Billy Corgan loves to talk.
The head Pumpkin's quotes alone tend to reach the 1,000-word mark in most stories, and a recent sit-down with Radio.com was no exception.
He broached several large-scale topics, including the greatness of the grunge era.
"There's very few periods in the 20th century, particularly in music history, where you have that moment," he said. "Before the kind of 'grunge' moment, let's call it '91 to '95, the last time a moment like that had happened was 1965 to 1970. I used to say, 'People are going to remember this time much more than they think.' Because it's so rare that you have that melding of forces. And it is kind of like a perfect storm.
"You need the right personalities peaking at the right moment, and, with my generation, we had stars. We had people who were legitimate stars that fostered movements that are still going. Even somebody like my on-again off-again pal Courtney [Love], you have to give her credit for cracking open a door that nobody had ever really cracked open. And it stayed open ever since."
So what's the difference between that era and this era of young guns? Corgan blames a different mindset.
"Having played in a band with a millennial, this is a general comment and I don't mean it as criticism, I think that their goal of what they're looking for is far different than ours," Corgan said. "I think their qualification for what a peak moment [at a concert] is, is different. I think they look at things far differently than we did. Sometimes I have to step back and say, 'If that's what they want, and that's the way they want it, I shouldn't be the one judging it. But it's communicating whatever it is that they need to communicate.' At the end of the day, they need the right band on stage so that they can take the selfie, then maybe that's what a peak moment is for them. For us, in our generation, it was about 60,000 people in a field moving in one cloud of f---ing insane energy. Those are memories... to this day, I still can't believe that I stood on a stage and watched that happen."
There was a moment in the late '90s at Lollapalooza when Corgan looked around realized that "alternative nation" was slipping into the rear-view.
"Music is, excuse my French, sort of the lubricant to get people through the gate," he said. "That kind of offended me in a weird way. And I couldn't understand why more people from our collective culture weren't sort of taking this on. What I saw was other people kind of saying, 'Hey, I'm not gonna fight it. Cool, "Put your hands in the air wave them like you just don't care!"' OK, that's really not alternative culture. And it was stupid of me to think that I was going to educate somebody [who was] standing in a field all day. But that was the hubris and the stupidity that I had at the time. But also, you have this sense that it's going to last. That you're going to have more Sundays to proselytize. I didn't realize that this thing was about to end... really fast.
"For all of us. I think the '90s was, in terms of rock music, about somebody taking a counter culture movement and figuring out a way to sell it. Unfortunately, most of us were too naivë to understand that we were being sold. We thought that we were the ones selling the lemons, not the other way around. And then MTV went off grunge, Rolling Stone went off grunge, Spin even went off grunge! When that happened, we had no answer."
Read the full interview here.