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The Smashing Pumpkins: Making Peace With The Immediate Past

The Smashing Pumpkins in 2012 (from left): Nicole Fiorentino, Billy Corgan, Mike Byrne and Jeff Schroeder.
Paul Elledge
Courtesy of the artist
The Smashing Pumpkins in 2012 (from left): Nicole Fiorentino, Billy Corgan, Mike Byrne and Jeff Schroeder.

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Siamese Dream, the second album by The Smashing Pumpkins and the one, along with 1995's Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, that broke the band into the mainstream and spawned its most lasting hits.

In the years since, the group has split and reformed, with frontman Billy Corgan as the only constant member. It has also continued to release music at a steady pace (the new Oceania is the band's ninth full-length), often taking hard stylistic turns from album to album. Speaking with NPR's Guy Raz, Corgan says distancing himself from his immediate past is a habit he's finally beginning to grow out of.

"I used to think like that," Corgan says. "That was part of The Smashing Pumpkins business model, was to change and evolve and essentially break and destroy what we'd created. Our most popular styles, which were created in '93 and '95, we immediately turned around and broke the mold — which is business suicide. As long as we were successful on the next subsequent record, that made sense to everybody around us; the minute that stopped working, I was dubbed an idiot."

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