Reply To: Zeitgeist a let down?

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(part 5)

“United States”

“It started off as this weird little shuffle thing. We were arguing back and forth in November of ‘05 whether we should have a shuffle on the record. Billy wanted a shuffle. So it became a search for a new way to do a shuffle. We were also listening to Fela, all these 14-minute Nigerian jams and watching documentaries about him. So we went down this road of seeing how power can come from repetition.” Jimmy Chamberlin

“In Pumpkins logic, if you’re going to make people wait for six minutes for the payoff, the money shot better be good. Ultimately, this became the musical statement of the album. The drum take is one of Jimmy’s crowning achievements. It’s worth the price of admission. Lyrically, the song reflects the decision I made when we were in Scottsdale to stop watching all network or cable news. I noticed the effect that had on me–I stopped being afraid. In general, I’m not afraid of getting on the stage in front of 60,000 people, so why should I be afraid of a plane crashing into my house? I was trying to wrap my head around the way we’re being force-fed a level of paranoia. It’s a personal reflection on what it all means. The ‘revolution’ in the lyrics isn’t the revolution of picking up a gun. That’s never worked, and it never will work. Jesus was right.” Billy Corgan


“We were about to break for Christmas at the end of ‘05, and it was sort of the last day at school, musically. We were about to pack up and I said, ‘Let’s try to write one more song,’ and Jimmy said ‘Okay.’ So that song comes from that little bit of extra effort. I’ve heard Dylan talk about writing songs like being a gamble and a hot streak. Once you’re on the roll, you have to keep going.” Billy Corgan

“We always say it’s the extra ten percent that makes a hundred percent difference in what we do. And that song is one of my favorites.” Jimmy Chamberlin

“Bring The Light”

“This was one of the songs we had earmarked for Roy Thomas Baker to produce. As we later told Roy, we had heard all these stories about him being completely insane which turned out not to be true. He’s one of the most hard-working, aware and brilliant people we’ve ever worked with and we couldn’t wait to hear what he did with that song.” Billy Corgan

“For me that track is all about Roy–the way he produced, that drum sound. Roy doesn’t produce songs; he produces moments. We were constantly trying our best to put a smile on Roy’s face.” Jimmy Chamberlin

“(Come On), Let’s Go!”

“That was one of the original riffs that I brought from Chicago when we went to Scottsdale. The problem with a song like that is you’ve got this great riff and then that’s all you’ve got. The riff comes in two minutes. Then you take weeks out of your life being a slave to that riff. We really have a love-hate relationship with the riff songs.” Billy Corgan

“The real problem is after that great riff, you need another great riff.” Jimmy Chamberlin

“For God And Country”

“In the beginning, before it went disco, that one was very Morricone and kinda bad.” Jimmy Chamberlin

“I started the song on an acoustic guitar, and I just loved something about hearing the words ‘God and Country’ coming out of my mouth because I’m just not that patriotic. It was like our ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ So I have this cheap synthesizer that is our go-to instrument when we don’t know what to do, and I started playing the chords and pushing different buttons and ultimately settled on a dance rhythm. What makes the song even more bizarre is that you have a sort of political message to a disco beat–thanks to Roy who mixed it like an old Donna Summer dance track. I told him the bass was just too loud and he gave me a face like I was taking away his toy. Of course, Roy was right.” Billy Corgan

Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanlinessAnd cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like meIntoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness