Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan on Suicidal Depression in Early ’90s: ‘I Was Giving Away Stuff And Planning My Eulogy’
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan just gave one of the deepest interviews of his career on Why Not Now? With Amy Jo Martin. Corgan reveals he was extremely close to suicide in the early ‘90s and how the Pumpkins classic “Today” was the first step in getting him out of that dark place.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ sound has never strayed too far from the sadder moments of life, helping define the alternative rock explosion of the 1990s. The Pumpkins were on their way to big success after releasing their debut Gish in May 1991, but when Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten came out later that year, Corgan became disenfranchised with his place in music.
“Within a short span of time I went from thinking I was very successful within my given field, to all the rules had changed in my given field,” Corgan explained. “Everything I had built myself up to be and do was no longer as relevant as it needed to be. I went into a very strange depression because I felt like something had been not taken, but the change made me feel kind of inadequate in a way I wasn’t prepared for.”
Corgan continued, “I reached this kind of morning in my life where it was like I’m either going to jump out a window, or I was going to change my life. I know that sounds very dramatic, but that’s literally what happened. I couldn’t meditate on death anymore than I had, I’d even gotten to the point where, they say it’s very troubling in suicide land if you start giving away your possessions. I’d already been through all those stages, I was giving away stuff and planning my eulogy, and all sorts of weird self-absorbed things.”
Corgan brought listeners back to a moment of clarity which may have saved his life. “I woke up one morning, and I kind of stared out the window and thought, ‘Okay, well, if you’re not going to jump out the window, you better do whatever it is you need to do,’” the musician described. “That morning I wrote, I think it was the song ‘Today,’ which people would probably be fairly familiar with, it’s the ice cream truck video song. It’s sort of a wry observation on suicide, but in essence the meditation behind the lyric is that every day is the best day, if you let it be.” [via Alternative Nation]
Check out the full Why Not Now? interview with Billy Corgan below.
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