Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has been known for being outspoken since his band broke into mainstream channels in the early 1990s. The singer has often been direct when discussing and criticising other musicians, and he also hasn’t been shy about his political views.
According to a report from Alternative Nation, Billy Corgan was asked about Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor’s approach to music in recent years. Reznor has ostensibly stated that he no longer cares about mass-appeal and simply makes the music he wants to make. Billy Corgan wasn’t overly critical of Reznor’s recent approach to music-making, though he did refer to Trent’s lack of concern for reaching a broad audience as a “surrender.”
“I don’t disagree with Trent’s assertion, but I’m also a big proponent that if you’re not trying to reach people, there’s some sort of surrender in that, that I don’t like.
“As an artist you have to try to fight through this, ‘Oh, the Millennials, they don’t care about this.’ You have to fight through that, because you really have to believe the music is a transformative thing for most people.
“I do think you have to believe in that, but of course, I think Trent is just being pragmatic.”
As of the time of this writing, Trent Reznor has not issued a response to Corgan’s take on Nine Inch Nails’ more recent releases, but not unlike Billy, Trent is also known for being extremely outspoken, so it’s entirely possible Trent could issue a retort.
In 2009, Reznor commented on Chris Cornell’s solo album with heavy criticism.
“You know that feeling you get when somebody embarrasses themselves so badly YOU feel uncomfortable? Heard Chris Cornell’s record? Jesus.”
Trent later issued an apology for the remark, but that didn’t stop him from blasting other artists on a regular basis. This year alone he’s lambasted Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and even president Donald Trump in interviews.
— Toronto Sun (@TheTorontoSun) November 16, 2018
Billy Corgan just released a new album with The Smashing Pumpkins on November 16, entitled Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. The album has garnered generally positive reviews from music outlets, with the exception of Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Rolling Stone issued the new album two out of a possible five stars, while Pitchfork gave the album a 3.4 out of a possible 10.
On the other end of the spectrum, Consequence of Sound gave the new Smashing Pumpkins album a B rating, while Spin Magazine gave the record four out of a possible five stars.