Billy Corgan’s Aunt Says Guitar Isn’t A Real Instrument, Offers Accordion Lessons

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Photo by Zack Nechvatal

Photo by Zack Nechvatal

In an interview with WXRT’s Terri Hemmert about Smashing Pumpkins‘ forthcoming disc Oceania, Billy Corgan revealed that guitar isn’t the only instrument he knows how top play. In reference to an album listening party the Pumpkins are hosting on June 12, Corgan hinted that he might play some “drunken sea shanties” on the accordion in addition to album material.

Corgan said that learned to play accordion as a teenager, although “not very well.”

“When I announced to my family that I was going to play the guitar when I was 14 years old, my very Polish aunt and uncle pulled me aside and said ‘That’s not a real instrument. We’ll pay for lessons and get you an accordion.'”

Corgan’s knowledge of accordion is certainly a testament to his Chicago roots, admitting that it “could have been a totally different outcome,” with him instead playing as part of a polka band, mentioning that former drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was a member of a polka band prior to being in the Pumpkins.

Billy is keeping the new album under lock and key. “I trust my fans. We’re going to put the music in their hands and they’re going to march out into the streets and they’re going to say ‘This is a worthy album’ or not.” Coming up on this Tuesday, the 12th, you’ll be able to stream all 13 tracks the album on 93XRT.com before it goes on sale June 19th.

“The nice thing about Oceania is that it was made here [ in Chicago].” “The rhythm of the city is very unique… my best music has always come from Chicago.”

Oceania track list

  1. “Quasar”
  2. “Panopticon”
  3. “The Celestials”
  4. “Violet Rays”
  5. “My Love Is Winter”
  6. “One Diamond, One Heart”
  7. “Pinwheels”
  8. “Oceania”
  9. “Pale Horse”
  10. “The Chimera”
  11. “Glissandra”
  12. “Inkless”
  13. “Wildflower”

smashing pumpkins oceania1 Billy Corgan Drops By WXRT To Talk New Pumpkins Album    Find Out How You Can Hear It First


Oceania will be streaming and available for pre-sale on iTunes June 12 and available for purchase June 19th.

-Zack Nechvatal/WXRT Chicago

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