Saturday, May 04, 2013

Ken Turner Blog Series: Influences and Inspirations Blog Entry #7 - SMASHING PUMPKINS

"People always called the Cure gloomy, but listening to the Cure made me happy. There was something about the gloominess that gave me comfort, and I think we're the same way." 
- Billy Corgan

Without a doubt for me the Smashing Pumpkins were the band of bands growing up in the 90s.  The alternative rock band not only could play loud with the best of them but could play soft like not other and still integrate heart into each and every song.  This is a rare combination not be had in a lot of bands of that era.  They could play rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic, folk, electronica and still manage to make it all work together.

Formed in 1988 Chicago by original members Billy Corgan, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlain and D'arcy Wretzky went on to become one of the most successful bands of the 90's.  Now in 2013, through many iterations Corgan remains along with new band members Mike Byrne, Nicole Fiorentino (who happens to be the girl on the cover of 93's Siamese Dream) and Jeff Schroeder.

 The Pumpkins music videos were iconic in that they not only artfully captured the song but took the craft of the music video to another level.  I haven't seen a string of music videos done by one band and with as much popularity as the ones the Pumpkins were involved in ever since.

The following are my favorites along with album art covers:

 GISH (1991)

"Gish was the best representation of where we were at the time." - Billy Corgan



"As dark a records as 'Siamese Dream' is, there’s a lot of fun in it, it's almost like we’re kind of laughing at how stupid the whole thing is. It’s like, here’s my pop song about suicide and here’s my epic song about child abuse, and here’s my big middle finger to the indie world." - Billy Corgan



"It's something that we've been talking about for a long time. It just seemed like something of a challenge and we wanted to bring everything that we've been trying to accomplish with the band musically to its fruition. Just put it all out and than sort of move on to a new sound the next time around. We felt we really couldn't do that with one album." - D'arcy Wretzky




ADORE (1998)

"The Pumpkins record is more of a down record. It's less about rock...It's sort of half-organic, half-electric. It's sort-of hard to say what it is, actually." - James Iha




"We spent most of the time trying to take the songs as far as they could be taken down a particular avenue. So if it was gonna be proto-cyber metal, we tried to make it very proto and very cyber. If it was acoustic, then we tried to not fall into the typical ballad-y kind of aspects. That's where we spent most of our time. The songs were probably written in about a day." - Billy Corgan



OCEANIA (2012)

"We are the most beloved and hated band in the world." - Billy Corgan

Next time on the Influences and Inspirations : The Master of Stop Motion Animation



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