins' rehearsal space. 

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Alan di Perna

In a career that spans five decades, Alan di Perna has written for pretty much every magazine in the world with the word “guitar” in its title, as well as other prestigious outlets such as Rolling Stone, Billboard, Creem, Player, Classic Rock, Musician, Future Music, Keyboard, grammy.com and reverb.com. He is author of Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits, Green Day: The Ultimate Unauthorized History and co-author of Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Sound Style and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. The latter became the inspiration for the Metropolitan Museum of Art/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll.” As a professional guitarist/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist, Alan has worked with recording artists Brianna Lea Pruett, Fawn Wood, Brenda McMorrow, Sat Kartar and Shox Lumania.