June 22, 2012


Billy Corgan Disses OK Go, Says Videos Today Are "Just Gimmicks"

When we spoke with alt-rock's most-outspoken frontman, Billy Corgan, he shared his unequivocal thoughts on why two cornerstones of the music industry—the album and the music video—are no longer as relevant as they used to be. He even took a thinly-veiled potshot at viral music video craftsmen OK Go.  

"I love videos but they're just not effective right now… [not as much as] they were, say, 20 years ago," Corgan says. "Is it the technology? Is it the fact that everyone has access to really good HD cameras right now? Is it that the major labels don't have the budget to make big budget videos anymore? Are we out of video ideas?" 

Corgan also expresses his apathy toward recent music videos, not-so-obliquely referencing OK Go in the process. "Why are the most celebrated videos of the last five years basically just gimmicks as opposed to substantive things that are worth repeating? They're more like cultural curiosities like, 'Oh, look! They're running on the treadmill.'

"I would love to make videos again—I have a good history with videos," Corgan says, which we heartily concur with. "But at the same time, the system as it exists is, if you don't have a new single, they're not going to play [the video]. So if you're not getting radio play, you make the expensive video and then the systems that play videos don't play them. So why are we spending all that money? Maybe we should be spending it on something else, like getting a big mouse head or something more fun." 

Hmm... perhaps Corgan will go the deadmau5 route. Maybe rename the band 5mashing Pumpkin5? He also explains why Smashing Pumpkins still make albums, an art form he mostly considers dead. 

"I believe the album is dead, absolutely, which sounds counterintuitive to the message," Corgan says. "We [the band] still think it's an effective form of communication, because in our case it's helping change the perception of the band's artistic legacy."

Let us know what you think about Corgan's take on the music industry below, and check out our other interview with Corgan, where he talks about why bands shouldn't tour behind old albums.