Billy Corgan and the other two current The Smashing Pumpkins (the three together make up 3/4 of the band’s classic lineup) went on the record with Zane Lowe for his Beats 1 program on Apple Music just a few weeks ago. During the extended conversation, Corgan was joined by James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin for a conversation about the band’s upcoming new album Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. that drops on November 16. The interview garnered a few headlines, but it many missed what may be the most significant revelation in a discussion that included several noteworthy moments.
Towards the end of the interview, around the 27:00 mark of the video, Corgan talks about the band’s approach to releasing music right now. He explains that as opposed to previous The Smashing Pumpkins albums, their approach to releasing music now is much more casual and less thematic and conceptual. Chamberlin and Iha both agreed with the band’s frontman when he stated that he believed it was an easier approach to releasing music for those two members. Initially, the band was planning to release a pair of EPs, but recently changed that approach with the announcement of their new LP, which will be the band’s first since Monuments of an Elegy in 2014 and the first with Chamberlin and Iha
Then, Corgan revealed that he does harbor hopes that in the future the band can go back to writing one last grand, operatic released ala Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. He makes it clear that just because a song is released in a casual, non-conceptual manner right now, that doesn’t mean it won’t be included on this future “rock opera” project. He points out that perhaps the most obvious example of this older approach to album creation, Mellon Collie…, was both highly influential as well as being one of the best selling albums of all time. “It’s not like we weren’t rewarded when we really went there and we went there well,” he said. “So we do have a history of why we would want to do Bat Out of Hell 2.”
The latter line is obviously a reference to Meatloaf’s famous sequel to his original master work Bat Out of Hell. The second installment in the Bat Out of Hell series came out 16 years after the release of his original solo debut, producing one of the most beloved songs in the pop canon, “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).” If a new conceptual The Smashing Pumpkins album can be like their own Bat Out of Hell 2 to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, alternative rock fans around the world will surely rejoice.
The Smashing Pumpkins are getting ready for a new tour of limited shows this winter celebrating their 30th anniversary. The tour will run from October through December.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried