The 10 Artists That Were Influenced By The Smashing Pumpkins And Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins was founded in 1988 by Billy Corgan as the lead vocalist, D’arcy Wretzky as the bassist, James Iha as the guitarist, and Jimmy Chamberlin as the drummer. The band became very famous and commercially successful with their best-selling records that hit the charts even though they went through several lineup changes because of personal reasons and creative differences between the band members.
The band combined psychedelic rock, progressive rock, shoegazing, gothic rock, heavy metal, and dream pop in their works and paired them with well-written cathartic lyrics, which contributed a lot to their popularity. The Smashing Pumpkins and especially Billy Corgan’s vision inspired many musicians from various genres and styles, who didn’t forget to credit the band. Let’s look at these musicians.
Marilyn Manson is one of the musicians who was greatly influenced by The Smashing Pumpkins and chose one of the band’s songs for his ‘The Music That Made Me’ playlist, which he shared years ago. He named ‘Today,’ which was released in the band’s second studio album entitled ‘Siamese Dream’ on July 27, 1993, as his favorite.
Here’s what Manson said:
“Billy Corgan and I became friends about 15 years ago when I was working on ‘Mechanical Animals,’ and he was working on what would become ‘Adore.’ Even before that, I always loved this song. People might think of it as a happy pop song, but it’s actually very dark. When he says, ‘Today is the greatest day,’ it’s an ironic statement, and people don’t catch that.”
Manson stated that even though people described ‘Today’ as a happy pop song, it has a dark atmosphere. Then the musician revealed that he and Billy Corgan have been friends for many years. At that time, Manson was recording and producing his third studio album ‘Mechanical Animals’ while Corgan was working on The Smashing Pumpkins’ fourth studio album, ‘Adore.’
Blink-182’s co-lead vocalist and bassist, Mark Hoppus, can be considered one of the most successful musicians of his time, especially with his career in Blink-182. Hoppus has always been interested in creating music. When he met Tom DeLonge, who shared the same musical interests and dreams, it marked the beginning of the legendary rock band, Blink-182.
In one of his interviews, Hoppus shared his feelings and ideas about The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Siamese Dream’ by defining it as one of the albums that influenced him while considering pursuing a career as a professional musician with a band. Thus, it seems that Hoppus also agreed with Marilyn Manson, who named a song from the same album as his favorite.
My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance members’ distinctive style and sound brought them international fame and critical acclaim following the release of their records. However, they achieved a breakthrough with their second studio album, ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,’ released on June 8, 2004. The album’s tracks, ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise),’ ‘Helena, and ‘The Ghost of You,’ became very popular and drew great attention.
Gerard Way said in his interview the following:
“The funny thing is about The Pumpkins is, it’s one of me and Mickey’s favorite bands of all time! It actually goes even further than that. There’s nothing contrived about this band, but at the same time, a lot of things are planned in advance.
We think about the future a great deal. In fact, when we made out the first record, I had patterned our career off The Pumpkins because they were able to do such free and artistic music. I wanted ‘Revenge’ to be our ‘Siamese Dream’ though.”
As it can be understood from the band’s frontman Gerard Way’s words, The Smashing Pumpkins’ iconic album ‘Siamese Dream’ greatly influenced them while working on their second record. According to the singer, My Chemical Romance took the band as an example throughout their musical career and always aimed to create free and artistic music without thinking about money and fame.
Panic! at the Disco
Panic! at the Disco has had an interesting journey in the music industry since they started as a pop-rock band but turned into Brendon Urie’s single project due to various reasons. Their longtime fans will always remember the band’s 2006 Summer Tour as a happy time before the numerous lineup changes and departures. The band performed many concerts and took the stage at the 2006’s Reading Festival.
During one of their concerts in 2006 as a part of their tour, Panic! at the Disco proved that they were one of the bands that The Smashing Pumpkins influenced after their ‘Tonight Tonight’ cover. The song was originally released in the band’s third record ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.’ Many people resembled the frontman Brandon Urie’s vocal performance to Billy Corgan’s, so it was highly appreciated.
Fall Out Boy
Chicago-based hardcore punk rock band, Fall Out Boy released many hit records and reached great popularity with the help of their unique style and well-crafted sound and lyrics. The band released seven studio albums, and almost all of them got very positive reviews and sold millions. The band members talked about their musical influences many times on several occasions, and one of them was The Smashing Pumpkins, of course.
Pete Wentz shared his ideas, saying:
“It’s hard to come up in the rock scene in Chicago and not have been touched by The Smashing Pumpkins legacy and Billy.“
In their previous interview with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz highlighted that they are both from Chicago, so it’s almost impossible not to be inspired by The Smashing Pumpkins. Therefore, the band’s unmatchable musical style, which combined different genres, influenced Fall Out Boy’s punk rock records, and they wanted to honor the band’s legacy that was set in stone.
Third Eye Blind
Third Eye Blind released their self-titled debut studio album on April 8, 1997, and the lyrics were written by Stephan Jenkins and Kevin Cadogan. The album achieved critical acclaim for combining alternative rock, post-grunge, and power pop elements in their work. Its songs, ‘Jumper,’ ‘Graduate,’ ‘Thanks a Lot,’ and ‘Burning Man’ became fan favorites.
The band’s tweet read:
“Our track ‘Thanks A Lot’ was one big homage to Billy Corgan and SP. ‘Thanks A Lot’ wouldn’t exist without The Smashing Pumpkins.”
The band’s official Twitter account wanted to post a tweet to express their gratitude and admiration for The Smashing Pumpkins. They emphasized that they would have never created their famous song ‘Thanks A Lot’ without the band’s influence. So, the song became Third Eye Blind’s personal tribute to the band.
Another famous Chicago-based rock band, Kill Hannah, was formed by singer-songwriter Mat Devine who came up with the name thanks to his ex-girlfriend. The band dropped six studio albums, seven EPs, and two compilation albums, making them one of the prominent bands for the Chicago rock scene, but Devine had different thoughts about it.
Here’s what Matt Devine said:
“That’s a title we’ve been trying to live up to. They said we’re the future of Chicago rock, so we’re not the present. Are we still the future three years later? I feel like maybe we are. Time’s just really crawling.”
According to Devine, even though they have been given the title of the future of Chicago rock, he stated that this meant they can’t be today’s best Chicago rock band. This is probably because of The Smashing Pumpkins’ undeniable presence and influence on both them and the whole music industry. The singer was looking forward to the future in which they became the band’s successor.
Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara, an indie-pop duo founded by identical twin sisters Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin, drew great attention with their looks, studio albums, and numerous EPs. The duo’s mainstream success came with their fifth and sixth studio albums, ‘The Con’ and ‘Sainthood.’
As a band that produced music using various genres, Tegan and Sara revealed that many bands and musicians influenced them, such as Depeche Mode, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Mike Elizondo, Pink, and Lily Allen. They also mentioned The Smashing Pumpkins’ influence on them many times. Even though it’s surprising that an indie-pop duo gave credit to an alternative band, it shows Billy Corgan and the other band members’ talents and geniuses as musicians.
The other band that showed their respect and love for The Smashing Pumpkins was Silversun Pickups, a LA alternative rock band formed in 2000. The band gained critical acclaim and criticism after releasing their first two albums, ‘Carnavas’ in 2006 and ‘Swoon’ in 2009. Some people claimed that the band was a copy of The Smashing Pumpkins, while the others stated that it’s hard not to embrace their style.
In Nikki Monninger’s words, she said:
“Yeah, I think we have always embraced it. I think that Smashing Pumpkins were a great band, so it’s nice. We didn’t feel offended at all that people were comparing. Everyone has to be compared to something.
I think that we are comfortable enough in our own music that we don’t feel threatened by being compared to another band. We like Smashing Pumpkins, especially their early stuff. We see it as a compliment.”
The main reason behind this comparison was Silversun Pickups choosing to add multiple overdubs of distorted guitars. The band’s bassist and vocalist Nikki Monninger made it clear that they didn’t have any problem being compared to a great band like The Smashing Pumpkins by adding that they liked their early works and style.
Rivers Cuomo is commonly defined as one of the greatest vocalists and songwriters of his era. He built a reputation as Weezer’s lead vocalist, and just like almost every artist, Cuomo has his own muses that encouraged him to create and perform more and more every day. The musician named The Beatles, Kiss, Nirvana, Giacomo Puccini, Green Day, and Jane’s Addiction as his greatest inspirations.
However, Cuomo also proved that he was a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan after performing the band’s song, ‘Today,’ during one of his special solo acoustic sets at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles in 2018. The fact that all of these musicians from different genres and styles named The Smashing Pumpkins and Billy Corgan as one of their greatest influences proves the band’s everlasting effect on rock music.