Soundgarden and The Smashing Pumpkins have a history together. No, they never toured or collaborated with each other, they've just spent the last five years arguing over whose reunion is more legitimate. In the latest instance of this, Soundgarden band members have attacked Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan for being the band's only long-term member.
In an interview with Gigwise, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, and Matt Cameron discussed the band's creative process, and how much better it is than bands who only have "one jackass who runs the whole thing." Though they never mentioned Corgan or The Smashing Pumpkins by name, the Soundgarden members' diss was thinly-veiled at best.
Guitarist Kim Thayil kicked off the tirade by proclaiming, "It's not possible for us to do a bad record," continuing on to explain his theory on how bad albums come into existence. "Here’s how it’s possible to do a bad record," he said, "You’ve got one jackass who runs the whole thing, and a bunch of guys they hire around him.”
Matt Cameron then put his hand on his hip and jokingly asked, "Who are you talking about?" Everyone in the room obviously knew exactly who Thayil was addressing. Corgan has been the only consistent member of The Smashing Pumpkins, and his tendency to record in place of his band members is no secret, even on the band's first two albums.
Thayil continued his tirade against one man bands, saying, “If you’ve got a band where one guy calls the shots, that’s a band that’s going to suck. Because the guy might have bad thoughts in his head. 'Well I just came out of sobriety and I’ve got this idea for a rock record, I just married my third wife and I have this new idea for a rock record.'”
All of this begs asking if Thayil could single-handedly make an album as great as Siamese Dream, but with The Pumpkins' latest output garnering tepid critical reception, the man has a point. Thayil and company also have plenty reason to be irked at Corgan, as he called their 2012 reunion tour an excuse to "make money."
Both Soundgarden and The Smashing Pumpkins are bands that had their heyday in the '90s, and are now in the twilight of their careers. At that point, it's common (if not likely) for bands to release subpar material, and tour for the sake of earning an income. Either no one's told this to Soundgarden or The Pumpkins, or they just aren't listening. Whatever the case, this ongoing beef isn't helping better the popular image of either party.