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Billy Corgan: Kurt Cobain And I Were 'Competitors'

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 8, 2014 10:30PM

2013_11_10_Billy Corgan.jpg Photo courtesy of PAWS Chicago

Before Kanye West, the Chicago musician with the biggest ego healthiest level of confidence was Billy Corgan. Actually, the Great Pumpkin can still get ornery as he enters rock elder statesman status.

Corgan is promoting the new Smashing Pumpkins LP, Monuments to an Elegy and touched upon a number of subjects in an interview with The Independent, including how he tries to keep the Pumpkins relevant in the current rock landscape, compromising to reach a modern audience and the highs and lows of the Pumpkins since he reformed the band in 2007.

“I don’t feel chastened. I feel like I had to give up some form of idealism,” Corgan said. “But (Monuments) doesn’t feel compromised. I don’t think it has the bitter taste of someone who’s finally had to grow up and do his homework.”

Eventually the focus shifted to the '90s and the Pumpkins' greatest commercial success, which is where Corgan displayed his competitive streak and offered this money quote when asked about Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

”In the purest sense of the word, we were competitors. He and I were the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third.”

Corgan also had this to say about Cobain.

”I like to think the world with him would have been a better place, and I like to think a lot of the crap music that followed wouldn’t have existed if he had been around to criticize it. Because he had the moral standing to slay generations with a strike of the pen.”

Monuments to an Elegy is out now.

[h/t Consequence of Sound]