Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins Says Rock Needs God and 'Jesus Would Like Better Bands'

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins is seen performing in this 2010 photo.
Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins is seen performing in this 2010 photo. | (Photo: Flikr Creative Commons/djdroga)

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan recently shared in an interview with CNN on why he is through with exploring suffering in music and now pursuing God, which he thinks is "the great unexplored territory in rock and roll music."

"There's a long-established concept that gets bandied about, which is misery makes for great art," Corgan said during the Aug. 23 interview. "If you were asking a Shinto monk, I think they would laugh at this idea. You're basically saying suffering is good for business, and I don't think suffering is good for business. Crazy's good for business, suffering isn't."

When asked what he was now exploring in his music, Corgan, 46, said bluntly, "God."

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The Illinois native said he believes God is the future of rock and roll, although that concept might not be readily welcomed.

"You're not supposed to talk about God, even though most of the world believes in God. It's sort of like 'don't go there,'" Corgan said, relating a comment he made to a magazine that failed to print his remarks. "I think God is the most unexplored territory in rock and roll music."

So what would be his message to Christian artists already exploring God and religious themes in their music?

"Make better music," he said. "Personally, I think Jesus would like better bands."

Corgan, The Smashing Pumpkins' lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter, once had his lyrics described by Details magazine as "anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan's nightmare-land."

The band has enjoyed steady popularity since its debut in the early '90s, and has been nominated for and won several American Music Awards, Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards.

The new themes Corgan has been exploring for the past several years, along with a different set of artists now composing the alt-rock band, was highlighted in a 2005 article. The article also discussed Corgan's "new-found spirituality," which is apparently a mix of Catholicism and Buddhism.

Corgan's latest interview with CNN is shown in the video below.

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