Billy Corgan Talks New Smashing Pumpkins, Opening A Café In A Pandemic


Not many people in music are busier than Billy Corgan.

Corgan, somehow, has always struck a peculiar balanced between his mogul aspirations and his musical grounding.

Between his solo work and a string of ambitious projects with Smashing Pumpkins, Billy has put out new albums in each of the last six years.

Smashing Pumpkins' latest double-album, Cyr, arrived last week, just as Corgan and his bandmates Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha and Jeff Shroeder chip away at 46 new songs for yet another double-album.

"I'd always hoped to do [a third double album], I just didn't think it was going to happen with all the band issues that happened," Corgan says of his new project. "I've been talking about this for years, so I'm glad I finally got it all lined up to do it, and we feel really good in-house.

"To do a double-record, especially as conceptual, like the record we're working on now — it's 33 songs, that record. It's a lot of work and everybody's got to kind of be on the same page. But it's probably the first time since we made — at least Mellon Collie [and the Infinite Sadness] in '94 — that we've been this harmonious in the band house."

At the same time he threw himself into this new musical project, Corgan opened a new vegan café, Madame ZuZu's Tea House and Art Studio, in Highland Park, Illinois. Corgan says the space is yet to be able to fully utilize its 4,000 square foot space due to restrictions, but business has been good so far.

"People literally come in and they say, 'We can't believe you're opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic,'" Corgan says of the new space. "And it's true, but honestly...all the work that I've done this year, my reaction to everything that's happening is just to stay busy. And I know that everybody doesn't have that choice, but for me, that's been the way that I've tried to stay sane."

Watch the full conversation via the player above!

While the next Smashing Pumpkins record might still be a year or so away, you can get Cyr here.

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Here's the animated video for "The Colour Of Love":

Here's the video for the title track "Cyr":