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Forum: General

Topic: The Smashing Pumpkins suck

This topic contains 4 replies, has 665 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Im a Cult Hero Im a Cult Hero 9 years, 5 months ago.

On I’m a Cult Hero wrote:

Ooh controversial topic heading! :P
Sorry, this is just a blog I just posted, I’m interested in hearing fellow spfreaks opinions on. (no its not an attack on the pumpkins, despite the topic heading ;))

I’ve just been thinking about the Pumpkins, their history, their present, their future and my involvement & obsession with them. I thought I’d blog my thoughts because….well I’ve nothing better to do, though I’m going to shower, then watch No Country for old men, then meet up with my GF :P

Aaaannyway…..\"the Pumpkins suck\" is a familiar criticism of the band, as I’m sure all you other Pumpkinheads out there have heard time and time again, since time imemoriable. As eloquent a critique as that is, lets examine it, what has always been the motivation behind this battle cry? Fashion. Not music. Fashion.
The simple fact is that everything the pumpkins ever do and ever have done, is never trendy, it’s never fashionable…..that is….it’s not *when* they do/invent it, 5 years down the road however, everyone is doing it and aplauded for it.
For example, you know that elecctro-folk thats so \"in\" right now? Who could possibly have been doing that back in 1998? Hmm, I wonder….(take some notes fashion victims at pitchfork).
The Pumpkins are without doubt the least cool of the 90’s bands, and thank god for that! They are far and away the most creative, and the most technically talented band not just of the 90’s but at least the last 30/40 years.
The fact that to this day nobody, and I mean NOBODY can approach their sound is testament to that fact.

I touched on technical talent, but where do the Pumpkins stand in the context of music history? Well…
Billy is a great guitar player, but he wouldnt be a virtuoso by any stretch of the imagination, his real talent lies in his instinct for melody and his unrivaled talent for song composition (yes : unrivaled), and occasionaly profound, but always interesting lyrics.
Jimmy Chamberlain….well, Jimmy….what can you say about Jimmy? He’s simply the greatest Drummer to ever appear in a mainstream act….ever. Simple as.
Their are better drummers out there, but never (as in : EVER. Don’t give me that Keith Moon crap) in a band that touched the charts (Acoustic Ladyland come to mind, their drummer is phenomonal), and Jimmy’s jazz roots have helped keep the Pumpkins distinctive and different from all around them, at all times, and was probaby the reason the pumpkins live have always had such a freeform flow to them.

The other members, well…I know I’m going to step on toes by saying this…but really…their irrelevant, pinning for James & D’arcy is nothing but nostalgia, and that is all, the original line up of the Pumpkins hasn’t existed since 1996, get over it. Pumpkins bass lines are not complex, so the bass player is always replaceable, and D’arcy never had any creative input in the band.
James was a good guitar player, and certainly brought his own touch to the live shows, he also co-wrote a handful of songs, I’ve nothing but love for the guy, but at the end of the day, the smashing pumpkins is Billy Corgan, listen to James solo album if in doubt, his Evan Dando style pop sensibilitys are not found in SP.

What is the Pumpkins mark on music? Well it’s mostly unsung, but they are extremley important to music. You ever hear of Nirvana? Yeah, well you wouldnt have if not for the Pumpkins. The difference betweent Their first album \"bleach\" and their second \"Nevermind\" is that SP’s \"Gish\" happened in between, Billy Corgan & Butch Vig jointly developed the recording technique that completley changed Nirvana’s sound, and made them famous.
I’m not belittiling Nirvana, without them we’d probably still be listining to cock rock like Motley Crew and Bon Jovi…..well…YOU would, I’d still be listening to cool music, because I’m awesome like that.

So, past, future & present? Hmm well we could pretend I’m some hack journalist for the NME for a second and break it down like this :
Siamese Dream = Adore > Pisces Iscariot > Gish > MCIS > Zeitgiest > Machina II > Machina.
But I’m not and such lists are irrelevant because of the subjective nature of music, a huge part of the appeal of SP to me is that they don’t have 2 albums that sound that much alike. So many bands are content to do essentially the same thing over and over again, not that there is anything inherintly wrong with that, a good thing is a good thing whatever way you look at it. SP however like to create something…which becomes popular….and then completley drop it and move onto something else, I’m sure they’d find more comercial success if they didn’t do that, but then….they wouldn’t be the Pumpkins….they’d be Pearl Jam.

Which brings me on to a ridiculous public perception of the Pumpkins and Billy Corgan in particular.
I’ve heard the words \"sell out\" and \"careerist\" used a lot in reference to SP.
Right off the bat we can disregard the latter as any one who uses that to describe a band or an artist that has comitted \"career suicide\" on so many occasions is obviously an idiot.
Sell out? Well….there are a lot of strange (to me at least there strange) definitions of this term, for me it means and always has meant a band that changes to or maintains a style of music that is comercially popular for the money….and nothing else….everything else is irrelevant to me.
Other people seem to have a different view of this, which confuses me, I’m a music fan, I care about the music, I don’t care about anything else, I don’t care how many versions of Zeitgeist were released.
On a connected note I find it funny that the same people that slagged them off for having a song on a car ad, are the same people that slagged them off for sueing their label to STOP being put on a Pepsi ad, seriously….do you guys even know what consistancy means?

The reunion…..just for money? No. Absolutley not. It’s not even a question, unless you haven’t really thought it through.
A \"just for the money\" reunion involves a greatest hits style tour & possibly some live recordings (Alice in Chains & RATM spring to mind), it certainly does not involve releasing a new album and touring on the new material rather than old, not promoting said new album AT ALL, and doing no interviews for the entire year….which is what the Pumpkins did.
Billy & Jimmy have shown a genuine interest in creating, and have become unusually prolific in their releases, (American Gothic followed Zeitgeist pretty quickly, then Superchrist, and a new single in Septeber 2008?), they are not looking to just milk the SP legacy.

So, why am *I* so obsessed?
Well as cliche as it is at this point : the Pumpkins saved my life, I was suicidal for a time in my life, and literally the only reason I didnt end it was because I didn’t want to miss the next SP album.
They were the first band I ever heard that I didn’t loathe, they introduced me to the majority of my top 10 bands (Joy Division, the cure, Bauhaus etc.), they were my first concert, my first love in a sense I guess.

Regarding their tours since coming back, I’ve heard some criticisms of the set lists, and their always the same, people looking for a greatest hits style gig and not getting it because, well, SP is not that kind of band.
The problem is that there are Smashing Pumpkin fans, those who like the band, their way of doing things, the way they view and aproach things, and then there are smashing pumpkin fans who like their songs, and just want Billy to stop jaming out on stage and to play \"Today\", none of this is new, people act like its some reflection on the band today….but it was the same 15 years ago.

Anyway, I ranted on longer than I thought I would, might add to this later but for now its shower time :P[/quote:31sqdgqw]

Profile photo of bullettwoutbutterflywings
Member
On bullettwoutbutterflywings wrote:

Ooh controversial topic heading! :P

Aaaannyway….."the Pumpkins suck" is a familiar criticism of the band, as I’m sure all you other Pumpkinheads out there have heard time and time again, since time imemoriable. As eloquent a critique as that is, lets examine it, what has always been the motivation behind this battle cry? Fashion. Not music. Fashion.
The simple fact is that everything the pumpkins ever do and ever have done, is never trendy, it’s never fashionable…..that is….it’s not *when* they do/invent it, 5 years down the road however, everyone is doing it and aplauded for it.
For example, you know that elecctro-folk thats so "in" right now? Who could possibly have been doing that back in 1998? Hmm, I wonder….(take some notes fashion victims at pitchfork).
The Pumpkins are without doubt the least cool of the 90’s bands, and thank god for that! They are far and away the most creative, and the most technically talented band not just of the 90’s but at least the last 30/40 years.
The fact that to this day nobody, and I mean NOBODY can approach their sound is testament to that fact.[/quote:13pxg68z]

i agree, sp is way ahead of thier time.

The other members, well…I know I’m going to step on toes by saying this…but really…their irrelevant, pinning for James & D’arcy is nothing but nostalgia, and that is all, the original line up of the Pumpkins hasn’t existed since 1996, get over it. Pumpkins bass lines are not complex, so the bass player is always replaceable, and D’arcy never had any creative input in the band.
James was a good guitar player, and certainly brought his own touch to the live shows, he also co-wrote a handful of songs, I’ve nothing but love for the guy, but at the end of the day, the smashing pumpkins is Billy Corgan, listen to James solo album if in doubt, his Evan Dando style pop sensibilitys are not found in SP.[/quote:13pxg68z]

i too agree on this, i love james and d’arcy, but sp is billy, they are great, and it would be great to have them all back. but, ginger’s voice really complements billy’s, they sound great.

What is the Pumpkins mark on music? Well it’s mostly unsung, but they are extremley important to music. You ever hear of Nirvana? Yeah, well you wouldnt have if not for the Pumpkins. The difference betweent Their first album "bleach" and their second "Nevermind" is that SP’s "Gish" happened in between, Billy Corgan & Butch Vig jointly developed the recording technique that completley changed Nirvana’s sound, and made them famous.
I’m not belittiling Nirvana, without them we’d probably still be listining to cock rock like Motley Crew and Bon Jovi…..well…YOU would, I’d still be listening to cool music, because I’m awesome like that.[/quote:13pxg68z]

you tell ’em!!

Which brings me on to a ridiculous public perception of the Pumpkins and Billy Corgan in particular.
I’ve heard the words "sell out" and "careerist" used a lot in reference to SP.
Right off the bat we can disregard the latter as any one who uses that to describe a band or an artist that has comitted "career suicide" on so many occasions is obviously an idiot.
Sell out? Well….there are a lot of strange (to me at least there strange) definitions of this term, for me it means and always has meant a band that changes to or maintains a style of music that is comercially popular for the money….and nothing else….everything else is irrelevant to me.
Other people seem to have a different view of this, which confuses me, I’m a music fan, I care about the music, I don’t care about anything else, I don’t care how many versions of Zeitgeist were released.
On a connected note I find it funny that the same people that slagged them off for having a song on a car ad, are the same people that slagged them off for sueing their label to STOP being put on a Pepsi ad, seriously….do you guys even know what consistancy means?[/quote:13pxg68z]

we all know why billy came back, he said it, he missed the pumpkins, i think we all did. yes they would be a sell out if they only did the "greatest hits" at thier shows and had not put out a new album. but they didn’t, they are bringing new music that rocks and doing shows that will blow you away.

So, why am *I* so obsessed?
Well as cliche as it is at this point : the Pumpkins saved my life, I was suicidal for a time in my life, and literally the only reason I didnt end it was because I didn’t want to miss the next SP album.[/quote:13pxg68z]

they too saved my life, if is was not for them i would not be here today. i got up every morning because of thier music, they helped me through each day, and to this day i owe so much to them, more than words can express.

good blog!!

"shiny, let's be bad guys"--jayne cobb-the hero of canton
Profile photo of manillascissor
Keymaster
On manillascissor wrote:

then watch No Country for old men[/quote:2s041dg6]
Good movie. :twisted:

The simple fact is that everything the pumpkins ever do and ever have done, is never trendy, it’s never fashionable…..that is….it’s not *when* they do/invent it, 5 years down the road however, everyone is doing it and aplauded for it.[/quote:2s041dg6]
I disagree. Remember Siamese Dream? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But at my high school, everyone listened to the Pumpkins. Everyone owned that album. Everyone had the t-shirt. At this point in their career, they were very "trendy". Only problem is, no one has been able to replicate that sound, not even the Pumpkins, even if by choice.

For example, you know that elecctro-folk thats so "in" right now? Who could possibly have been doing that back in 1998? [/quote:2s041dg6]
In right now? Who are you referring to? I know what song you are referring to on the Pumpkins side. At least I hope it’s Eye, and not The End is the Beginning is the End. If it is Eye, then I agree. I herald this song as one of the "Pumpkins" greatest tracks, and it’s without Jimmy. More on that later. Again, I don’t see anyone doing this today, and certainly not the Pumpkins.

Jimmy Chamberlain….well, Jimmy….what can you say about Jimmy? He’s simply the greatest Drummer to ever appear in a mainstream act….ever. Simple as.
Their are better drummers out there, but never (as in : EVER. Don’t give me that Keith Moon crap) in a band that touched the charts (Acoustic Ladyland come to mind, their drummer is phenomonal), and Jimmy’s jazz roots have helped keep the Pumpkins distinctive and different from all around them, at all times, and was probaby the reason the pumpkins live have always had such a freeform flow to them.[/quote:2s041dg6]
All right, this is just not as cut and dry as you make it out to be. There are MANY drummers in mainstream acts that are as talented or more so than Jimmy. Keith Moon is a great example, then let’s try Neil Peart, John Bonham, Danny Carey, John Dolmayan, shit Dave Grohl. He’s drummed (exceptionally) for 3 mainstream bands this decade alone. Don’t get me wrong, Jimmy certainly belongs in there, but he is not the only one to hit the charts.

The other members, well…I know I’m going to step on toes by saying this…but really…their irrelevant, pinning for James & D’arcy is nothing but nostalgia, and that is all, the original line up of the Pumpkins hasn’t existed since 1996, get over it. Pumpkins bass lines are not complex, so the bass player is always replaceable, and D’arcy never had any creative input in the band.
James was a good guitar player, and certainly brought his own touch to the live shows, he also co-wrote a handful of songs, I’ve nothing but love for the guy, but at the end of the day, the smashing pumpkins is Billy Corgan, listen to James solo album if in doubt, his Evan Dando style pop sensibilitys are not found in SP.[/quote:2s041dg6]
Pretty much agreed. :D

I’d like to add that I just love when Billy Corgan helps out other acts (Courtney Love/Breaking Benjamin), he essentially gets zero credit. And the tracks he assists with are throwaway riffs for him, but end up being chart-toppers for the recipients. I just love that.

Unwept, Unsung. Tis part of his appeal. Self fulfilling prophecy I suppose.

in my time of dying
Profile photo of blueczarina
Member
On blueczarina wrote:

They are far and away the most creative, and the most technically talented band not just of the 90’s but at least the last 30/40 years.
The fact that to this day nobody, and I mean NOBODY can approach their sound is testament to that fact.[/quote:3uma5peu]
I can’t really argue there. I always thought they were one of the best, most innovative bands of the 90s too. I would have to throw Sonic Youth in with them though. (another innovative, but underappreciated band)

The other members, well…I know I’m going to step on toes by saying this…but really…their irrelevant, pinning for James & D’arcy is nothing but nostalgia, and that is all, the original line up of the Pumpkins hasn’t existed since 1996, get over it. Pumpkins bass lines are not complex, so the bass player is always replaceable, and D’arcy never had any creative input in the band.
James was a good guitar player, and certainly brought his own touch to the live shows, he also co-wrote a handful of songs, I’ve nothing but love for the guy, but at the end of the day, the smashing pumpkins is Billy Corgan, listen to James solo album if in doubt, his Evan Dando style pop sensibilitys are not found in SP.[/quote:3uma5peu]
I still love James and Darcy, but you have a point. It just takes Billy and Jimmy to make an SP album. All others really are replaceable. I suppose it won’t be long before we say goodbye to Ginger and Jeff.

…a huge part of the appeal of SP to me is that they don’t have 2 albums that sound that much alike. So many bands are content to do essentially the same thing over and over again, not that there is anything inherintly wrong with that, a good thing is a good thing whatever way you look at it. SP however like to create something…which becomes popular….and then completley drop it and move onto something else, I’m sure they’d find more comercial success if they didn’t do that, but then….they wouldn’t be the Pumpkins….they’d be Pearl Jam.[/quote:3uma5peu]
True, I love the variety in their music too. It’s always evolving. To them music is about their own personal expression and artistic growth, not making a buck- and it shows.

Which brings me on to a ridiculous public perception of the Pumpkins and Billy Corgan in particular.
I’ve heard the words "sell out" and "careerist" used a lot in reference to SP.
Right off the bat we can disregard the latter as anyone who uses that to describe a band or an artist that has committed "career suicide" on so many occasions is obviously an idiot.[/quote:3uma5peu]
Lol- True, they have definitely committed career suicide on many an occasion. I’m glad though, as we got some great music out of it.

They were the first band I ever heard that I didn’t loathe; they introduced me to the majority of my top 10 bands (Joy Division, the cure, Bauhaus etc.)[/quote:3uma5peu]
I agree. The SP where the first rock band I ever really got into and I have found myself checking out other bands because they have influenced the SP somehow. That’s how I discovered Joy Division and a bunch of others too.

The problem is that there are Smashing Pumpkin fans, those who like the band, their way of doing things, the way they view and approach things, and then there are smashing pumpkin fans who like their songs, and just want Billy to stop jamming out on stage and to play "Today[/quote:3uma5peu]
Yeah, I hate when people are bitching about the new stuff and acting like what they are doing now is un-Pumpkin of them. I also hate it when people can’t get over the big singles and find appreciation for the SP as a whole; not only the songs, but their way of doing things. Personally I really respect the fact that they are one of the few bands in it for the music and the whole creative process. It’s always elevated them in my mind. It’s one of the biggest reasons I love the so much and one of the reasons I think there music never loses anything over time for me. I mean I hear stuff I like- a good rock song, whatever- but the catchy commercial stuff loses its luster. It lacks that extra something you get with the Pumpkins that makes them kind of timeless.

Profile photo of Im a Cult Hero
Member
On Im a Cult Hero wrote:

You have to remember manilla that while Siamese Dream may have been trendy where you are, I’m from a different country, and it most certainly wasn’t trendy here, popular? Yes. Trendy? No. I wrote that part purely from my perspective, and my experience of it.

As for the Jimmy statement, I stand by it, I didn’t mean to be knocking other drummers just by saying Jimmy is the best, I just honestly believe that.
The Keith Moon comment was meant as a joke, as when it comes to rock music, technical talent only makes up 50% of why someone is good, the rest is personality and stage presence, and obviously Moon had plenty of both to spare ;)

The \"electro-folk\" I’m referring to is actually \"Adore\" but yes \"Eye\" too, again, my perspective, maybe this isn’t so popular where you are.

You know I’m surprised everyone seems to be agreeing with my former members statement, I assumed I’d be lynched for that one :P

It’s great to hear you guys opinion on this though, thanks for replying :)

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