Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins recently spoke with Allison Hagendorf on his relationship with Kurt Cobain before his death following the Courtney Love scandal. When asked about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, the frontman said: “I thought Kurt was fantastic. I mean, he was incredible. You were obviously envious of the talent. ‘Who gets that much skill in one body?’ you wonder. I was telling someone today about seeing them when they came through town in ‘Bleach.’ Cabaret Metro, somewhere between 1990 and 1989. Five hundred people in the audience, not even sold out, and you’re thinking, ‘Well, I can’t sing like that.’ That voice, which everyone recognizes, is fantastic.”
Then Corgan addressed the major point of contention between him and the late singer: “The issue was that his wife, or future wife, was my ex-girlfriend, which triggered an immediate riff.” Add to that the fact that he’s astute enough to see that my band is probably one of the only ones with a chance of challenging his throne, and that stuff does matter when it comes to things like who’s playing where on the bill and who’s getting paid what. Even in Kurt’s final will and testament in the letter he left, he says it’s preferable to burn out and fade away. What the company was doing to us all had a big impact on us. I don’t want to claim that’s why he committed suicide, but he chose to discuss it in his final words on earth.”
However, Billy had the opportunity to settle the Love disagreement with Cobain: “The nice thing that I’ve rarely mentioned is near the end of his life; obviously, I had no idea he was going to go; we kind of made this strange peace.” Whatever it was seemed to go, and it was extremely pleasant and kind. I’m not saying we sat there discussing the moon and stars. But it went from ‘I’m not sure I like you, and I know you surely don’t like me’ to ‘How are you? ‘Is everything okay?'” In a previous interview a few months back, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman showed his appreciation for the late Nirvana frontman once more, calling him ‘brilliant.’ Despite the complexity of his songwriting, Billy Corgan feels Kurt Cobain purposefully played dumb in his songs. You may watch his entire conversation below.