Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Says He Lost His ‘Greatest Opponent’ When Kurt Cobain Died

Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins recognizes that he and his band have been able to carve a place in rock history, but he feels like there should have been one other notable group and frontman that should have continued to challenge them on the way to their success.

Speaking with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the rock singer reflected on many bands within his genre and took a moment to speak on late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. “When Kurt died, I cried because I lost my greatest opponent,” he told the radio host.

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The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins Announce 2023 North American The World Is a Vampire Tour Dates


The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana had some overlap while Cobain was still alive — the Pumpkins’ debut studio album, Gish, arrived in 1991, a few months before Nirvana released their hit album Nevermind. In July 1993, the Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream arrived, with Nirvana’s In Utero following months later in September of the same year. The Smashing Pumpkins wouldn’t earn their first No. 1 album until Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which came out in 1995, six months after Cobain died.

“I want to beat the best,” Corgan continued in the interview. “I don’t want to win the championship because it’s just me and a bunch of jabronis — to use a wrestling term. It’s like, Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest sports competitor I’ll ever see in my lifetime. I mean, you want to talk about an alpha. That guy wanted to win the valet tip, you know what I mean?”

Up next for The Pumpkins is their The World Is a Vampire Tour, which is slated to kick off July 28 with the first of two dates at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, followed by gigs in Albuquerque, N.M.; Dallas; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Franklin, Tenn., before wrapping up Sept. 9 at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, Ind.

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