Interview: Geddy Lee and Billy Corgan Talk Albums vs. Singles
Update (06/26/2012): Part two of the interview is now online. Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.
MusicRadar has just posted the first of a two-part lengthy interview/discussion with Geddy Lee and Smashing Pumpkin's and Rush fan Billy Corgan. The discussion centers around "...the merits - and challenges - of the album as art form..."
From the article:It's a good time to be Geddy Lee, and it's also a good time to be Billy Corgan. Within a week of each other, both artist's bands, Rush and The Smashing Pumpkins, have released albums (Clockwork Angels and Oceania, respectively), that stand among their finest work.Check out the entire article at this LINK.
Significantly, both albums break the mold for Music Business 101 in 2012 in that they're concept pieces – Clockwork Angels is a self-contained narrative, while Oceania is part of the Pumpkins' adventurous Teargarden By Kaleidyscope project. That both groups, Rush and The Smashing Pumpkins, have hit creative highs while rejecting the notion that 'the hit single is king' was the starting point for a discussion MusicRadar recently had with Lee and Corgan in which the two talked about how they navigate through the murky waters of the music business and rise to the challenges of what Corgan calls the "iPod era."
It's a fascinating conversation, and what follows is Part One of our interview:
You've both released albums that can be appreciated from beginning to end – that right there is a concept. Do you feel as if you're somehow attempting to revitalize a format that others are discarding? Or is it more a way to revitalize what the band is doing?
Geddy Lee: "I don't think we look at it as revitalizing a thing outside of the band. To me, it's just dependent on what ideas you have cooking and what you want to accomplish – for us, between the three of us. It seemed, at this stage, we were chomping at the bit to do something a bit more ambitious and to see if we could stretch out and tell a story in a longer form. We didn't set out to do an album that was 66 minutes long. [laughs] That's kind of the way it ended up.
"But it was also really important that these songs not only be a concept and tell a story in a sort of rock opera tradition, but stand out as individual songs, and that's really the trick and that's the tough part, to make them make sense in the context of each other but also stand as individuals. From my point of view, it's not so much a concern for the medium as a personal kind of band goal."
Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for passing along the article.