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Billy Corgan Says He Makes People Think He's Stupid on Purpose

In a new interview with The New York Times, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman identifies as a "free-market libertarian capitalist" and suggests he'd be more successful if he "kept my mouth shut."

Never one to stray too far from blog headlines, Billy Corgan is talking again. Just weeks after trading barbs with one-time Smashing Pumpkins bass player D'Arcy Wretsky about her notable exclusion from the reunion of the band's classic lineup, he's given a new interview to The New York Times, explaining that conflict and, well, a whole lot more.

Corgan first responded to Wretsky's decision to publicly criticize him for a history of a manipulative behavior, culminating in his apparent refusal to allow her to participate in an upcoming Smashing Pumpkins tour due to a since-healed injury (which Wretsky revealed in screenshots of text messages). "I think what she did demonstrates why she couldn’t be involved,” he said. "I was vulnerable and shared things and trusted that there was a reason to give it a chance, despite plenty of empirical evidence that that was not a wise decision.”

Ever prone to dramatic gestures, he then concludes that the bridge between the two of them has been burned "forever." But speaking of that penchant for drama, Corgan also had some interesting things to say about his public perception. After spending the interview clarifying and outlining his political views—despite his appearances on the program of hate-spewing conspiracy mongerer Alex Jones, he says he's a "free-market libertarian capitalist" who's not "anti-anything except establishment"—he suggests that, if anyone has any qualms with his public persona, it's actually because he's a master manipulator.

“I would say 80 percent of the things that I get held up and mocked for, I’m doing intentionally,” he claims. “It’s sort of funny to me that they actually think I’m that stupid. It’s, like, yeah, I work in wrestling—I’m running you.”

While it is true that Corgan—who once claimed to have seen a shapeshifter—has a knack for saying absurd shit to start a conversation, I do raise my eyebrow a bit at the suggestion that he's torpedoed his image among more progressive pockets of his fanbase on purpose. I'll let him play us out with a surprisingly self-aware quote that he could probably stand to do some reflecting on: "If I kept my mouth shut, and if I kept my band together, we’d be playing a lot bigger venues and we would be a lot more successful, and we’d be in somebody’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame."

Head over to The New York Times to read the full interview, especially if you wanna picture him wheezing the words "Social Justice Warriors.