Billy Corgan believes Kurt Cobain deliberately misled his own public perception
Billy Corgan has sat down with Lars Ulrich on ‘It’s Electric’ to discuss one of the most hotly contested topics of the 90s – Kurt Cobain’s iconic slacker legacy. Since his passing, the life, times and beliefs of the legendary Nirvana frontman have been studied with a fearsome intensity. Whether it’s been through documentaries or books, Cobain’s intentions and dilemmas regarding the band’s successes have always maintained status as a topic of interest of rock fans.
Corgan hinted in the interview that Cobain misled his own public perception, leading the world to believe he was more of a slacker than he actually was. He noted that world romanticized the idea that Cobain would “roll out of bed, take some drugs and write a fucking classic.”
“I used to say about Kurt – they wanted to believe that Kurt Cobain would roll out of bed, take some drugs and write a fucking classic.”
“He was great at what he did and it’s a shame he didn’t do more of it, ’cause he was fucking great at what he did. And he let people believe that he was the guy that was, ‘Uh, yeah, you know, uh…'”
He praised Cobain saying he was a talented lyricist, adding that he knows he spent more time writing Nirvana songs than he made out people to believe.
“Kurt Cobain as a lyricist, as a songwriter, as visionary was a fucking assassin. How many nights do you think, that long before Nirvana he sat in a fucking basement, trying to figure out, ‘Why does this chord go with this chord?’ And listening to Nirvana’s early demos, listening to Nirvana’s first album, listening to the second album – his voice is changing. It’s not just changing physically, he’s finding the character of Kurt Cobain.”
“They wanna sit there and talk about, ‘Oh, he did this and didn’t do that.’ And him and Dave got into arguments. It’s like, give me a fucking break. And the great thing is the public, by and large, only cares about the music.”
Corgan is currently in the midst of a press run in the lead up to the Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour, recently opening up to Creative Independent about how his ego has often gotten in the way of the band’s success.
“I was more of a slash and burn, scorched Earth kind of person – hence making a record like Adore after Mellon Collie I could say something like, ”Adore’ was exactly the right move at exactly the right time and the only mistake I made was not making sure there was hit singles.”
The article was originally published on Tone Deaf