Billy Corgan brands Pavement 'sell-outs'

Smashing Pumpkins frontman resurrects 15-year-old feud with indie-rock band, calling them 'the death of the alternative dream'

Fifteen years on, Billy Corgan is trying to reignite a row with Pavement. The leader of the relaunched (but not re-formed) Smashing Pumpkins has lashed out at the indie-rockers' reunion tour, calling them "sell-outs". "They have no love," Corgan said. "We [do]."

"Just found out [Smashing Pumpkins are] playing with Pavement in Brazil," Corgan wrote on Twitter (via Pitchfork). "It's gonna be one of those New Orleans-type funerals. I say that because they represent the death of the alternative dream, and we follow with the affirmation of life part."

But Smashing Pumpkins are even more undead than the reunited Pavement: Corgan is the current lineup's only original member.

This doesn't seem to bother him, however; he's too hung-up on an antique indie spat. "Funny how those who pointed the big finger of 'sell out' are the biggest offenders now," he wrote. "Yawn. they have no love ... We'll be the band up there playing NEW songs because we have the love."

Unfortunately for Corgan's thesis, Pavement's reunion gigs are reportedly awesome, while Smashing Pumpkins' new songs are relatively terrible. Besides, let he who selleth-not-out cast the first stone: in January, Corgan recorded a song with Jessica Simpson.

But this bad blood runs deep. In 1994 Pavement released Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, an album featuring the single Range Life, in which Stephen Malkmus describes going "out on tour" with Smashing Pumpkins. (Pavement never actually toured with them.) "I don't understand what they mean," he sings, "and I could really give a fuck." Corgan was reportedly so angry that he had Pavement removed from Lollapalooza's bill. "I think it's rooted in jealousy," Corgan said at the time, and, later: "People don't fall in love to Pavement ... they put on Smashing Pumpkins or Hole or Nirvana, because these bands actually mean something to them."

Malkmus has often tried to downplay the conflict. "A lot of people claim we dissed [Smashing Pumpkins]," he told NY Rock magazine in 1999. "We never did. I only laughed about the band name, because it does sound kind of silly ... I like their songs – well, most of their songs anyway ... I just dissed their status. I never really cared for the rock'n'roll lifestyle or being indie." In 2008, Malkmus told Blender magazine that "Billy's gotten over it".

Apparently not.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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