Billy Corgan discussed writing Smashing Pumpkins’ biggest hits on Siamese Dream in a new Spotify For Artists ‘Best Advice’ podcast.
“You have to be in the place to be available and if nothing comes out, that’s totally fine. Don’t judge the output. Some of the greatest songs I ever wrote that people still want to talk to me about 25 years later, I wrote in 20 minutes and I’m not even joking. But I was in the right place to receive that and do something about it when I was there. So, you could say hey man, those other 23 hours a day you didn’t do much and it’s like yeah, but I wrote a song that changed my life in 20 minutes. So, you have to be available and that’s the key. And you know if you want to be spiritual about it, say very much rooted in Buddhism just be in the present being available and ride the wave of your energies and try to actually pay attention to how your energies work.”
He later said about being competitive, “But I think at the end of the day, you have to have faith in yourself and there are oftentimes where the numbers just don’t really indicate where you are on your own journey. The Smashing Pumpkins when we started, we were playing clubs to 50 people if we were lucky. There was a long period of time where that’s the only number that we had. Now if somebody looked at that number, they would say well you’re not doing much at all. I would more so look at like let’s say you’re a person who just wants to put songs on social platforms and let people hear them. If there’s people really engaging with you in a positive way, okay, you’ve really got something because then that 100 will scale up to a 1,000 and beyond.”
“You have to work with what you have is what I’m trying to say. If you sit there and compare yourself to somebody else and say, ‘Well they’ve got 10 times more interest than I do,’ it might just be because they’re more trendy. If you’re an alternative artist like I am, you can’t really compare yourself to those numbers. My social media numbers are 1/1000 of Taylor Swift. Does that mean I’m 1/1000 as important as a great artist like Taylor Swift? No, not at all. It’s more about how you impact the people and whether or not they resonate with your message.”