In an excellent new interview on the Thirty-Three With William Patrick Corgan podcast (co-produced with iHeartRadio), the awesome WILLOW chats with the Smashing Pumpkins icon about everything from playing guitar to being a completely unique artist.
In a particularly lovely part of the chat, WILLOW thanks Billy for how he paved the way for many male artists and “setting this beautiful precedent for what rock star dudes can be”.
“White society has a lot of codes,” begins Billy. “We grew up in the ’70s and ’80s version of that. It was shocking to us – something as stupid as me wearing a dress onstage. People asked, ‘Oh, are you gay? What does this mean? What are you trying to say?’”
“So many people took that beautiful rebellious act and have done it – like Kid Cudi wore a dress onstage; my own brother [Jaden Smith] wore a dress onstage,” responds WILLOW. “That rebellious nature, I want to thank you for doing that and for setting this beautiful precedent for what rock star dudes can be – they can be so many different things.”
The two also bond over how they learned to play their instrument, focussing on the feel and doing their own thing over perfecting the more technical aspect.
“When I first started playing the guitar, I started in a very unorthodox way,” WILLOW remembers. “I didn’t pick up an electric guitar… I also told myself I wasn’t going to get a teacher. Even if it was weird, I wanted to develop my own style of playing… The first album that I made with my guitar, I was in the studio and I didn’t even know what chords I was playing. The freedom that gave me to do the craziest stuff.
“I have a song called And Contentment, I am pretty sure I completely changed the key in this breakdown in the song. Even though that came from a place of not really knowing how to play the guitar, that is one of the favourite chord progressions I have ever made, because it is so unexpected. My favourite musicians take the song wherever they want to take it.”