Billy Corgan Wants to Remind You How Much He Influenced Nirvana and Pearl Jam
The Smashing Pumpkins leader says 'Gish' has been "kind of pushed aside" — even though it was a "game-changer"
Published May 28, 2021Billy Corgan is known for a lot of things, but humbleness is not one of them. As a reminder of that, the Smashing Pumpkins leader used the band's 30th anniversary celebrations of Gish to tell us all how much their 1991 debut changed the rock'n'roll landscape — and the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and even Queens of the Stone Age.
Corgan opened about Gish and his views of the album's widespread influence in a new Rolling Stone feature, where he used the interview to tell us how he influenced his peers, as well as vented some frustration about Gish's place in rock'n'roll history.
"Not only did [Gish] get memory-holed, but people have tended to diminish the influence of the record," Corgan said. "I remember having a conversation with Eddie Vedder when we were on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers [in late 1991]. He told me how much of an influence Gish was on their first record. And through the years, I've talked to many, many people who really pointed to Gish as the game-changer in their mind about how to approach guitar and how to record."
But not only did Corgan say that he helped birth Pearl Jam's Ten, he also apparently had a big impact on Nirvana's Nevermind. Butch Vig produced Gish and, around the same time, went to work on Nirvana's big commercial breakthrough album.
"Obviously, the album had a lot to do with how Nevermind was recorded," Corgan said, before adding that Gish also played a big role in giving the world Queens of the Stone Age.
"The album had a lot to do with what became Queens of the Stone Age. I remember Josh Homme talking to me about Kyuss, the band he was in before Queens, and how Gish was the record for him that really turned his head."
To sum things up, Corgan said: "So privately, I've had a lot of conversations over the years of people talking to me about Gish. But it's been kind of pushed aside because, obviously, what followed it was so massive and so game-changing that it got a little pushed back. And then Siamese Dream seemed like our breakthrough moment."
So as you can see, Corgan definitely has some issues with how Gish has ended up being perceived over the years. And maybe he has a good reason to feel that way.
Whether you agree or not, Corgan will no doubt drop a lot more Gish truths tomorrow (May 29) during a two-hour Gish livestream. As previously reported, will include not only a Q&A, but also a Gish vinyl listening party, as well as "a very special world exclusive preview of unreleased music."
The livestream will be hosted from Corgan's Madame ZuZu's in Highland Park, IL, and it will cost you $19.91 to attend. You can grab tickets here. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the PAWS no-kill animal shelter in Chicago.