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New Teahouse from Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan

New Teahouse from Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan

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The Smashing Pumpkins rocker opens a 1930s, Chinese-inspired tea house in Chicago

Billy Corgan really loves his tea.

Not every rocker is drinking coffee (among other poisons). After months of delays, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan, will open a tea house in Chicago tomorrow.

Located in Highland Park's Ravinia neighborhood, Madame ZuZu's has a little bit of everything, say reports from the Chicago Sun-Times: a 1930s, Art Deco vibe, plus French and Chinese influences. Imagine a step up from the traditional Starbucks; Corgan told the Sun-Times that he wants it to be a "conversational salon." Corgan also told Eater that although the opening was delayed since spring of this year, it's turned out better than he hoped. "It's people of all ages, even 7 year olds are telling me they want to come to the tea shop," he said to Eater.

So what can tea lovers expect from Madame ZuZu's? Twelve kinds of loose-leaf tea, from different regions of the world: Morocco, Japan, China, and India, to start. There will be the traditional teas — green, black, and oolong — also on tap. Plus, the shop will also carry Intelligentsia pour-over coffee and vegan desserts from Highwood's Bent Fork Bakery.

Who would have known that Corgan was such a tea connossieur? According to the Sun-Times, it's always been tea over coffee for the rock star. "I’ve never had coffee. I’ve always hated the smell," Corgan said to the Sun-Times. "It was always tea... I grew up drinking Lipton. I didn’t know there was other tea to drink." Good thing Madame ZuZu's has more than Lipton to offer.

Smashing Pumpkins carve out new niche

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is the sole member left from the original Chicago ensemble that sold 30 million records spanning the past two tumultuous decades. In fact, Corgan relishes in the new and nascent Pumpkins lineup that includes a 20-year-old drummer Mike Byrne and former Veruca Salt bassist Nicole Fiorentino.

A 15-stop small-club tour in suppot of the 44-song album "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" (available free at hits Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale at 7 p.m. Tuesday. 200 W Broward Blvd. Here's what Corgan had to say about the tour, LeBron and Jessica Simpson.

Why choose intimate venues like Revolution Live for this tour?

It was selfishly rooted in the idea that the four of us just needed to find how to play together. You can hide a bit in a big venue but not in a small venue. Nothing drives me crazier than I go to see an artist and the new guys stand in the back.

What do you say to fans that come to see the old Smashing Pumpkins?

I'm playing with the group that can best play my music today. We obviously play some old songs but there was a time with the old band in the 90s where everybody in the band was not emotionally engaged. I think it hurt the band's legacy. Never again will I stand on stage with somebody who doesn't want to be there.

How does South Florida compare to other tour stops?

It has always been a great gig down there. A lot of hot-blooded people down there that are passionate for the music. Warmer-blooded people tend to like the music more.

Now that you have LeBron James, too. The speculation for a long time was that he was coming to my hometown team the Chicago Bulls. But if he made a choice that is best for him and his family, more power to him. If LeBron James ends up being 40 with no championships, no one is going to say poor LeBron.

Why the choice to make Teargarden By Kaleidyscope available free?

I have been in the public life for over 20 years. I have consistently been a musician first and a poor politician second. There comes a point in your life where your old enough, strong enough and you just don't want to be defined by other people's ideologies or systems.

Music has become a sort of one-trick pony. If my intention is to change the world for the better, I can't do it within the major label system. They balance a much bigger world on the pinhead of if somebody out there likes one song.

Any collaboration on the new songs? There were rumors of Jessica Simpson being on the new album.

I hear stuff like that and I'm like where did that come from? There is no public statement of me saying she will be on the album. Now. I worked with her on a song she did for her TV show. But somehow that turns into she will be singing on the record and I have fans angry at me.

How has the Internet changed music?

The blessing is everybody has access now. Anybody can sit in their basement and make a Pro Tools record and put it up on MySpace. The downside is there is too much information. When we rely on snarky music blogging people to tell us what's good and bad. Everybody is trying to get their web hits at the expense of somebody else's legacy. It doesn't reflect the true music experience. It's the wrong kind of struggle.

Billy Corgan has spoken about his wrestling league, Resistance Pro which has it’s opening night tonight (Friday, 25 November, 2011) in his hometown of Chicago.

Actor Corey Feldman has posted a bizarre recollection of alleged by Marilyn Manson. The accusations come a week after Manson’s former girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood accused the singer of abuse.

Billy Corgan has revealed that Smashing Pumpkins will reissue the ‘Machina’ the way they were originally intended … as one piece.

The Smashing Pumpkins have lined-up AFI frontman Davey Havok, Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook, Killers members Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer, Courtney Love, Mark McGrath, and Deftones frontman Chino Moreno to join them in Holmdel, New Jersey this week.

As far as Billy Corgan is concerned, he is done with the debate over why D'arcy Wretzky is not being included in the Smashing Pumpkins reunion.

Smashing Pumpkins have taken the reigns and will hit the road this summer with their first shows since 2000.

‘Pillbox’, the silent movie by Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, will screen at the Golden Age Cinema in Sydney October 24 for one-might only.

William Patrick Corgan, the artist formerly known as Billy Corgan, will release his second solo album ‘Ogilala’ in October.

Billy Corgan Talks New Smashing Pumpkins, Opening A Café In A Pandemic

Not many people in music are busier than Billy Corgan.

Corgan, somehow, has always struck a peculiar balanced between his mogul aspirations and his musical grounding.

Between his solo work and a string of ambitious projects with Smashing Pumpkins, Billy has put out new albums in each of the last six years.

Smashing Pumpkins' latest double-album, Cyr, arrived last week, just as Corgan and his bandmates Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha and Jeff Shroeder chip away at 46 new songs for yet another double-album.

"I'd always hoped to do [a third double album], I just didn't think it was going to happen with all the band issues that happened," Corgan says of his new project. "I've been talking about this for years, so I'm glad I finally got it all lined up to do it, and we feel really good in-house.

"To do a double-record, especially as conceptual, like the record we're working on now — it's 33 songs, that record. It's a lot of work and everybody's got to kind of be on the same page. But it's probably the first time since we made — at least Mellon Collie [and the Infinite Sadness] in '94 — that we've been this harmonious in the band house."

At the same time he threw himself into this new musical project, Corgan opened a new vegan café, Madame ZuZu's Tea House and Art Studio, in Highland Park, Illinois. Corgan says the space is yet to be able to fully utilize its 4,000 square foot space due to restrictions, but business has been good so far.

"People literally come in and they say, 'We can't believe you're opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic,'" Corgan says of the new space. "And it's true, but honestly. all the work that I've done this year, my reaction to everything that's happening is just to stay busy. And I know that everybody doesn't have that choice, but for me, that's been the way that I've tried to stay sane."

Watch the full conversation via the player above!

While the next Smashing Pumpkins record might still be a year or so away, you can get Cyr here.

Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan closing Highland Park tea shop

Billy Corgan will close Madame ZuZu’s, his tea shop and vegan cafe in Highland Park, on March 18.

“(W)e are forced to move for various reasons which involve tenancy, but certainly nothing to do with the strength of the business (which thanks to all our great customers has been robust and steady),” Corgan wrote on Instagram.

He opened Madame ZuZu’s in 2012 first as his own neighborhood source of fine teas from local purveyor Rare Tea Cellar. The quiet 1930s chinoiserie storefront evolved into an art gallery and cafe, with vegan sandwiches and pastries, plus fair trade coffee and smoothies, as well as an event space where the musician himself occasionally performed.

“(W)hen I'm home next around my birthday (March 17) I will be looking at even more spaces,” he added.

Corgan invited the public to “come party with us on the 18th as we say goodbye. There will be free tea that day for everyone who comes by, and special last-day sales. (And as far as @madamezuzus 2.0 goes, we hope to open a new location very soon, remaining in Highland Park if possible).”

Asked if Corgan would stop by the shop before it closes, his manager Chloe Mendel said: "I am sure he will stop in at the last day, as he is very involved in ZuZus world. But I can't promise anything."

Billy Corgan on The Smashing Pumpkins' new direction

With the new lineup of The Smashing Pumpkins in place (the band includes drummer Mike Byrne, guitarist Jeff Schroeder and bassist Nicole Fiorentino), Billy Corgan is finally ready to take the group on the road this summer.

Having already dropped the first four of a planned 44 songs for the album Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Corgan is, no doubt, thinking big. And when it comes to interviews, he doesn't hold back, either. In part 1 of our exclusive conversation, Corgan spoke voluminously about his approach to songwriting, his gear and guitars and the process of rebuilding the Pumpkins from the ground up.

In this, part 2 of our interview, Corgan is no less effusive - and revealing. Here he elaborates on the inspiration and recording of the first batch of Teargarden songs, offers his thoughts on alternative rock culture, the eroding music business (check out his Tweet in which he echoes the recent sentiments of Radiohead's Thom Yorke) and plots the course for the new Smashing Pumpkins.

Ready for a wide-ranging and fascinating dialogue with one of rock's true originals? Listen to the podcast below and read on for text of the interview.

The song A Stitch In Time is really gorgeous. Did it stay pretty close to your original demo?

"Well, all I really had was an acoustic version, and everyone agreed that was the way to go, to not turn it into a band song. For me, the challenge was, can we keep it feeling like an acoustic song, but can we produce it in a way that gives it some more emotional energy? And I really thought of someone like Donovan, who did a really good job of that. 'Cause he wrote a lot of his songs obviously on acoustic, and yet somehow his music was able to convey something a little more exotic.

"I recorded a track and then I did the vocal, so we basically had the acoustic version of the song, and then kind of just futzed around with different ideas, different approaches, to try to come up with a different orchestration to convey an emotional value through the song. Yeah, it was a really fun process it was interesting 'cause it was very trial-and-error. I didn't think it was going to turn out as maybe pretty as it sounds…"

It's interesting that you mention Donovan because there is a bit of a '60s vibe to it. Now, there's the sitar - is that an actual sitar or a Coral Sitar?

"It's a Coral electric that I bought somewhere in Florida along the way, but it's a '60s. One thing I guess I should point out, because we were talking about it earlier, a little about influences: Teargarden, for me, is almost like a person looking past, present and future all at the same time and trying to have that perspective."

"Part of my logic is that emulating and, at times, paying homage to artists that influenced me is, in a way, telling part of my story. So in the past, where I would have been much more egoistically concerned about whether or not influences could be spotted, because I wanted all the attention to go towards me or the band, as if we were creating music out of a vacuum, this, for me, is more like letting someone into an attic and saying, 'Here's the thing I built here's the thing I copied here's the thing I dreamed about that got discarded.'

"And so there are moments where it's sort of reflective in a kind of sentimental way, and there are times where it's wholly futuristic and is about abandoning the past. It's an interesting way to approach because it's much different than what I used to do."

Is this scary for you, this new way of writing, new way of recording, this new mentality?

"No, not at all. I'm actually really excited, because I think what happened with me is that we had such tremendous success in the '90s and, you know, I just kind of kept making up new rules and they kind of kept working. Well, at some point they just stopped working as effectively now. Somebody could say that's because I lost something, or things changed, or whatever happened - you know, everybody goes through those cycles.

"But I think what ended up happening was, the way my brain works is, I sort of abandoned the approaches that I had in many ways because I thought, OK, right, I've just got to get onto something else. I left a lot of threads that were lying there that were really good. The whole point through the '90s for me was to push boundaries and try to get somewhere new - and sometimes we did that and other times we really failed.

"I feel like I'm back in that headspace but not in shadow of the past. That took me a while. So what I was trying to say is, through the decade between 2001 and 2000-something, a lot of that time was about trying to wrestle with the shadow of what had been done in the past.

Performing A Stitch In Time at Record Store Day in Los Angeles last March

"For me, this past year has really been the first time…maybe it started with the American Gothic EP that we put out…it's the first period since the '90s where I feel like I'm not in any shadow anymore I've let it go. You know, I've learned my lesson. I appreciate and honor what worked about it, and the parts that don't work, it doesn't bother me anymore. It's like, 'OK, time to move on.' I'm back in that space where I'm really excited. And I don't know what's coming around the next corner, but it's much better than living in that shadow of like, 'Well, should I do this because people expect that? Oh, no, they expect that, so I'm gonna do this to fuck with their heads.' I've let go of all that stuff."

When you came out with Gish, it was "OK, you're alt-rock - or you're grunge - and 'this' is expected of you. You have to sound like this and talk to these kinds of fanzines." Is it liberating that those restrictions aren't placed on your anymore?

"I think they're still placed on me I just don't pay any attention to them. You know what I mean?"

Like what would be placed on you?

"Well, I find it really interesting where I'm still, in many ways, held up to what would be called 'alternative rock standards.' You know, the way I've marketed my music or the way I do certain things - I'm held up to a standard that all the subsequent generations for the past 15 years haven't been. So if somebody from American Idol does a cool commercial, those same people will write about how it's clever and funny - and look the other way for the fact that the person is selling their soul.

"Somebody like me is still supposed to represent some value that doesn't mean anything anymore. Personally, I wish those values could mean something. I wish there was a reason to uphold those values across the board culturally, because I thought those were good values to have. I think the values that great artists like Kurt Cobain and Neil Young and Johnny Cash all represented, those were important.

"I took a lot of inspiration from those artists, and many others, who had great ethics and great concepts of ethics those are all gone now. Basically, people talk about the ethics, but they don't mean anything anymore. I still hear that and feel that, but it doesn't have anything to do with the survival and the future of The Smashing Pumpkins, which is ultimately what I have to be concerned about.

"So I'm happy to be in a place where I sort of just stuck my flag in the sand and said, 'OK, this is what I'm going to do for the next three or four years - like it, don't like it, it's cool. And because I've placed the core of my energy back on music, and not on all the other stuff I used to worry about, including having a dysfunctional band…or two…I feel like that's put me back at the center of my ethics - not somebody's opinion of what it should be like.

At the V Festival in Sydney, Australia, 2008. Image: © Bob King/Corbis

"I'm being more led by the spirit of what I'm doing than whether or not it make sense to some blogger somewhere. Most of those people aren't living in the reality that I have to live in, which is, you have a completely decimated music business the labels that exist have basically turned into nothing but bread and cookie sellers. The creativity is gone, in many cases and even if there is creativity there, they don't have the resources. The public has moved on to many other things. Music is no longer the central cultural guide that it was for many, many years.

"So, people like us still have to wake up and look at a bunch of rubble and figure out, 'OK, what do I do with this?' You don't have the ability to pretend you're new [chuckles] and play whatever new fantasy is going on. You have to sort of live with where you come from. And I'm…fine. I think one part of that, for me, is being willing to admit that I've made mistakes and have some real contrition about where maybe I was misguided, but maybe in my heart I thought I was doing the right thing.

"I'm just in a good humble place where I want to go back to being a musician. At the end of the day, I think the best way to judge an artist is, wait till they're done. And then, sort of add up the things that they did and you can decide whether or not their life was worth something."

Let's go to the last two songs you've posted so far. Now, there's Widow Wake My Mind, which has a great opening riff. Does a song like that start with the riff, or do you have the main section first?

"Actually, in the beginning I just had the two parts, just the [sings softly] 'Ohh, oh-ohhhh,' and then I had the chord changes for the chorus. A lot of times when I write something like that I think, Oh, that's a dumb song. [We both laugh] I do! I'll think, Oh, that's a silly song - and then, three days later, I'll be in the kitchen making a cup of tea and it's still in my head! So I try to listen to that part of myself. Yeah, I like that it has a cute charm to it, you know?"

Mike Byrne does some amazing drumming in the song. You had mentioned that you "guided," for lack of a better word, Jimmy [Chamberlin] on some of his playing. Do you find yourself giving Mike direction, or does he intuitively know what to do?

"He's…he's probably sick of hearing me talk. But I'm quick to point out that Jimmy and I had the same collaboration process. What Jimmy made sound so effortless was the result of a lot of talking and a lot of work, and really kind of focusing what the drums were trying to say. That's why Jimmy was so successful in so many different ways in playing an incredibly busy drum style and still having it be part of pop music.

"I like to think of our music as organized chaos. So what'll happen a lot is, I'll sort of explain to Mike, 'OK, this is the emotional feel we're looking for this is the approach we're looking for. You go from there where you wanna go, and if you have a vision of somewhere else you want to go, we'll try that.'

"We'll sort of develop his ideas, then we'll go through them and say, 'That's working. That's a little bit…I know what you're trying to do…' I think it's been a satisfying process. It's starting to click in his head that his role is just as critical to how the songs come across. Everything falls under the microscope in our process."

He does sound organic in the song -

"Well, that's the beauty: He's playing very busy at times, but he's worked it out in a way that he's able to play like himself, play busy, and at the same time not subvert the song."

Lastly, we have - and you talked about this a bit [in part 1] - A Song For A Son. Was that written on piano?

"No, it was acoustic [guitar]."

Oh. What kind of acoustics are you playing these days?

"I have some really nice ones - '60s and '70s, and maybe even a few '40s and '50s. I think for that one I probably used a Gibson J-200, probably like a mid-'60s model, kind of the same one Elvis played, with the bigger body and the stripe down the middle.

"It's sort of like cook in the kitchen - I try to think of what tone I would want. I have this Epiphone acoustic, which is similar to the same model, without a pickup, that John Lennon played in The Beatles. It's very metallic sounding. I don't have a favorite one, because for me it's always about what's the right guitar for the song."

But you don't have so many that you can't figure out which one to use.

"Mmmm…[chuckles] I have more than I use, let's put it that way."

This might be a hard question: Are you taking about your childhood in any kind of way in the song?

"A song like that is interesting. When I wrote it, I didn't have anything in my mind other than sort of a feeling. It wasn't until I finished it and listened to it a few times that I realized that it had a lot to do with my relationship with my father. I didn't think that when I wrote the song, so that's why it's kind of weird to me. But that's what it seems to be about…something to do with legacies and, you know, what our fathers pass on to us. I like that it's sort of vague."

Corgan performing at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles in 2009. Image: © Jared Milgrim/Corbis

Is it harder to write a song like that and dig all of that out of your soul, or is it harder to talk about it once it's done?

"Sometimes it can be difficult if a song is triggering a particular set of emotions. I've never had difficulty talking about songs, other than I think that talking about them, in some way, sort of narrows [them] down. Because I know that I've listened to many, many songs and I don't know what the hell they're about. But they trigger a certain set of emotions in me that might remind me of going to high school or something.

"That's what the best music does: it gives you an individual experience without necessarily imposing the experience. If you think of a great songwriter, somebody like Neil Diamond, he was able to write songs in a way that you kind of felt like he was talking about you even though he was taking about himself. Whereas Neil Young is the type of songwriter where you really feel that he's talking about Neil, but somehow because he's talking about Neil he's really talking about you. [chuckles] It's different.

"Bob Dylan's always talking about someone else. You're never sure if he's talking about him or you. Everybody does it differently. I think my best songs, somehow I'm able to have them be very personal, but they don't turn off somebody's ability to find something personal in them. I've tried to write more impersonal songs and I find that people don't respond to them."

Like what? Example.

"I can't think of anything off the top of my head. But if I sing 'I' or if the song seems to be like I'm singing about myself or is related to me, that seems to work better for people connecting with the song than if I sing about 'you.' Bob Dylan always sings 'you.' Not always, but for the most part he's always [sings in a Dylanesque tone] 'Yooooou and yooooou.' [chuckles] And it works, you know? Because he's talking about somebody else…but he's really talking about you."

Last question: You said earlier [in part 1] that you feel this is the best lineup you've had. There are those, as I'm sure you know, that love and embrace the lineup you had in the '90s. They would call it the 'classic' lineup. Does that concern you, that some people will never be able to get past that?

"I've kind of let go of it. I've even said to fans that if we put that band up, I don't know how functional it would be at this point. That doesn't mean anything, I think, to a fan - and if I was a fan, I would feel the same way.

"I think the beautiful thing is that there are four or five records there, plus other songs, probably about 200 songs, that the band turned out. And there's a lot of video in the vaults and stuff that people can explore and really see what was good and bad about that band.

"Of course, I have a different experience because I was inside. But I totally get, as best as I can, why people were attracted to that band. That band had an interesting darkness to it that, when it was on stage, had an incredible electricity. I'm not sure why other than it just worked, and it worked basically from the beginning.

"I'm proud of the past," says Corgan, shown here on stage in 1994. Image: © Gary Malerba/CORBIS

"I would be careful to say that when one of the members left - when Jimmy left during the Adore period and then subsequently when D'Arcy left and Jimmy came back during the Machina period - I really felt the imbalance. It was not the same. It wasn't, like, 75 percent as good it was, like, 50 percent as good. Something about not having the four people in the room."

"So all I can say is that I'm really proud to continue under The Smashing Pumpkins name. I'm proud of the past, and I feel the best way to honor the past is to be in the present. I always get really uneasy when the present is too much about the past, because the past wasn't about the past. [chuckles] That band, from 1988 to 2000 was very much about being in the moment.

"That's the only thing I would say to a fan: If it's good enough, great. And if it's not, or if it doesn't register in your mind what you need to hear or see, that's totally cool. I don't have any problem with that. Ultimately, music is a personal thing, and no amount of intellectual explanation is going to change that.

"I think if somebody gets hung up on strictly the lineup as an issue only, then that seems to be a little bit silly. But if you don't have a problem and you listen and you're not satisfied with what you're hearing, if it doesn't have same energy coming out of the speakers, or if you go to see the band and it doen't have the same whatever it was you liked about the old band, that's totally fair."

Well, I'm loving what I'm hearing so far, the first four songs…

I look forward to hearing the next 40. [We both laugh] This is going to take a year or two, right?

How the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Became an SJW-Hating Conservative Crusader

Gen-X icon and Obama conspiracy theorist Billy Corgan slammed Bernie Sanders and compared liberal activists to the KKK during an appearance on Info Wars. How did he get here?

Jen Yamato

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Despite all his rage, Billy Corgan is still just rattling the cage of American politics—much to the infinite sadness of Gen X-ers still holding onto their Siamese dreams of mid-’90s alt-rock Smashing Pumpkins greatness.

On Thursday, he slammed “socialist” presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and accused liberal activists of infringing on free speech. “The tactics in the social justice warrior movement are to stifle and shut down free speech,” the singer said Thursday during an appearance on Infowars, the online network run by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

“And I would argue in the world that I live in, which is the bareknuckle world, they’re leveraging their position because they don’t have power.”

The Smashing Pumpkins co-founder, songwriter, guitarist, producer, author, poet, tea shop owner, and pro wrestling mogul went viral Thursday as he took aim at the 2016 presidential race, “social justice warriors,” drones, political correctness, and Bernie, among many other hot topics. Confirming several times over that he loves America, he invoked heavily alarmist language to warn of the country’s impending ruin.

“To be talking in America in 2016 about, you know, Mao is a good idea and a socialist is running for President and that’s okay, and we’re going to go back to these kinds of crazy tax rates and completely disempower the innovators in our country,” he said, “because the new class, the new technocratic class, wants to keep their position and they want to keep everybody else from coming in the game. I mean, it’s crazy to me.”

Corgan may also find it crazy that his comments immediately went viral in spite of the assertion by Infowars host Lee Ann McAdoo that a vast liberal conspiracy is actively censoring conservative news from trending on Facebook.

“They can take your free speech and hide that line of code so it never trends, or the algorithms will just shut down and you won’t be able to reach your audience,” she claimed. Elsewhere in the interview, McAdoo also called the methods of liberal activists “totalitarian” and dropped gems like, “It’s this whole cultural racial thing where you can’t say anything if you’re white!”

Corgan passionately agreed with the latter point, as he did with just about every conspiracy theory McAdoo served up during their 36-minute chat. All things considered, he went pretty easy on liberals and progressives this time around compared to his visit to Infowars last month when he sat with Jones, called “social justice warriors” Maoists, and compared them to both cult members and the KKK.

Corgan, 49, has come a long way since forming the Smashing Pumpkins with James Iha, D’arcy Wretzky, and Jimmy Chamberlin in the fall of 1988. Who could’ve guessed that the grunge-adjacent frontman of one of alt-rock’s most respected outfits would go from touring the world with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in his signature “Zero” tee to calling for artistic censorship 20 years later while wearing several layers of outerwear, a scarf looped around his neck, and a monogrammed Chicago Bulls cap on his bald pate?

Not that Corgan would likely admit that what he advocated for on Infowars was any such form of suppression of expression. Railing against mainstream propaganda that, he says, has manipulated people into “enslaving themselves to a system,” Corgan suggested that film and television programs be ideologically vetted in the name of an open society.

“Here’s a new show, are we comfortable with these concepts? Here’s a movie where the director of the movie has openly called for open borders. Are we okay with that?” he offered. “Are we okay with the messaging in the movie? Is that okay? Do we want to participate in that on a cultural level?”

“I’m not calling for boycotts,” he added. “I’m an artist. I’m calling for an open, free society that deals with these ideas equally and fairly and that collectively, in the right use of the word, we can come to a better cultural point of view.”

On the eve of the release of 1998’s electronica-infused Adore, in an atypically personal interview with the Los Angeles Times, a 31-year-old Corgan described a then-recent revelation concerning his public persona.

"One of the best things that [then-girlfriend Yelena Yemchuk] ever said to me as a friend was that my problem is that I have no archetype, no identity, so it makes it hard for audiences to know how to relate to me," he said. "She was referring to how there always needs to be your Madonnas and your [Marilyn] Mansons and your Leonardo DiCaprios. There is a human need to have certain buttons pushed."

Two years later the Smashing Pumpkins would break up, famously falling victim to backstage infighting and clashing egos. Corgan formed a new band, Zwan. It lasted two years, one album, and a world tour. Somewhere in this post-Pumpkins period of un-tetherings and new beginnings, Corgan found a little faith, a streak noticeable in his songwriting.

The man who’d once crowed with arrestingly aggressive anthemic angst that “Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty, just like me,” began singing a different tune with Zwan. In “Declarations of Faith,” Corgan did exactly that: “I declare myself/declare myself of faith.”

Alas, Zwan went up in flames after releasing the religiously-inspired album Mary Star of the Sea, but Corgan rolled through to his solo career. He started blogging, airing dirty Pumpkins laundry from the past, and penned a book of poetry. Corgan reimagined himself yet again with TheFutureEmbrace, his shoegazey first solo album.

It’s no shock now to recall the full page ad in the Chicago Tribune Corgan took out in the summer of 2005, announcing his desire to reunite the Smashing Pumpkins. At the time, it was certainly a needlessly public declaration—particularly since he would go on to “reunite” the band by completely replacing Iha and Wretzky with new members.

“Many have assumed that the decisions I have made over the last few years have been to try to get away from something,” he wrote. “But what I have been really trying to do is find that same kid again, the one who believed he could change the world with a song.”

In 2007 the re-formed Smashing Pumpkins headlined the inaugural Live Earth benefit concert spearheaded by Al Gore as one of over 150 musical acts playing for the cause: to increase awareness of global warming. But somewhere in the few years that followed, Corgan flip-flopped on his position on climate change—hard.

“I believed at that time that the planet …was warming,” he wrote three years later in a 2010 Q&A session on Facebook, where he later deleted his entire page. “Until I did research and found out it was all an orchestrated scam. Planet has gotten colder [in the] last 10 years. Hence the not so subtle change in the media from saying ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change.’ It is all connected to trying to make us all pay more taxes for our ‘carbon footprint.’ In essence, you should be taxed just for breathing. Good scam. Anyway, let’s avoid politics here because it will just get dumb fast. So don’t bother asking any more of those types of questions. I’ll save that stuff for my twitter. I love when people tell me to shut up, as if I too am not a citizen of the Earth. Eco-fascists need not apply here. I won’t listen to you.”

In the last several years, Corgan’s political streak blossomed, along with his varied extra-musical interests. There’s the tea house he owns in his native Chicago, the professional wrestling promotion he founded, and the spiritual website he launched in 2009 (Everything From Here To There) with a holistic tone and a theological foundation.

“This is not a place of judgment, nor a place of making proof,” the website declared. “We begin with the idea that there is a God. We begin with the undying belief that there is a unifying intelligence that manifests itself in Every-thing.”

“The purpose of this website is to discuss openly and without fear concepts of Mind-Body-Soul integration,” the site promised. “Mind-Body-Soul integration is the primary focus of this site, and how it can best manifest in our daily life.”

Shortly after debuting that blog, Corgan used it to proselytize passionately against President Obama, accusing POTUS of being party to a H1N1 virus propaganda campaign designed to frighten the masses. It launched him into the rarified echelons of celebrity anti-vaxxers and presaged the onslaught of Corgan’s current golden age of shouting incendiary political views from the rooftops.

How far the heroes of grunge America have evolved from their angst-filled youths. While Corgan’s been busy paying Alex Jones regular visits and praising Donald Trump for his chaotic impact on the presidential election, his ex-pals are firmly rooted on the other side of the aisle. Former flame and collaborator Courtney Love jumped aboard #TeamHillary last month, Tweeting a selfie with the Democratic frontrunner. Meanwhile, Nirvana and Foo Fighters musician Dave Grohl helped re-elect President Obama in 2012 by hitting the fundraising trail.

We’ll surely hear more from Corgan en route to Election Day. Unless, that is, the socialist Maoist cultists win, or the social justice warriors successfully murder free speech in America. In that case, Corgan warned, we’re doomed. “Once we lose that lane of free speech in this country, it’s over,” he told McAdoo on Infowars, at one point lamenting that public figures like him can’t slip up and blurt out the n-word or commit grossly sexist acts without being lambasted for it. “It might still be called America, but it is OVER.”

The Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan: "Oceania stands up with my best work"

"This is the craziest time for The Smashing Pumpkins since the mid-'90s," says Billy Corgan over a cup of tea in his dressing room at New York's Terminal 5. "We just finished Oceania, but we don't know when it's coming out. We don't have management, and we don't have a record label. We don't know what we're doing or when we're doing it."

Hearing his own words, Corgan chuckles as stray noises of pre-soundcheck activity filter in through the closed door. It might be a crazy time for the Pumpkins (which also includes guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and drummer Mike Byrne), but it's a good time, too, and they're still capable of whipping up fan frenzy. Terminal 5 is ridiculously sold-out, and in just a few hours the band will play a healthy portion of Oceania's 13 cuts before an intimate, rapturous crowd of 3,000, many of whom are already lining the streets outside.

Corgan has his main stage guitar, one of his signature Fender Stratocasters, on his lap. He plucks at it occasionally, demonstrating one of the forthcoming album's riffs as he sings softly, his voice full of purpose and tender emotion.

"This tour has been very interesting and gratifying," he says, sipping his tea. "What's especially nice is that we're playing to an audience that's actually realizing that they like The Smashing Pumpkins' new music a whole lot. The excitement level is through the roof and the expectation is incredible. People are looking at me and going, 'Oh yeah, he can still…blank.' Whatever 'blank' is that people might like. 'Hey, we want to see you blank some more."

Over the past few years, MusicRadar has conducted several extensive interviews with Billy Corgan, who has always proved to be refreshingly candid and self-critical. Our following conversation is no less frank. Even with the frenetic pace of touring dictating the order of the day, the main man of the Pumpkins gets to the heart of the matter. (Plus, check out our video of Billy Corgan showing off his two main stage guitars.)

You talk about the band not having management or a label. Surely, these shouldn't be problems for you to sort out.

"Well, the good news is that the response to the new music is overwhelmingly positive. Suddenly, I'm being chased again. [laughs] It's been a while since I've been in that situation. I have to laugh, because basically I've been sitting around for 10 years waiting to be chased. It's a good feeling. The band is on fire, and we're headed in the right direction."

Originally, Oceania was coming out this year, but now it's been moved to 2012…

"It's definitely coming out in 2012. It's a long, complicated story. The funny thing is, the response to it has been so great that we said, 'OK, we have to figure this out.' Because if we were to just put it out and it wasn't set up properly, we'd really be missing an opportunity. It's the most positive response to a record that I've had since the mid-'90s.

"It's kind of weird, though, because I got used to people saying, 'Yeah, it's good, but…' There was always a 'but' there. [laughs] This is the first record I've had in 15 years where there's no 'but.' Now it's just 'Wow! Amazing…epic…wow!' There's a lot of 'wow!'"

The last time we spoke, you were a quarter of the way into recording the album. Now that it's done, how do you feel about it? Presumably, you feel good.

"This might sound disingenuous, but I'm more focused on the future. What I mean by that is, we've turned a corner where the band is in real-time in their connection to the music, and the music is connected to where we are as people. It's not like we're in a hurry to get past what we've just done, but now the highway is open and there's so much more we can do. I think it's the first chapter in a whole series of chapters."

You sound very excited. You are excited!

"I am. You know, a) it's nice to have people like the record, because I've gotten used to people not liking what I do, and b) I'm back in a place where it all makes sense. That's what I'm most happy about. I'm so proud of this record. Oceania stands up with my best work. It really does open up new possibilities and will lead to new chapters for us.

"What's also cool is the live show we're doing. Right now, we're playing three singles in the set: Cherub Rock, Siva and Bullet With Butterfly Wings. The modern karaoke audience just wants you to play the hits, but The Smashing Pumpkins were never about that. It's difficult when an audience just wants the hits, because it's counterintuitive to why the band exists. So we've gone back to the old model of 'Hey, we're just gonna blow your minds!'

"We can be musical again. We can be exciting, we can push boundaries, we can be avant-garde - it's not always about the past. It gets to be such an old drumbeat: the past, the past, the past. [pauses, smiles] OK, now let's talk about the reissues!" [laughs]

When you announced that you were doing Oceania as a full album - an "album within an album" - you indicated that it was something of an experiment.

Now that it's finished and you're getting good response, would you consider recording another full album, or are you just not ready to go there yet?

"I would. I can see where we'll make another album after this. The difficulty is that it's such a consuming thing in my life. Making Oceania, I basically had six months of no life. I was in Chicago for half a year, and making this record is all I did.

"It's different for me now. When you're 24 and you can't wait to get your video on MTV, somebody can sell you the idea of doing nothing else for six months. But if you're 44 - uncertain, not sure who's going to listen, no idea where things are going - six months is a really big commitment.

"I know this might sound trite, but I want to play with my dogs. I want to go shopping. I want to stand on the beach and look out at the water."

Bassist Nicole Fiorentino and Corgan on stage. "The band is on fire," says Corgan. © RD/ Kabik/Retna Ltd./Corbis

That doesn't sound trite at all.

"See, I give up a lot of those things, and it makes it very difficult when you don't get the response to your work that matches what you've put into it. You start to think, Why am I giving up my life when my work isn't connecting with people in their lives? It's not like there has to be this fair trade, and after all, it is my decision to do what I do. But making an album is very consuming. I wish there was another way, but I've never found it."

Of the new songs that you're playing live, is there any one that's surprising you the most?

"Oceania. It's a long song, it's about 10 minutes plus. You know, you're told over and over again that the audience has no attention span, they're going to look at their phones, they need something short. Yet here we are, playing a 10-minute song, and people are excited.

"It proves the point: It you can create something that's emotional and draws the audience in, time is not the issue. Volume is not the issue. Your guitar tone is not the issue. You see things on YouTube all the time - the cat playing the piano. [laughs] If you make something that people feel good about, they'll get into it.

"I've been very surprised at how positive the response to the song has been and how people are getting it right away. I might have expected that they wouldn't, but the fact that they are is great. Hearing people go 'Yea!' to a new song is a welcome change. I've had a lot of 'Hmm…' the past few years. You get used to 'Hmm…'"

But how did you deal with "Hmm…"? That couldn't have been easy.

"It wasn't. When I was younger, I got really angry. Then I got sort of bitter, like, 'This sucks. Shouldn't I be given more of an opportunity here?' Eventually, I realized that you have to trust the public's opinion. Even if they're wrong, they're right. You know what I mean? If they like Justin Bieber, you can't say, 'No, don't like Justin Bieber.' They're going to gravitate towards what they want, and you have to accept that.

"Looking back at where I've gotten it right at the highest level, the public has always responded positively. Now, what pisses me off is that once an artist has risen to the highest level, and I'll take myself out of the conversation…I'm talking about a Bob Dylan, a Tom Waits, a Neil Young, a Johnny Cash…once they prove that to you, if they put something out and it doesn't hit a home run, it doesn't mean that they've 'lost it.' It means they're on a journey. They're out there looking for that next vein of gold, and sometimes you have to go way out into the forest or the desert to find it.

"So that bothers me. It gets into an area of distrust. You hit your head, and you start to think that you've forgotten how to write a pop song. The whole thing is ridiculous, because I didn't wake up one day and say, 'I'm going to write a song with tom-toms and it'll be about rats in a cage.' In fact, with Mellon Collie, which became a huge album, I had to be talked into releasing Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Phil Quartararo, who was the president of Virgin Records at the time. I wanted another song to be the first single."

On stage with drummer Mike Byrne and guitarist Jeff Schroeder. "We can be musical again. avant-garde," says Corgan. © RD/ Kabik/Retna Ltd./Corbis

Which song was that?

"Jellybelly. I thought that was more in line with how The Smashing Pumpkins should be represented. This was after eight months of work. And nobody ever talks to me about Jellybelly, yet every night when we play Bullet people yell and scream and jump all over the place. Just because I'm the artist doesn't mean I always know. The public will tell you when you're right.

"At the same time, you have to be allowed to graduate to a different class. I don't want to compete with 20-year-olds as if we have the same goals. We don't. I don't wake up every morning wanting to get laid. Sure, when I was 20, that's what I wanted - I wanted to get crazy and jump around. When you're 44, you have different values and goals. You should be allowed to pursue those goals and not feel as if they're small and don't mean anything."

Let's get into how the band functions musically these days. How do you and Jeff connect on a guitar level, particularly with the older songs?

"For the most part, Jeff plays what used to be James' parts, and I play what used to be my parts. In certain places, Jeff plays my guitar parts because in the old Pumpkins there were things that James couldn't play, and I'd have to play them and sing at the same time. Jeff is such a good guitar player that he can play my parts and let me do a better job of singing.

"As far as the rest of it, we don't talk about it that much. As an example, there's a song from Adore called For Martha, and we put a coda on it where there's sort of a lead at the end. In a rehearsal, originally Jeff was taking the first lead, and then I'd play the second lead, and then I'd do a vocal and it would be the end of the song.

"After we played it live a few times, I just let him play the whole solo. What he was playing was so good, so I just felt like I should get out of the way. He was seizing the moment better than I was. [shrugs] Hey, it's my song, and it works better that way. I can do what I want with it."

Reaching for the highest level. © RD/ Kabik/Retna Ltd./Corbis

So there's a kind of telepathy thing going on? In many great two-guitar bands, an unspoken form of communication exists between the players.

"Yes, but what's tricky sometimes with us is, we're both lead guitar players. It's not like I'm the lead guitarist and he's the rhythm player but he can play an occasional lead - Jeff is a bona fide lead guitar player. So sometimes we do have to talk about how to clear out and make space for each other."

And how about the band's musical relationship with Mike Byrne? In most bands, the drummer sets the tone, the pace, and the other players follow what the drummer does.

"That can be true, but in this regard Mike is different. See, Jimmy Chamberlin was very much from the school of big bands, and his mentality was to drive the band - he would cite people like Gene Krupa as an influence."

"Mike is very much a groove drummer. He's focused on how time separates or delineates itself. Because he's such a great timekeeper, it frees us up to improvise within the spaces. We still play to Mike, but we're more like four people playing individually and collectively as opposed to playing to the drummer and driving outwards.

"It's the difference between when Jimi Hendrix played with Mitch Mitchell versus when he played with Buddy Miles. When Hendrix played with Buddy Miles, he played freer and in a more avant-garde fashion because he had somebody chopping the time for him. Mike has that flair, but he's very much a groove drummer."

Going back to what we were talking about earlier, needing to grow and mutate, you remind me of John Lennon after The Beatles broke up and he put out the Plastic Ono Band album.

"I'll say this: To anyone who's followed my musical life…there's been some really difficult times. There's been some amazing times, and there's been some hard times. But I've had an incredible journey. I've experienced things that a musician who leads by fear will never know.

"I've played with some of the greatest artists in the world. I've had crazy stuff happen and have found myself in situations I never would have expected. I've learned musical lessons that people who are bored or scared never would because it would be out of their range.

"At the end of the day, if it is about my life, I've had an incredible life as a musician. If I've had a shit life as a pop star, I don't really care. I was raised to be a musician."

New Teahouse from Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan - Recipes

To say the rhythm of the music industry has changed over the course of the last 25 years would be an understatement, but Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan has been there for it all—even when the music business turned its back on him.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Smashing Pumpkins’ industry-defying double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness . Crushing expectations as it grew to become the best-selling double album of the 90s, Mellon Collie found the band at the peak of their career, cementing Corgan’s status as a songwriting powerhouse.

Celebrated in every way—including two consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance in ‘96/’97 and a cameo on The Simpsons where Corgan performed at “Homerpalooza” wearing his iconic silver pants and long sleeve black shirt with the word “Zero” printed on it—everything was going great for the Pumpkins. Until it wasn’t.

“MTV couldn’t get enough of us,” Corgan says over the phone from his studio in Chicago. “And then, one day, it was literally like their door was shut. They didn’t care, they wouldn’t return our phone calls, and we weren’t invited to anything anymore. It was literally like night and day—it was a really strange experience.”

There were many hurdles contributing to the band’s struggle to maintain their footing in the spotlight of the music industry over the next few years. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin’s battled with a heroin addiction, and the death of Corgan’s mother prior to the recording of their 1998 follow-up, Adore, were understandable hurdles. But for Corgan, as much as the sting of being left out in the cold by MTV affected him, he never stopped creating.

As fate would have it, things seem to have come full circle in 2020 with the band’s return to their original lineup (minus bassist D’arcy Wretzky) and the addition of a second double-album, Cyr , to their celebrated discography. A dark and dystopic electronic rock album written, produced, and funded entirely by Corgan, Cyr features Smashing Pumpkins’ co-founding guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, plus new guitarist Jeff Schroeder and touring vocalist/keyboardist Katie Cole. The 20 new tracks find the band in excellent form as they explore the groovier synth-rock side of Corgan’s repertoire. Five of which have been turned into the soundtrack of an animated sci-fi video series, In Ashes, which follows a group of friends trying to survive while making their way through a broken post-apocalyptic city.

We called Corgan to talk to him about the new album, his foray into animation, and what he believes is going to save the music industry from itself.

Congratulations on your new album. What’s it like for you to be releasing music during a pandemic?

It’s definitely surreal. It’s hard to beat your chest and say, “Hey, pay attention,” because it’s one of those rare moments in time where it’s obvious that there are more important things happening. It’s not a cultural discussion, it’s literally a world health crisis that’s affecting everything. I have a tea house cafe here [ Madame ZuZus Teashop ] and it’s affected us as far as who we can let in, and right now we can’t have any indoor dining. I think the thing I’ve seen from people who have reached out on social media is that they appreciate having something to focus on.

Your new animated series, In Ashes, seems like a convenient way to communicate visuals given the current restrictions. How did it come about?

It was one of those things where management calls up and goes, “We think you should probably do something animated or we’re not going to have any video at all,” because of Covid. So I just came up with this crazy idea for a series and everybody loved it. Then we found the right team to work with. I think animation is an under appreciated form of art and I’m still learning how to work in the medium. It’s been good fun though and the silver lining is we ended up doing something we probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

You produced Cyr yourself and have always been a hands-on creator. How was your experience working on this album?

I’ve always co-produced everything. I think overall I work better with a producer, but there are times, even just for logistics, I’m fine to take over. But I don’t always like to be in that role because it asks a lot of me to be the good and the bad cop.

Can you elaborate a bit on what makes someone a bad cop?

Well, let’s say a musician—not myself—plays a part that you don’t think goes well with the song. If there’s a producer and the producer agrees with that idea then it’s not two against one, it’s someone else in the room who has an invested interest in the best outcome.

Would you say your vision has always been the crux of what Smashing Pumpkins is?

Yes. I’ve kind of accepted that somehow now. It was harder for me when I was younger, but I’m kind of cool with it now. It’s my crazy dream that I dreamt up and I’m lucky to play with musicians who by and large agree with my crazy ideas. And then we just tumble down the road until we run out of road.

You have this new double album that you’re just about to drop, while also celebrating the 25th anniversary of Mellon Collie. Is it just a coincidence that they both happen to double albums?

I don’t know if I believe in coincidences. I think things kind of cycle back around, so it makes sense to me in a weird kind of way. But no, it wasn’t conscious.

Looking back on Mellon Collie, is there anything in particular you remember about how you felt when that album was released?

I think the thing that sticks out most is the anxiety because there was such pressure and I had stuck my foot in it by insisting it be a double album. The record company didn’t want a double album. They were particularly worried it was going to impact sales. I insisted that it be one body of work that all went together and we would do our best to make sure it was worthy. And then it debuted at No. 1. But the week of it coming out, we were very late handing it in, so there was a lot of pressure.

Thinking about the state of the music industry in the 80s/90s and the idea of alternative music, MTV played a huge role in shaping that landscape. What was your relationship like with them?

It was great until they didn’t give a shit about us anymore.

Do you think it was something you or the band did or didn’t do?

No. It was like they had a meeting and were like “OK, they’re off the list.” We went from being invited to everything, participating in everything, to zero. It was weird because we were young and we didn’t really understand.

MTV today doesn’t exist in the same way that it did during its heyday in the 90s does that make you feel any comfort?

From a personal point of view, I think that their hubris was their downfall. MTV got away with one of the great crimes of the century, which is that they were able to convince the record labels to give them the videos for free. And the labels sat there and let somebody build an empire, for which they got very little in return.

Do you think social media has helped artists reclaim what is owed to them?

Absolutely. This is why the next 20 years are going to be really interesting. I think the ultimate revolution in the music business will be the ability for an artist to directly market and create commerce with their fans, with no middle people at all.

Looking back at your career arc, do you have a moment that you consider your ‘breakout moment’?

If I had to pick one and stick a pin in it, I would say it was probably the first time we appeared on Saturday Night Live . It was around the time Siamese Dream was coming out. I don’t remember who was hosting, but I remember that when we were rehearsing they tried to put pumpkins on the stage and it turned into a big argument.

What did you tell them?

I told them to fuck off [ laughs ].

Did you find it easy to embrace your newfound fame after that SNL appearance?

You can be the biggest band in the indie world and your family doesn’t give a shit. But when you’re in the New York Times , on Saturday Night Live , or on the cover of Rolling Stone or the cover of the local paper, then your family goes, “oh!” and a little light goes on in their head, realizing that something is happening or you wouldn’t be there.

So if that’s your family, now imagine everyone else. I go to the gas station and the guy who is clearly not a fan shouts, “Hey man, I love your new song.” And you’re like, “Huh? How does this guy know who I am when he’s like 62?” You breakthrough into this other space that is completely different from what you’ve been in, which is indie record stores and bearded journalists who want to talk about the great lost Beach Boys record or something. It’s a totally different experience, the difference between indie underground culture and mainstream culture.

Billy Corgan Talks New Smashing Pumpkins, Opening A Café In A Pandemic

Not many people in music are busier than Billy Corgan.

Corgan, somehow, has always struck a peculiar balanced between his mogul aspirations and his musical grounding.

Between his solo work and a string of ambitious projects with Smashing Pumpkins, Billy has put out new albums in each of the last six years.

Smashing Pumpkins' latest double-album, Cyr, arrived last week, just as Corgan and his bandmates Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha and Jeff Shroeder chip away at 46 new songs for yet another double-album.

"I'd always hoped to do [a third double album], I just didn't think it was going to happen with all the band issues that happened," Corgan says of his new project. "I've been talking about this for years, so I'm glad I finally got it all lined up to do it, and we feel really good in-house.

"To do a double-record, especially as conceptual, like the record we're working on now — it's 33 songs, that record. It's a lot of work and everybody's got to kind of be on the same page. But it's probably the first time since we made — at least Mellon Collie [and the Infinite Sadness] in '94 — that we've been this harmonious in the band house."

At the same time he threw himself into this new musical project, Corgan opened a new vegan café, Madame ZuZu's Tea House and Art Studio, in Highland Park, Illinois. Corgan says the space is yet to be able to fully utilize its 4,000 square foot space due to restrictions, but business has been good so far.

"People literally come in and they say, 'We can't believe you're opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic,'" Corgan says of the new space. "And it's true, but honestly. all the work that I've done this year, my reaction to everything that's happening is just to stay busy. And I know that everybody doesn't have that choice, but for me, that's been the way that I've tried to stay sane."

Watch the full conversation via the player above!

While the next Smashing Pumpkins record might still be a year or so away, you can get Cyr here.

Watch the video: Smashing Pumpkins - 101900 - Full VideoTweaked - Paris, France (November 2022).