Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Addresses The Exploitation In Music Industry
In a recent interview with WFAN’s Boomer & Gio Show, Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan, shared his thoughts about the music industry of the 20th century and its exploitation of artists.
The mental health of artists only recently stopped being a taboo discussion topic in the music industry. Even though it was evident that musicians have been struggling with fame for generations, resulting in substance addiction or suicide, the industry chose to keep it under wraps. Billy Corgan is one of the artists who consider themselves lucky and recently wanted to shed light on the topic and give their two cents about the industry.
Bill Corgan stated that the music industry didn’t change its mindset for decades and was stuck to its 20th-century roots that encouraged the exploitation of artists rather than trying to support their mental health. Mental health, especially in the music industry, has been a topic that hasn’t been taken more seriously until these past few years. The musician said that when he thinks about Jimi Hendrix, who passed away at 27 due to his addiction, he feels extreme sadness for his situation as he was a gem in the industry.
Everyone still talks about his music, even 55 years after his passing, which makes Corgan wonder what Hendrix could have contributed to the industry if he were still here. Bill Corgan added that the NFL had understood the importance of mental health, but the music industry is still on the fence. He said the current industry should take the topic more seriously and help artists continue making music for years.
The musician also shared that he feels heartbroken for his generation of artists as most of them have passed away due to addiction and suicide. There should have been a support system for those artists, which could have helped them to survive. He added that he understands that it is a business, but at the end of the day, it is a business based on exploitation.
Billy Corgan’s words about the music industry that has exploited artists for years:
“I think the music business, in particular, has been very late to the game with mental health and artists. You spoke about Jimi Hendrix. We lost Jimi Hendrix at 27 years old to addiction, and think of all the music that Jimi Hendrix didn’t make. We’re still talking about Jimi Hendrix, 54 or 55 years after his death. I get lost in there because it’s so sad to me.
The music business has been slow to understand that when you find a needle in a haystack, which an NFL top-level quarterback is, the NFL has figured it out, but the music business hasn’t because it is based more on exploitation. It goes back to more of its 20th-century roots, but the 21st century of the music business should be a legacy of finding artists young, fostering them, and ensuring that they continue to create great music for generations to come.
Think of all the people my generation has lost just to addiction and suicide alone. It is a travesty that there weren’t more support systems around those artists. I don’t mean to throw shade at anybody. I know how the business works. It’s one of exploitation.”
The music industry did not want to steer the attention from the seemingly glorious lifestyle of musicians to this lifestyle’s consequences until recently, as more artists have come out with documentaries or statements sharing their stories of mental health struggles. The frontman has remained active since his debut in the early ’90s, and that’s not something he takes lightly as he was able to push through and not end up like one of his peers that unfortunately, are not here anymore.