Corgan was recently on the Build series with his three-year-old son Augustus to discuss his band’s new album Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1. The musician also talked about Smashing Pumpkins’ influences and the 90s alternative rock sound that both his and Kurt Cobain‘s bands helped shape.
While talking about the importance of music for him growing up, Corgan discusses what it was like growing up in the suburbs. He believes heavy metal was the culture for people like him because they could relate to the angst and the lack of perspective.
According to the musician, bands like Metallica unleashed a set of emotions in the suburban underground, something the Smashing Pumpkins would also do later.
Following this reflection, the interviewer asks if there are any genres or artists today who are capable of unleashing the same feeling. Corgan’s response? AP’s November cover star Lil Peep.
“Unfortunately, Lil Peep, probably of all the artists I’ve heard recently tapped into that same angst,” he explains. “And it’s so sad he passed away because he was just getting to the bigger part of this work.”
The frontman continues to say that he felt “exactly the same vibe” when hearing Lil Peep. He goes on to describe the feeling of a suburban kid, who only knows what’s in their small town.
Plus, he notes that “getting out is the survival instinct” for them, something music helps create.
Did Nirvana rip off this band?
Corgan also talks about the 90s alternative rock sound, noting the heavy metal influence on Pumpkins’ albums.
“I’m not saying we were the only ones, but Nirvana and the Pumpkins kind of opened the door, where it was cooler for alternative bands to be heavy,” he offers. “Before that point, not a lot of alternative bands were heavy, unless it was Stooges-ish, because it was seen as kind of punk.”
The interviewer goes on to point out the different routes both bands took, and Corgan interrupts him, saying he hears the Black Sabbath influence in Nirvana’s music.
Additionally, he notes something else: Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” actually sounds “right out” Killing Joke.
“… Obviously “Come As You Are” was right out Killing Joke. And Killing Joke was very influenced by Sabbath. So, there’s a direct lineage from Judas Priest and Sabbath through Killing Joke to alternative music,” Corgan says. “But the problem is you would get in the room with a critic who would look down his nose at the heavy metal influences, so the bands just wouldn’t mention it.”
You can watch the interview in full below: