Smashing Pumpkins bring new music to Chaifetz, Corgan sends best wishes for the Cardinals
by Scott Kiefer
It's about being fresh, and giving an experience to the fans
by Scott Kiefer
For 90's alt-rocker Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, it's all about making new music and taking the journey with the band, rather than hashing out a greatest hits tour to keep his music alive. Fronting his band, with all new members Mike Byrn on drums, Nicole Fiorentino on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Jeff Schroeder on rhythm guitar, Corgan and the Pumpkins are currently on a nationwide tour that stops at the Chaifetz Arena Thursday night.
"We are opening the show by playing the entire Oceania album," Corgan said in a telephone interview. "The Smashing Pumpkins are and always have been about bringing new music to the people. However, this time we are doing it in a different manner."
The band has been on tour promoting the album, and has been splitting the show into two parts, the first part playing Oceania in its entirety, and in the second portion of the show, the band plays their hits and cuts from their previous albums, which have been few and far between.
"A lot of people have went out and played their albums in entirety on like the 25th anniversary and things like that," Corgan said. "We are taking a different approach, by introducing our new music to the people this way. It will give them the opportunity to not only maybe hear the music for the first time, but to actually experience the music. This is an experience, not just a concert."
Corgan believes that there may be some risks involved but feels that after the fans who attend the shows hear the music, it will give them the opportunity to make up their own minds.
"The music video isn't as prominent as it was in the nineties," Corgan said. ""It's harder to get radio airplay today more than ever, and this is the way for the people to actually get to hear the music. After that, they can decide if they want to go out and buy the record or not. Too many times, people just get to hear the songs that are chosen for them to hear, whether it be the label or a song is pushed by radio. This way, they get to hear the whole album and make up their own mind."
The Smashing Pumpkins began the fall leg of the tour on October 10 in Washington and will continue through November 4 in Connecticut.
In addition to the music, Corgan says the band focused on a visual experience for the concert-goers as well.
"We have Sean Evans on board with us, he designed Roger Waters "The Wall" stage design and lighting technologies for his last tour," Corgan said. "We've got something that is technologically new, and designed just for us."
Corgan is speaking of sphere that projects images that correlate with the music in the show. However, without the new technology, it wouldn't be possible, according to Corgan.
"It seems for whatever reason that when something is projected in a circular design, them images tend to blur around the edges," Corgan said. "At first we thought that we wouldn't be able to accomplish what we wanted, but Sean and his team designed a specific computer program that will make the images clear. It is actually groundbreaking."
Speaking of technology, Corgan says he feels that in today's environment, with the internet, and mass media, that today's youth don't really get the chance to experience rock and roll.
"Let's face it," Corgan said, "Rock and Roll is about two things: youth and having a good time. It always has been, and always will be. There's no changing that. With the internet blasting things away at you 24/7 from your computer, your phone, not mention television, and whatever else device there is, it's hard to keep the attention span of today's youth. Or anybodies for that matter. They may know about something, but if it's not good, they aren't going to remember it. When I make music that's what I strive for, to make something that people are going to remember. That they are going to experience. Hopefully, they will remember the experience of the first time they heard the music. That's what we're trying to do with this tour."
Corgan also said that playing the older music is a part of any tour by any act.
"We've got to play the hit songs, and cuts off the older albums, we'd be stupid if we didn't," Corgan added. "With that being said, we will always be making new music, and looking for new fans but we aren't intending to forget about the music we made along the way. I will never let the Pumpkins turn into a greatest hits band, that goes out every year and plays the same old show, and never moves forward like some of these bands have over the years. We'll keep making new music, and looking for new fans all over the world to bring it to."
The band have already begun work on their next album, in which according to Corgan they are optimistic in aiming for a December 2013 release date.
An avid Chicago Cubs baseball fan, Corgan is very familiar with St. Louis Cardinals baseball. This interview being done before the Cards advanced to the NLCS, Corgan had this to say about the team:
"I have been to see the Cardinals play at Busch Stadium my entire life when the Cubs played there," Corgan said. "I have also seen the Cardinals play here in Chicago. They are a first class baseball club, by any one's standards. St. Louis is a great baseball town, too. I think (Mike) Matheny is doing a great job as a manager, but I can still see some 'Tony ball' in there. I think it's going to be a great mix. I honestly do wish them the best of luck in the post-season."
Who: The Smashing Pumpkins
When: October 18 7:30 p.m.
Where: Chaifetz Arena
Tickets: $35 and $49.50