Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan has introduced his new podcast to periodically roll-out their upcoming 33 song album, ‘Atum’.
Looking at the music industry of 2022, streaming services have become the dominant avenue for people to consume music. While vinyl record sales continue to climb to newfound heights, many listeners remain content with accessing their music through platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. As a result of this, we consistently see newer artists adopting release strategies that are centered around single releases, as it is these featured tracks that make up the playlists curated by streaming services. For Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan, his contrarian adaptation of this practice enriches the launch of the band’s upcoming album, “Atum” and gives longtime fans insight into his creative and philosophical mindset.
Historically, the Smashing Pumpkins are a band that do not compromise their artistic ambitions to meet standards or expectations. Dating back to their first two albums, released in 1991 and 1993 respectively, both releases exhibit tremendous dedication to musicianship and virtuosity in an era that scoffed at those very principles. One would also be remiss to gloss over the fact that their 1995 double album, “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness” debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts upon its release. Spanning multiple genres and sonic pallets across its 28-song tracklist, Corgan and co. fearlessly and successfully pursued a massive undertaking of a record within a business that was driven by MTV videos and single success.
Now, 27 years removed from the release of “Mellon Collie,” Corgan has launched his own podcast, “Thirty-Three with William Patrick Corgan” to give listeners a personal experience with Smashing Pumpkins’ music while industry trends repeatedly attempt to depersonalize one’s relationship with music.
Premiering every Tuesday across all major streaming platforms, Corgan is accompanied by co-hosts Joe Galli and Kyle Davis. “Thirty-Three” follows the same structure every week: A brand new song from “Atum” is both explained and premiered by Corgan, special guests are introduced to further conversation about the newly premiered song, and then a retrospective look is taken at fan-favorite Pumpkins songs of the past. Currently nine episodes into the 33-episode series, special guests have included a wide variety of characters from Pumpkins’ past and present. Longtime drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, frequent collaborator and Garbage drummer Butch Vig and prolific indie-pop duo Tegan And Sara are amongst past guests of the show.
You would be hard-pressed to make the argument that a 33-song tracklist is easy to consume in one sitting. In tandem with Corgan’s commentary for each new song, “Thirty-Three” does an excellent job at contextualizing each song within “Atum” and the back catalog of the band. To me, Corgan has found a unique way to present an ambitious record which is both inspiring and deserving of your attention. If you have any interests in the creative process or art in general, this podcast is of my utmost recommendation.
“Thirty-Three with William Patrick Corgan” is available on all major streaming platforms.
“Atum” is out April 23, 2023.