Billy Corgan didn’t mince words about how the music business does not produce happy people. Loudwire transcribed some of his chat on WFAN’s Boomer & Geo show, in which he explained, “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.”
The Smashing Pumpkins leader went on to say, “We lost Jimi Hendrix at 27 years old to addiction and think of all the music that Jimi Hendrix didn’t make. 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. Think of all the people my generation has lost just to addiction and suicide alone. It is a travesty that there wasn’t more support systems around those artists. I don’t mean to throw shade at anybody. I just know how the business works. It’s one of exploitation.”
Corgan went on to talk about how he feels lucky to remain one of rock’s survivors: “I feel blessed, so that’s the start of every sentence. I would just like people to say he made it through, and if that inspired them to try harder, great. I’m not trying to be that role model, but I don’t want to be on the other end of the casualty list.”
Back in 1996 when inducting Pink Floyd into the Rock Hall, Billy Corgan spoke about Syd Barrett — one of rock’s first fallen heroes and permanent victims of the drug culture: “The very root of Pink Floyd surrounds the genesis with Syd Barrett — and as we all know, we’re consistently amazed in rock n’ roll with tragedy and beauty, and Syd was both. His original artistic vision that’s expressed on the first Pink Floyd record really defined what this band still continues to be — an exploration into the outer terrains of whatever it is that makes music happen.”
Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction kick off their joint North American tour on October 2nd at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.