Corgan talks ‘Watchmen’ music

July 30, 2008 | 4:44 a.m.

Here’s a guest post from Charlie Amter who is part of our stellar Soundboard crew, whose music blog you can find here.

BillyOne of the most talked about trailers to emerge from last weekend’s Comic-Con convention in San Diego was the teaser for “Watchmen.” Now all over YouTube (and playing nationwide in theaters before blockbusters such as “The Dark Knight”), the trailer features a melancholy, semi-obscure Smashing Pumpkins song titled “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” (not to be confused with the more upbeat “rock” version, “The End Is the Beginning Is the End” that appeared over the closing credits of “Batman & Robin“).

Confused yet?

So are thousands of fans of the storied graphic novel. According to Zack Snyder, who directed “Watchmen” (and “300″), the song will not appear in the film. The director says he chose the song for the mood.

Regardless, the response toward the trailer has been massive online — earning accolades (and a huge iTunes sales spike for the Pumpkins) for how the dark lyrical content and feel of the song meshes with the stunning visuals from the forthcoming film.

We were curious what Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan thought of the attention from both old and new fans (many of whom have been unable to identify Corgan’s signature growl in the tune from just watching the trailer) regarding the resurrection of “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning.”

According to Corgan, who responded to questions by e-mail, he has already asked if the band can release the song as a video. More thoughts on the song from the Pumpkins ringleader after the jump.

Are you surprised at the reaction online from some young “Watchmen” fans who have never heard “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning,” let alone the Smashing Pumpkins?

Honestly, I don’t really keep up on what the world is doing or saying anymore. The word on the street seems to be, from what my friends tell me, that the use of the song in the trailer is intriguing to them and has created some excitement around it.

What has been Smashing Pumpkins fan reaction toward the use of the song in the trailer?

My fans seem to be confused when the outside world appreciates our work, so I can only imagine this terrifies them.

What are your personal thoughts on “Watchmen?”

Before this I’d never heard of the “Watchmen” series, but from what I’ve seen it looks very interesting.

Who approached you to use the song and do you think it’s a good fit?
I just got a call one day asking if I was cool with it, and I was surprised because it’s a version of that song that never seemed to get any notice. Months before the trailer was released I kept hearing from friends in the movie business that they loved how the song worked with the images from the movie. I love the way it’s used in the trailer. I’ve asked the movie people if it’s possible we could release it as a music video. Still waiting on that one. Certainly the massive jump in on-line sales seems to indicate it might be worth it for us and for the movie.

Finally, when can we expect to hear “G.L.O.W.” or any other new SP material?

Just finished recording “G.L.O.W.” in Memphis at the famed Ardent Studios and hope to release it in early September. We feel we have finally turned the corner with these last 2 releases (“American Gothic” and “G.L.O.W.” to come) where it’s starting to feel like our music again, and not theirs, whoever “they” might be. Have plans to start recording a new multi-year, multi-release concept album by the end of this year. It will be very trippy and hopefully unique, and we’ll probably keep putting out singles here.

–- Charlie Amter

Update: In an earlier version of this post, Billy Corgan’s name was spelled wrong in one spot.

Photo by Yelena Yemchek/For The Times

More in: Uncategorized, Music, Watchmen

Comments


9 Responses to Corgan talks ‘Watchmen’ music

  1. Sergio says:

    His last name is spelled "Corgan".

  2. Jason the GREATEST P says:

    Ironic that Smashing Pumkins can go through so much-break up (which left rock music stagnant and in much need of a makeover)do (marginally successful) solo and group projects, get back to gether (new lineup – I miss D'Arcy and James), go through legal battles, and still remain viable in this skinny jean, androgonous (sp?),psudo punk wannabe teenaage, "new rock" era. Im glad that Billy Corgan has stuck to his guns and remained who he is and continues to defy convention. Hes left handed but plays right hand guitar for gods sake.. That is ROCK and ROLL kids..I hope that this song does get a video. But I hope its better than its former version "The End…" Although I may not get to seeit since my crap cable company gives me only the musiuc channel that shows of all things the frikin Hills..but I digress and just hope, wish, pray, fantasize, beg, that Billy Corgan not give in this time "to the Brittnies" and "Fall out Boys" come lately give Rock a much needed kick in the balls of original,dynamic music and thought provoking lyrics to boot..Hell Billy if youre done with Rock maybe you and River Cuomo can do a collaboartion w/ Timberland and do a HipHop album..NOw that would be the tits..!!Ill alwayts love the (original – I miss James and D'Arcy) Smashing Pumpkins but will still support any incarnation of this band because with someone like Corgan as a crazy psycho driving force, no matter how tyranical or controlling he may be (wasnt Einstein also a bit of a diva..?) this art form..screw that I need his lyrical inspiration and talent to guide the current state music back to the kick ass guitar heavy,emo (whatever the hell that means)free, state it used to be in..

  3. Jason the GREATEST PUMPKINS FAN BEYOCHES says:

    Ironic that Smashing Pumkins can go through so much-break up (which left rock music stagnant and in much need of a makeover)do (marginally successful) solo and group projects, get back to gether (new lineup – I miss D’Arcy and James), go through legal battles, and still remain viable in this skinny jean, androgonous (sp?),psudo punk wannabe teenaage, “new rock” era. Im glad that Billy Corgan has stuck to his guns and remained who he is and continues to defy convention. Hes left handed but plays right hand guitar for gods sake.. That is ROCK and ROLL kids..I hope that this song does get a video. But I hope its better than its former version “The End…” Although I may not get to seeit since my crap cable company gives me only the musiuc channel that shows of all things the frikin Hills..but I digress and just hope, wish, pray, fantasize, beg, that Billy Corgan not give in this time “to the Brittnies” and “Fall out Boys” come lately give Rock a much needed kick in the balls of original,dynamic music and thought provoking lyrics to boot..Hell Billy if youre done with Rock maybe you and River Cuomo can do a collaboartion w/ Timberland and do a HipHop album..NOw that would be the tits..!!Ill alwayts love the (original – I miss James and D’Arcy) Smashing Pumpkins but will still support any incarnation of this band because with someone like Corgan as a crazy psycho driving force, no matter how tyranical or controlling he may be (wasnt Einstein also a bit of a diva..?) this art form..screw that I need his lyrical inspiration and talent to guide the current state music back to the kick ass guitar heavy,emo (whatever the hell that means)free, state it used to be in..

  4. Kalen says:

    Corgan is prima donna who writes terribly pretentious lyrics. Most overrated band.

  5. zac milner says:

    When Corgan says…"We feel we have finally turned the corner with these last 2 releases" and the writer puts in (“American Gothic” and “G.L.O.W.” to come) i think Corgan is refering to Superchrist and G.L.O.W. because these will be the first two songs not under a record label.
    GO THE ALL BLACKS AGAINST AUSTRALIA TOMORROW NIGHT!

  6. Jason the GREATEST P says:

    Hey Ill take pretention and prima donna (didnt realize Corgan sang opera) behavior over A&R/label created low brow one hit wonders anyday of the week.

  7. Casey says:

    lol, a prima donna is somebody who's hard to get along with. And since when were Pumpkins fans not androgynous?

  8. Dezinerdave says:

    The music for the second Watchmen trailer borrows rather heavily from composer Philip Glass and the score for the Ron Fricke film "Koyaanisqatsi"… from the organ intro to the choirs. Whoever told Billy Corgan he could sing has a tin ear from Hell.

  9. Labelnr1 says:

    I think it is good that the Smashing Pumpkins got a bit more famous after this song was played. Though their fans prefer them to stay indie and underground, a bit of a mainstream success should be good for them. I was intrigued by the song when it was first played, and I have become a Smashing Pumpkin fan since.

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