The Smashing Pumpkins‘ frontman Billy Corgan chatted with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about reassembling the Chicago alt-rockers for a new album and the evolving state of mainstream pop.

Corgan listed his rock-leaning musical influences David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Beatles, but he appreciates how pop stars like Halsey and Lady Gaga have been leaning into other genres in a “musical world that I dreamed of.”

“I think the good news is that we’re now in, or we’ve entered into, the musical world that I dreamed of. Which is that you hear pop artists like Halsey doing almost alternative tracks. You see Gaga doing a country album,” Corgan said of their output. “I mean, artists really should explore the space, and if they’re gifted enough, they should be able to pull it off. If they’re not, that’s okay too.”

Although the 53-year-old star muses over his dream musical world, it’s not perfect yet. The division in American politics that’s especially intensified ahead of the Nov. 3 election presents a historical tension Corgan’s been talking about since the ’90s when The Smashing Pumpkins starred on the cover of Melody Maker.

“So this has been a long, long building narrative. And we have a tremendous opportunity now to come together and sort of build the perfect world, the perfect music world, the perfect artistic world, the perfect world for everybody to achieve their dream,” he added. “Or we can carry on and repeat those history books that I’ve read too where it ends up with weird, weird stuff happening.”

Listen to Corgan’s At Home Playlist here and his Apple Music interview here.


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