Over the last few years alone, the music industry has undergone a lot of changes. Social media platforms, such as TikTok, have become huge drivers of artists’ success. Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, however, isn’t concerned about following these music trends, and has explained why they still plan to release a 33-track album.
The Pumpkins’ newest project is a three-part “rock opera” album titled ATUM, which is meant to serve as the follow-up to 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina/The Machines of God, and Act 1 was just released today (Nov. 15). The second part will be available Jan. 31 and the third and final one will be out April 21. In total, 33 songs make up all three parts, which isn’t a common amount of tracks to release in such a short amount of time.
Speaking with Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez, Corgan admitted that he received a bit of pushback about dropping so much music at once, considering the human attention span is so short today.
“I think there’s this sense that you have people’s attention for a very brief moment of time, and if you can’t capitalize on that attention, ‘It won’t work.’ Like, it won’t work in the modern frame of business,” Corgan stated. “You take a pop artist who has 70 million followers on Instagram… Well, we don’t have 70 million followers on Instagram. We can’t rely on a social audience to drive our message.”
“So somebody from the record business would say, ‘Look, you’re gonna get people’s attention here for a hot second. You’re putting out this album. Why wouldn’t you want to try to maximize that moment? If you’re gonna ask them to try to distill 33 songs over a period of time over a podcast, they’re just not gonna stay with you.'”
Well, Corgan doesn’t agree with that record business executive’s outlook.
“I have had an audience stay with me on and off for 34 years,” he responded, adding that it’s easy for an artist to be upset that they don’t have as much of a social following as another artist does.
“What you really need to stay on is like, ‘Oh my god, we have this incredible opportunity. After 34 years, we still have a bunch of people who want to come see us. Thousands and thousands of people still want to see us, still want to talk about our music, still want to listen. All our streaming numbers are through the roof, tons of young people have come to listen to the band recently,” he continued.
With that, the frontman acknowledged that The Smashing Pumpkins were never meant to be a band that the entire world would like, but that they’ve had a humbling experience throughout their career nonetheless.
To hear more about the stories behind ATUM and Corgan’s podcast, Thirty-Three With William Patrick Corgan, tune into Loudwire Nights tonight at 7PM ET. You can also follow Loudwire Nights on Twitter to stay up to date on upcoming interviews.