Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has compared Adelaide to the dilapidated cities in America’s Rust Belt while saying people don’t see the South Australian capital as a cultural centre. Corgan’s comments came two days after his band closed out the Adelaide leg of Soundwave 2015 on Sunday night.
Speaking to triple j Breakfast’s Matt Okine and Alex Dyson yesterday, Corgan said the situation in Adelaide — i.e. the city’s very low Soundwave ticket sales — reminded him of the economic downturn in the Rust Belt “where all the factories and all the manufacturing used to be, say between New York and Chicago”.
“Australia seems to be doing pretty well with the mining and all that, so I don’t necessarily think it’s an economic thing – I can’t really speak to it – but it didn’t seem like there was a lot of enthusiasm in the city for the festival, which is a bit strange,” Corgan said.
“No disrespect to Adelaide, but people don’t think Adelaide is a cultural centre, much like they don’t think of the city I’m from, Chicago, as a cultural centre.
“So when you don’t see that kind of enthusiasm from the people in the city towards a festival coming in; well, the artists of course and, by extension the promoter or promoters, can only help but think that there’s not a real thirst for it.”
Later in his interview, Corgan suggested that EDM shows are what’s really capturing people’s imaginations right now, echoing his previous claims that rock isn’t ambitious enough.
“Maybe it’s easy to just blame the people of Adelaide for not showing up, say, [to] the Soundwave festival, like the promoter would have liked, but at the end of the day maybe it’s down to the bands not providing the kind of music and entertainment and cutting edge culture that gets kids out in droves.”
Hear Billy Corgan’s full triple j interview, below. Smashing Pumpkins’ final Soundwave 2015 sidewave takes place in Sydney tonight, before the band play at Soundwave in Sydney and Brisbane over the weekend.
Listen: Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins talks Soundwave, Rock vs EDM, & serial killer casting