Billy Corgan has spoken out against the dearth of mental health options available to musicians who are battling with mental illness. He believes that this is due to a lack of awareness and resources in the business.
The Smashing Pumpkins vocalist spoke with Boomer & Gio earlier this week during an appearance on New York’s WFAN Sports Radio. After growing up in an oppressive environment, Corgan was once asked how pleased he feels today as an adult.
Speaking candidly, the singer-songwriter said (per Loudwire): “I don’t know if you can be happy in the music business because the music business is sort of designed to mess with your head. I think the music business in particular has been very late to the game with mental health and artists.
Corgan then pointed to Jimi Hendrix – who died from an incident linked to drug addiction at age 27 – as an artist who died young in a preventable situation stemming from mental illness. “Think of all the music that Jimi Hendrix didn’t make,” he said. “We’re still talking about Jimi Hendrix 54 or 55 years after his death. I get lost in there because it’s so sad to me.”
He continued by saying that the music industry has a systemic problem with mental health and has lagged behind in addressing it. “The NFL has figured it out but the music business hasn’t,” he said, “because the music business is based more on exploitation, which goes back to more of its 20th-century roots.
“I think the 21st century of the music business should be a legacy of finding artists young, fostering them, and making sure that they go on to create great music for generations to come.”
Returning to the idea that people with mental illnesses frequently pass away at a young age, Corgan stated, “Think of all the people my generation has lost just to addiction and suicide alone. The lack of further support structures for those artists is a scandal. I don’t mean to disparage anyone. All I know is how business is conducted. It is an exploitation one.
Corgan said he “feel[s] privileged” to be where he is now, pointing to his own longevity in the music business and the fact that he has long been honest about his battles with mental illness.
“I just want people to know he made it through, and if that inspires them to strive harder, terrific,” he added. I’m not attempting to be that example, but I also don’t want to end up on the casualty list.
Prior to the Pumpkins’ “intimate club performance” in New York City yesterday, Corgan conducted an interview (September 22). It served as a warm-up performance for their forthcoming Jane’s Addiction North American tour, which begins on Sunday, October 2.
Also this week, the Pumpkins officially unveiled their long-teased 12th studio album and dropped the exciting new song “Beguiled.” The complex rock opera, titled “ATUM” (pronounced “autumn”), which will be published in three acts over the next seven months, is a follow-up to 1995’s “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness” and both of 2000’s “Machina” recordings.
Each performer will have 11 songs, and the first one will be made available on November 15. After that, the second act will debut on January 31, and the final one is scheduled to debut on April 21. The song “Empire,” which the Pumpkins debuted live this week in Chicago, will also be included on the album.
Before the 2020 release of the Pumpkins’ final album, “CYR,” when Corgan unveiled his lofty ambition for the album’s concept, word of “ATUM” initially spread.
The Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder later stated in July that the band was “about halfway through” the recording process after he and the band acknowledged in March of last year that they had started. Then, in April, Schroeder declared that the record’s manufacturing was complete.
The Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction collaborated the next month to perform “Jane Says” live on the Howard Stern Show. Then, during a performance at this year’s Lollapalooza, Corgan joined Porno For Pyros, who, like Jane’s Addiction, is fronted by Perry Farrell. The two of them collaborated to play Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks.”
Corgan organized a fundraiser in July in support of the Highland Park shooting victims. At the event, he played a number of brand-new songs, including the tragedy-inspired tune “Photograph.”
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